As many of you know, I just bought my first home with Theo. We’d been saving for years, and even moved in with my parents for five months whilst we were going through the process of buying. Then this last month we were handed the keys to our new home!
Buying your first home can seem at times like a never ending struggle and can seem to go on forever. It is daunting, confusing and you are more than likely to come across some stumbling blocks along the way. And that’s with no mention to the saving the money in the first place – prices are going up and up, making it harder and harder for young adults to buy.
Me and Theo had always been set on buying so we saved everything we had, we sacrificed meals out, shopping and luckily, because of my blog, we managed to take a lot of trips abroad for free. The average home in the UK costs £184,973, 7% up on that of a year ago – and where we live it is even more, around £210,000, making even a 5% deposit around £11,000.
Having gone through the process, now I want to make a blog post that would of helped me a lot with the process – and have calmed me through my panic stages!
Do your homework
Google everything! That’s literally what I did – and I found that even different sites offer different opinions, it is better than not knowing anything! Make your own judgements on your own situation…
Choose the right mortgage
Fixed or variable? Repayment or interest-only? The type of mortgage you choose will make a difference to the amount that you repay every month, so you need to think it through carefully. We opted for a two-year fixed mortgage as that offered us a great rate, but also protected us, in case the banks go crazy again, for two years! You can use comparison sites for looking up different providers rates…
Think hard about where you’re willing to live
London property prices rose by 10.6 per cent in the last 12 months (probably your salary didn’t) and average prices in the capital are now over half a million pounds. I hear so many people moan about not ever being able to buy in London… yeah you are right because you are not a millionaire. So move! I’d love to buy in London but it isn’t reality and so we bought in Milton Keynes – close to London but a lot cheaper!
Budget, budget, budget
Mortgage affordability rules mean that lenders take into account not only how much you are earning, but how much you are spending. They want to know everything: phone bills, child support, social life, changes of career etc.. Cut back on the outgoings!
Look after your credit score
Make yourself look admirable to lenders by looking after your credit score. That means paying off your credit card, paying phone bills on time, never defaulting, and having a constant income etc…
You don’t have to buy outright
We were lucky to be able to but there are other opportunities available including shared Ownership, and home-buying schemes such as Help to Buy. If you’re a first time buyer, the government will give you £3,000 towards the deposit on your home, for free. Handy. The way this works is you save each month into a new type of bank account launching in December called a Help to Buy ISA. For every £200 you save towards a deposit, the government will give you another £50, up to a maximum of £3,000.
Also grab yourself a Help to Buy ISA, even if you aren’t buying a ‘new’ home as banks will often be able to give you a better interest rate by simply having the account – I did this! It lowered our interest rate dramatically….
Have a moving day checklist
You will turn in to your mother on this point – start making lists and moving house checklists! In the month before, arrange removal vans, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help, book people to carry out services e.g. house cleaning, cancel any local services you receive and settle outstanding bills and start eating all your food!
Then on the day, make sure you have everything necessary for a comfortable first night in your new home is easily reachable and in clearly marked boxes, toothbrushes, nightwear, phone chargers, etc. and get a good night’s sleep! Do a walk through the old house, pack a bag, have a toolkit, check the keys, and charge your phone!
Have a little cash spare!
This is super important – it isn’t just the deposit you need to pay for – there’s then stamp duty, land registry fees, and a million other things you will have to pay for. And then when you move in too, there will be a lump mortgage payment to make, which may be six weeks of lending. Have the cash spare to pay this – and then set up bills such as electricity and water.
*This is a sponsored post – but all opinions are my own as always!