It’s no secret that first time buyers have it tough.
Much of the press around owning that first property is negative; focusing on the sacrifices and uphill battle getting there.
But – does it really have to be that way?
A little guidance and pointing in the right direction can make things much easier than you might expect.
Unconvinced? Maybe we can change your mind. Time to get it all out in the open by addressing the obstacles facing first time buyers.
Saving for a deposit
Saving for a house deposit – usually between 5-20% of the sale price of the property – can be easier said than done.
This is particularly true when you consider those who fork out for sky-high rent prices, or even just general day-to-day living costs.
There are many different things to juggle and plates to spin, but no one’s saying it’s impossible.
These top tips can make it easier:
- Go to the bank of mum and dad for help
- Use government support, e.g. the Help to Buy ISA
- Move back in with family
- Make some sacrifices here and there – holidays, expensive coffee…
- Downsize to cheaper accommodation
- Have a long-term budgeting plan
Affording a certain area
Many hopeful homeowners have their sights set on a particular place – and struggle to deviate from this.
However, without realising, they might be significantly reducing their chance of getting their hands on the keys to their first property. The stats already aren’t too uplifting. 24 – 34 year olds earning between £22,200 and £30,600 a year have only 27% chance of owning a home.
The advice is to be a little less rigid when it comes to searching for that perfect property. If you’ve fallen in love with a particular area but it’s out of your budget, look just outside it.
Consider the transport links and how easy it is to get around. Chances are, this area will soon also become up and coming too.
Sometimes, in the journey to buying a home, you encounter a few bumps in the road. The trick is to make compromises and deal with the situation rather than give up completely!
Fearing the responsibility
For those who have only rented and lived at home, the prospect of being responsible for a property is a daunting one.
It’s not just the initial payment of the home to consider, but everything around it. From utility bills to monthly mortgage payments, there’s a lot to think about.
Which mortgage deal should you take? Can you afford the general running and maintenance of a property? What exactly are you looking for?
While the answers to these questions are exciting – it’s easy to see why many find them terrifying in equal measure!
Doing it alone
For those who have no one to buy with, such as a partner, it can feel near-impossible to buy a home.
In fact, single first time buyers do have it tougher than anyone else. Securing a mortgage on a single salary is much harder, as lenders can doubt the security of their loan. Plus, the general upkeep of the property, such as bills, will all fall to one person.
However, the upsides are that you’ll have the opportunity to run and own your home exactly as you please. Every decision made will be your own!
Sticking to smaller properties, such as flats, or utilising any of the government property schemes can help you achieve your goal of owning a home – even alone.
Getting your hopes up too soon
If you haven’t been around the property block before, you haven’t learnt to deal with the rejection that can go hand in hand with the process.
Gazumping leaves many hopeful buyers disappointed. Or, sometimes, the seller simply pulls out of the deal, due to money or personal complications. 1 in 3 property sales fall through, even after an offer has been accepted.
For some, being disappointed even once and unable to secure that dream property is enough to put them off.
However, there are steps you can take to mitigate against risk. This includes taking out Home Buyers’ Protection insurance, for example.
There are also property systems that fast-track buying and reduce the chance of gazumping.
Affording extra costs
Even if hopeful homeowners manage to save up enough for a deposit, many aren’t sure how they’d afford all the other associated costs.
You’ll need everything from buildings insurance to a property survey.
Many are tempted to cut corners to cut costs, however this can result in disappointment – or owning a property that isn’t what it first appeared to be.
The secret is simple – but often a lot tougher than it sounds. From the beginning of your journey – you need to have a budget. Never underestimate the importance of a clear, well thought-out plan.
Understanding the property market
Lack of knowledge about the property market can make the journey much more difficult than it needs to be.
It can result in a lot of consequences, such as paying too much for a new home. Alternatively, it can simply prevent a sale altogether, as hopeful homeowners don’t know where to start.
There is a lot of help for first time buyers out there, so it’s essential that you use it to your advantage. When it comes to buying a house, knowledge is power.
The more you know, the better.
Researching the area
How much should you know about a potential area before you move there?
Answer: as much as possible.
From crime rates to sale prices for similar properties nearby, you’ll want to gather as much information as you can to help you make an informed decision.
Some first time buyers tend to overlook the importance of this. However, remember, you can change the physical features of a house – but not its location.
Phil Spencer’s property report can gather everything you need for you – including information on local schools and nearby planning applications. It can make buying a house much simpler, as you’ll have all the facts you need at your fingertips.
Get yours below.