Getting up on the property ladder is one of the most important steps you can take for your future. Owning your own property, instead of renting, means putting money into an asset that can continue to help you exponentially throughout your life. After all, as areas are built-up and become more popular, housing prices increase. This means that, for many, selling the house later on will fetch more than you had originally invested. You can use that money to get a larger or more central property, and the cycle continues.
Before you get there, however, you have to make your first step, so use this guide to help you get started.
Determine Your Budget
You’ll want to be realistic from the outset when it comes to house hunting. With that in mind, work on figuring out what your budget is based on your income. Having a large deposit can help, yes, but at the end of the day, there will be a limit to how much you can borrow. If you aren’t quite sure what your budget is, get in touch with a financial advisor. They can also help create a strategy so you can start making serious headway toward saving for that deposit. There are also online calculators to help you get a rough estimation of how much money you could theoretically borrow.
Save for a Downpayment
Saving for a deposit is one of the biggest hurdles for first-time buyers. The larger your deposit, the more options you’ll have and the lower your mortgage repayments will be. Your downpayment can come from your personal savings or be from a gift from family members. When it comes to saving, goal setting is key. Rework your budget so you put your saving goal into a separate account from the get-go. This way, you can work with what you have, not with your total savings. You can also use help-to-buy, high-interest saving accounts to make your money go further.
Consider Government Schemes
In many countries, there are government schemes available, particularly for first-time buyers. These schemes can include shared ownership, help to buy, and first home schemes. Research what schemes are available in your area and see if you’re eligible to apply. These schemes can offer financial assistance with your deposit or reduce the amount of money you need to borrow. Keep in mind these schemes are typically only available for new builds.
Start Hunting for a New Build
With excellent advice for buying a property at hand, you can then start house hunting. If you’ve qualified for a scheme, then start looking into properties and developments that accept that scheme since it’s the only way to take advantage of those benefits. When hunting, you’ll want to research the area, see the example properties, and figure out what development investments are coming to your location.
The other alternative for first-time buyers is to get a fixer-upper. This should only be done if you have a large savings fund to pay for the costs, have carpentry experience, or have friends/family that are happy to help out and know what they’re doing. If you fix up your property, it must be done properly; otherwise, you won’t be able to sell it. Fixer-uppers are also time-consuming and stressful. If you don’t think you can handle that easily, then save yourself the trouble and pick out a new build.