Buying a home is one of the greatest achievements you can make in life and it is one of the best feelings in the world. The moment you walk through the door to your first home you will feel free, independent and excited for the future.
Finding the right property for you can be a long and arduous task. There are many different things you need to think about when buying a home for yourself and your family, and here is everything you need to consider before you jump in and buy a house.
1. Renting An Apartment Can Be Great
Although we all want to live in a house at some point in our lives, now might not be the right time for you. Just because everyone in your family has a home doesn’t mean that you need to jump right in for a mortgage right away. In this day and age, house prices are ever rising to new heights, and this can make it difficult for anyone to afford a mortgage in their twenties. If you don’t have the money for a mortgage now, you can always rent an apartment in the city for a few years. Renting can be great because you don’t have the same contract to adhere to, the city can be a vibrant living place, and you can focus on your career for a few years before settling down.
2. Try For 20%
The idea of saving up 20% for the deposit of a home can be incredibly difficult and can seem a thousand miles away from where you are right now. Although you can feasibly buy a home with a 5% deposit, it will make your mortgage payments much higher and you will be tied into a term for many years longer than you intended. If you can wait and save up to 20%, it will make a big difference to your future and will benefit everyone in the long term.
3. Location Is Key
When it comes to buying your first home and making those first steps into the next stage of your life, you will want to make sure you choose the right location for you. Location is always important on a home because it will determine your commuting to work, the environment you live in and the access to local amenities. Make sure that the location of your new home suits what you need and that it is a place you can imagine yourself growing older in.
4. Get A Mortgage In Principle
A mortgage in principle is an estimate which you can calculate on a bank or lender’s website. It will ask you how much you earn as a household and what financial commitments you currently have. From this, it will be able to calculate the maximum mortgage you can be lent. Make sure that you print this off and bring it to your first meeting with a mortgage advisor. This is incredibly important because this will give immediate proof to the mortgage advisor that you are able to afford your chosen property, and it will speed the process up so that you can be approved for a mortgage quicker.
5. Stay Low
When you come to buying a home, don’t immediately go for the maximum that you can afford. Although it might seem like a great idea to go for a higher end property because you want somewhere fancy to live, you need to be practical and think about the living costs you will have to fork out every month for the home. Aside from the mortgage every month you will need to pay your bills, buy food and enjoy your lifestyle too. Start a little lower than your estimate and you will be afforded a more comfortable lifestyle in these first few years as a homeowner.
6. Shorter Terms Are Best
Going for a 15 or 20-year mortgage agreement will mean that you pay much more every month to make up the cost of the property. If you are able to afford these monthly payments easily, you always want to go for the shorter term rather than a 25-30 year mortgage. The reason for this is that you have a lower interest rate, and you pay less interest too along the way. It can save you a huge amount of money and allow you to save this extra money for your next home or for an extension of the current one.
7. Home Payments Shouldn’t Be More Than 40% Of Your Income
Sacrificing more than 40% of your monthly income on a mortgage should never be something you have to do. When you decide to do this you are putting yourself in a very difficult financial position. What happens when the price of your food shop goes up? What happens if something needs to be repaired? If you don’t leave yourself enough expendable income after your home payments this can be incredibly damaging to your financial future and can even lead down a path to taking out loans and getting into debt.
8. Save Cash For The Move
Once you have decided to make an offer on a home, you need to start saving up some extra money for everything which will be bought after you move in. You might want to redecorate the space immediately before moving your stuff into the space, and this can take a lot of money to do. You may also need to buy new appliances, a bed, a TV, food for the pantry and lots of other little bits. A lot of these costs might seem small at the time, but when you accumulate everything that you have to spend, it can be incredibly expensive.
9. Don’t Buy Everything At Once
As soon as you step foot into your new space, there is always a huge temptation to buy everything you could possibly need for the interior of the home. You might want to buy art for the walls, a couple of plants and some pretty rugs for the space. However, don’t buy everything right away. It will take you some time to get used to your new home, and over the next few months, you will get to know exactly what things you want to bring into your home. Give it some time and let your home tell you what it needs.
10. One In, One Out
When you move into your first home, you want to start your new chapter of life right from day one. Don’t let yourself become someone who hoards items and clutters the space. Opt for a one in, one out policy from the first day of your life in the new home. This means that every time you buy a new item for the house, throw something else out. This will ensure that your home never becomes too cluttered and messy in your years as a homeowner.
11. Get To Know Your Neighbours
A sense of community and friendship is always important when you move into a new area, you want to make sure that you are a part of this small community and that you get along with everyone in the area. Your neighbors can make a big difference to your living because they are the perfect people to ask about the area, they can look out for your home when you go on holiday, and they will be there to make sure nothing happens to your home. Having a good relationship with your neighbors is definitely something you need to do.