Owning my own home isn’t something that has been achievable for me so far. Having lived on my own for the past 17 years, I never reached that stage where I was earning enough to be able to consider this. Or even been in the position to even consider if this is something I wanted to do.
Sure bouncing around between rented properties isn’t great and sometimes you need that security of knowing your home is your own. I know I was so lucky when I moved into my current home and despite it being rented, I know I have a home for life with my current housing association landlords. I have a well kept modern home and all repairs are completed in a timely manner. My rent is paid regularly on time and I have no reason to think that this isn’t a long-term solution to my renting requirements.
But what if renting your home isn’t what you need or want? Getting a mortgage and buying a house may be the dream but can you turn it into a reality and is it an affordable option for everyone? There are some steps and precautions you may want to take as you prepare for buying your home.
Before you even start looking for a house to buy, you need to make sure you have all your finances in order first. Whether it is a single or joint mortgage application, it pays to know yours and your partner’s financial history. The easiest way to see what information companies hold against you is to get a credit check. These days you can download an app on your phone so you always know what your score is and how you can improve it should you need to. This will give you a good idea of if you would be able to gain a mortgage before you apply.
Also, you may want to think about paying off and clearing any outstanding debts should you have these.
At the very least, make sure all your payments are up to date and you have a clear track record that not only are you able to afford your repayments but that you can make them on time.
Saving for a deposit.
This is where things get tricky. You need to have at least a 5% deposit for your mortgage. You will also need to factor in funds for things like surveyors, solicitors or licensed conveyors and estate agents fees too. This is money you will need to pay upfront and need in addition to your deposit. If this comes out of your mortgage you then have less to put down on a house meaning you may not be able to afford the property you really want. So look up fees in advance and factor this into your savings plan.
Then decide how and where you want to save. There are government schemes to help people with this, for example, a Help to Buy ISA. In this scheme, the government contribute £50 for every £200 you save up to £12,000. This means an extra £3,000 bonus on your savings which is pretty handy with all the expenses involved in such a big purchase.
Do your Homework.
By finding out as much about the process as you can you beforehand you will be better equipped to make the right decision for you. Research different mortgages and lending options and be sure you can afford all the repayments without stretching your finances to the limit.
You want to be able to live and enjoy the house and not just work to pay for it!
Ask friends and family for their experiences and for recommendations too. You want to pick the right companies and people to help you make the best decision you can. After all, buying a house is one of, if not the most expensive purchase you will ever make. This will help you get all your ducks in a row before the fun of house hunting begins.
It is a very good idea to take out mortgage life insurance to protect what is probably the largest investment you will ever make.
Now You Have Bought Your Home.
Once you have the keys in your hand you can finally turn your dream house into a home. Maybe it is your first home or your forever home but it is now yours. Over the years, or even before you move in, there may be things you would like to change. If your plans down the line involve renovations you may find you need to look at your finances to help you do this.
Over time the value of your home can change, this is something that is important to know at all times regardless of how long you have owned your home or if you need to look at refinancing options for home improvements or life changes. If you are unsure of your home’s current worth you can click here to check the current value.