Buying a house is one of the biggest steps you can take. It has become more challenging to get on the housing ladder in recent years, with house prices going up, changes to mortgage criteria, and renters forced to spend up to one-third of their income on rental costs; however, there are steps you can take to help get your foot on the property ladder.
1. Understand your finances
It is vital to monitor your incomings and outgoings, as this enables you to understand and keep track of your financial situation. Once you have done this, you can look at where you may be able to make savings and what you could afford.
2. Government schemes
The Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes are government schemes that can enable people to benefit from a 25 per cent boost to savings, to borrow up to 20 per cent of the cost of a newly-built home, or to purchase a share of a house. These schemes have strict eligibility criteria but are worth investigating.
3. Take into account all costs
Be prepared for all the associated costs when you are looking to buy a house. When looking at what you can afford, factor in stamp duty, moving costs and conveyancing fees on top the actual house price. Consider no sale, no fee conveyancing from companies such to reduce the risk of losing money on a purchase that falls through.
4. House share
According to the ONS, the average age of a first-time buyer in 2017 was around 30. It may be possible to get on the property ladder earlier by purchasing a house jointly with a friend or family member.
5. Think about what you can afford
You certainly don’t want to buy a house that you do not like or live in an area that is unsuitable or undesirable; however, you should think realistically about what you can afford. It may be that you could get on the housing ladder by purchasing a slightly smaller property or by buying in an up-and-coming area, for example. If you find a smaller property that you love that has a larger garden you can consult with a House Extensions Birmingham company in the future to extend your property to a larger size.
6. Explore mortgage deals
Speak to an independent advisor to make sure you receive impartial advice on the range of mortgage products available on the market that are suitable for your individual situation.