Planning to buy a home this year? How exciting!
While many of us make New Year’s Resolutions every January, these don’t tend to be property-related. Time to change that.
Here are some home buying resolutions to help you along the way. Let’s see if you can stick to these…
Look for opportunities to add value
Unless you plan for this to be a short-term home, you should try and look at the bigger picture. So, when searching for your dream house, one of your resolutions should be to do exactly that.
There are a number of ways to add value to a property, including:
Choice of location
The location is just as important as the property itself – for multiple reasons. Adding value is just one of these.
Is the area up-and-coming? Consider if there are any new transport links being built, as these will have many benefits. The more desirable the place is to live, the more you’ll get for your money.
It shouldn’t be the only consideration, but the chance of selling your home for more than you paid for it is a chance you shouldn’t miss.
To some of us, buying a fixer-upper is an extremely attractive option. However, for many, it’s more hassle than it’s worth.
But, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider any renovations at all. Refurbishment can be a great way of adding value.
With some projects, you may not even have to apply for planning permission.
Lead with your head not your heart
When it comes to property, working out the difference between what you need and what you want can be tricky.
But, it’s important! The most successful property sales are made when the buyer is informed, and is willing to compromise.
For example, ‘dream’ homes are about more than appearance. You can change the cosmetic features of a house – but not the area it’s in!
Start by working backwards
Where do you want to be in five years’ time? The buying decisions you make now can determine whether you get there!
So, firstly, decide what type of property you want to buy. This could be:
• A stepping stone on the property ladder
• A short-term home
• A lifelong investment
• A forever home
Particularly if you’re a first-time buyer, you need to think carefully about how you’re going to get where you want to be. It might not be your dream home, but the right investment now could make a big difference in the future.
Spend less, save more
One way to fully commit to buying? Start saving!
Put together a list of your monthly outgoings and work out where you can cut down. The size of the deposit you’ll need can vary, but it’s usually between 10 – 20%.
Remember, in some cases, the bigger the deposit you put down – the more manageable your monthly mortgage repayments.
Get your head around moving costs
This could be the year you finally understand the extra costs involved with buying a house!
Most of us are aware that moving costs can rack up. But, many are still in the dark about exactly where this money comes from.
So, if you’re serious about moving this year, make a list:
• Stamp duty tax
• Solicitor fees
• Mortgage fees
• Removals company fees
• Price of furnishing the property
• Cost of a survey
This isn’t an exhaustive list! But, if this is the year you’re committed to buying a property – it’s handy to get prepared. If you’re thinking seriously about it, this will help you decide if now’s the time.
Finance first, property later
Even if you haven’t found the right property, you can still apply for a mortgage in principal. Too many buyers forget this – so let’s learn from their mistakes!
One of your home buying resolutions should be to know what you can afford – before you start looking properly.
Don’t stick to online searches alone
This one might be tough – but it’s important. You can only tell so much about a property from a web page.
While property portals like Zoopla are extremely useful, it can help to go back to basics. Look out for for-sale signs and keep your ear to the ground.
If you’re on the hunt for a bargain – property auctions are something to consider.
Go for more than one viewing
One New Year’s resolution to stick to? View the property more than once.
You’d be surprised at how many more things you find out during a second property viewing. Sometimes, these are things you’re happy you found out before you parted with your cash!
Look at alternative locations
If you’re struggling to find a home that ticks all the boxes – you might be restricting yourself. Changing your search and considering multiple areas may help solve the issue!
Moving to a new city can feel daunting, but you may find everything you’re looking for in one place.
Use more tools available to you
There’s plenty of support out there for hopeful homeowners. Time to start using it!
Looking to find out more about an area? Perhaps it’s the crime rate. Or, maybe you want information on local schools. Or, it could be insight into nearby planning applications. Whatever it is, Phil Spencer’s property report can tell you all of this and more. Get yours below.