Becoming a homeowner is one of the most daunting yet exciting experiences of your life- especially for first time buyers. In amongst all the anticipation, there are so many things to think of, from financing, completing applications, house viewings and eventually- sorting out the actual move. To make things significantly harder for first time buyers, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has massively impacted the economy and property market, causing people to become redundant while the cost of living rises. However, becoming a homeowner can provide stability, and is a long-term financial investment that can secure your financial future. If you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner- or are well on your way but need some last-minute advice, then here at We Buy Any Home have compiled an essential survival guide that covers all areas of your home-buying process.
When it comes to buying a house, there are plenty of financial responsibilities and dedications that come with it. If you’re not used to budgeting or saving, then saving for a house is going to be a tricky task. Luckily, we have broken down all the main areas in terms of finances- including tips, tricks and general information about each one.
Budgeting for Homeownership:
The first thing to consider before you envision your dream home is your budget- and an element of realism is required in this field. Carefully constructing your budget before you even begin, taking into consideration debt, income and assets should be accounted for. Through this, you will not only be able to work out future monthly mortgage payments, property insurance and other things such as taxes and homeowners’ association fees (if applicable)- in addition to ensuring you’ve got savings for unexpected expenses too.
According to Statistics, in the first half of 2020 the average UK deposit rate was £47,000 but depending on the area you purchase I this can equate to a much lower figure. There are several things to do to help save for a down payment, such as:
- Set a monthly amount of your income aside for savings and use the rest to live on.
- Moving back in with parents or relatives to cut back on the cost of rent, food shopping and council tax.
- Invest in a government scheme such as Help to Buy Isa or Shared Ownership- which offers various solutions to saving money more quickly.
- Reducing your bills. If you’re renting you can do things such, as find a cheaper energy provider and broadband deal, switch from branded supermarket names and buy cheaper petrol.
- Paying off your debts. This will maximise your borrowing potential and show lenders that you are sensible and can manage money.
Arguably the most exciting part of the buying house process (the moving date not included) is viewing properties as a prospective buyer and deciding which one is right for you. However, there are plenty of important things to consider when viewing a property. We all have a tendency to be swayed by décor and home design, and in addition to our excited nature- sometimes the basic requirements are overlooked. So, here are a few things to consider and helpful tips when viewing a property as a prospective buyer:
Researching the Area:
The home itself doesn’t come alone. Remember, you’re also investing in the area too. Before visiting a property, try to find out as much as you can about the surrounding area- what are the neighbours like? Are there amenities close by you may need? What is the crime rate in the area like? Are there schools close by in case you have or are thinking about starting a family? Your home may be perfect, but if the area doesn’t suit you, it may cause a lot of problems.
- Keep your eyes peeled for signs of damp, loose or missing roof tiles, or blocked drains or gutters, cracks in the wall (structural issues), and electrical and plumbing status.
- Ask about the history of the property- who has lived there previously, why did they move etc.
- After a visit do a follow-up. Check building violations and permits, and ensure you bring an architect or surveyor to officially assess the property.
Perhaps the most stressful and laborious part of becoming a homeowner is the move. But congratulations, as if you’re at this point- you successfully passed all checks and financial requirements! Moving doesn’t have to be disastrous or unpleasant, and solely depends on planning ahead to ensure the process goes smoothly. Here are a few tips to help:
As you’re packing all of your belongings into boxes and bags, maybe it’s time to declutter as the process goes along. It will definitely make the process of packing and unpacking easier, and you will be able to dump or donate (hopefully the latter) all of your unused or unnecessary items. There’ll be less to pack, less to move and less to unpack- ensuring you have a clean and organised space to move into.
Labelling and Room by Room:
The most effective way to pack is room by room- so things can be unpacked accordingly. Doing one room at a time and labelling each box so you know exactly what is in each box is a great way to make the moving process run smoothly.
Becoming a homeowner doesn’t always have to mean that this is the house you will necessarily live in. A lot of the time people choose to become homeowners and rent it out to other tenants- however the criteria for becoming a homeowner is still the same. If you’re looking to buy or sell a property and are wondering “how can I sell my house fast?” then check out their website for more information.