Having been a first-time buyer myself, I know how daunting it can be when faced with piles of paperwork and other tasks relating to buying a house. If you're currently looking at snapping up a home in Manchester, there's a lot to think about.
Firstly, you need to decide which part of Manchester you want to live in. The city centre itself is obviously a convenient option for getting to and from work, as well as visiting shops and going out to eat at some of Manchester's most popular restaurants.
However, apartments can be quite pricey here, plus you might want to live in a house with a bit of outdoor space. Areas such as Didsbury, Hulme and Chorlton are a great option - there is a variety of houses to buy here, while the bus, tram and train can take you into the city centre within minutes.
To get even more property for your money, consider Salford, as well as towns in Greater Manchester like Oldham. There are plenty of newbuild developments here, so you could end up with a house that doesn't even need any work doing to it - a definite bonus when you've got a first-time buyer budget!
Oldham, for example, has recently seen a tramline set up, meaning you can leave your car at home and hop onboard to commute to and from work. I think choosing a home near public transport connections is not only easy travel, but it can also make your property more attractive to potential buyers should you ever decide to sell.
Once you've chosen your home and the legal proceedings have all gone through, it's time to think about things such as life and house insurance. When moving into a new pad in Manchester, you'll no doubt bring plenty of new furniture and electricals with you. As such, it's important your home contents insurance reflects the true value of your possessions.
A recent study by Sainsbury's Bank found that the risk of being underinsured is particularly high after Christmas. I know when I was about to move house all of my presents were home-related, such as pots and pans, bedding, mirrors and other household items.
According to the poll, the average home will have around ÃÂ£712 in new purchases and festive gifts following Christmas, meaning people need to check their contents policy covers such a value hike. While you might think contents insurance is an unnecessary expense, imagine if an incident did occur and you didn't have cover. You'd be left replacing everything yourself, and if you're in the process of moving house you're unlikely to have spare cash lying about.
It's also a good idea to use an online household budget calculator to work out all of your incomings and outgoings. I found this invaluable when I moved, as it's overwhelming when faced with all of your bills - from council tax and home insurance to gas and water.
Check the Manchester City Council website - or whichever local authority you fall under - for which band your new home is in, and this should guide you to how much your council tax will be. It's well worth asking the neighbours what band their house is in. We did this, and found out we could actually argue our band rating to match theirs, cutting our bills by a hefty chunk!
Do you have any more top tips to share with first-time buyers? Leave your advice below.