What to consider when buying a property as a first-time buyer?
After years of renting or saving money by living with your parents, you might have finally taken the plunge and taken the decision to buy your first property. However, before you get carried away by thoughts of dinner parties and interior design plans, there are several things that you need to consider before putting a deposit down and taking out a mortgage. To help you to prepare for your new responsibilities as much as possible, here are some points to consider when buying a property as a first-time buyer.
Property prices are notoriously high; as such, you will need to ensure that you find a house that you are able to afford and that is within your budget for keeping up with mortgage repayments. You will need to save up a certain amount of money for a deposit in order to successfully apply for a mortgage. You might be saving up to buy a home with another person, such as your partner, in which case the saving period might not be as long a process. One way of achieving your home-saving goals is to apply for a Help to Buy scheme. This scheme, exclusively for first-time buyers, means that by saving up 5% of your deposit, you will be eligible for a 20% equity loan from the government, allowing you to buy your first home with a 75% mortgage.
As you are no doubt well aware, location does have a huge bearing on the price of a property, with certain areas being more desirable than others. To ensure that your first home is more affordable, look for a property in a more affordable area. As well as financial considerations, there are other factors to keep in mind when deciding on the location of your home. For instance, can you easily access your place of work and other facilities? There is not much point in buying a home in a more affordable location if you only end up spending large amounts on your weekly fuel costs to commute to and from work and to do the weekly shopping. School availability might be another consideration if you have children – you may want to buy a home in the catchment area of your favoured school.
A property that requires extensive renovation work will be cheaper for you to buy, and there are some people who love nothing more than a remodelling project that they can sink their teeth into. However, a property requiring a lot of renovation work to make it habitable may be a bit too overwhelming – and expensive – for your first home. Instead, look for a property in which the only renovations you need to carry out are superficial, design-based projects such as redecorating your living room. Projects like these are easy to DIY on a budget and bring in your own aesthetics and comforts into your new home without requiring large-scale structural remodelling.