Buying and moving into a new house is widely considered one of the most stressful life events you can undertake, and it’s never more daunting than when doing it for the first time. Though it’s a complex and often lengthy process, the following 5 key areas to consider will hopefully set you on the right track and make the endeavour feel that little bit less taxing.
As soon as you start looking for your own home, you’ll hear phrases like ‘location is key’ time and time again. There’s a reason everyone bangs on about it though, and it’s because the choice of where to buy a house can mean a difference of tens of thousands of pounds, with factors like good amenities and highly rated schools pushing up house prices. If you’re flexible about location, it’s therefore definitely worth shopping around the country to find the areas that offer the best bang for your buck.
Once you’re interested in a property, it’s also well worth trying to meet the neighbours, as not only can you get insider information about the location’s pros and cons, but you’ll get a feel for whether or not you think you’ll hit it off with them, which can also prove crucial in getting settled into an area.
A deposit is a lump sum you’ll pay to secure the deal when you make on offer on a new home. It’s the first and often biggest major stumbling block for many would-be buyers, as it will generally have to be tens of thousands of pounds, which is a lot to have to hand over in one go – which is exactly why it’s never too early to start saving.
The more you can save up towards your deposit, the lower your monthly mortgage repayments are likely to be, plus it makes you look more appealing to lenders, as it implies financial security and reliability.
Beyond a standard mortgage, there are several schemes available that aim to help young people and first-time buyers get into their own homes. These range from ISAs that see the government top up your savings; to shared ownership which sees you buy a percentage of the house and rent the rest, gradually buying a higher share over time until it’s yours alone; to the Help-to-Buy project, which sees the government lend you a percentage of the house cost so you can secure a smaller deposit.
- Additional costs
Putting so much emphasis on saving for a deposit and ensuring you can meet the monthly mortgage payments can make it easy to overlook all the other necessary expenses that come with moving into a new home, such as building insurance, stamp duty, removal costs and redecoration. Always ensure you budget thoroughly to cover every eventuality.
- Resale value
Particularly if you’re young, your first property is unlikely to be your forever home, and for this reason, it’s important to consider if it has good resale value. Common complaints like no ensuite bathrooms, small kitchens, a lack of off-street parking, etc. may not bother you, but they could potentially make it harder to find future buyers when the time comes to move somewhere else, thus dragging down its overall value and profit potential.