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 saving the money in the first place – prices are going up and up, making it harder and harder for young adults to buy.
We 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!
1. 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…
2. 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…
3. Think about where you want 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 real and so we bought in Milton Keynes – close to London but a lot cheaper!
Although studies show that more people live in cities than in the country, things are changing. A lot of people are opting to move to the countryside, and this has been propelled by a few things. One of the most important is the decentralisation of work locations.
With the growth of technology and remote working, a lot of people do not feel as though it is necessary to keep living in the city. Those who are opting for country living say they do not like the congestion, noise and high cost of living they have to endure just because they have to come to the office. Now that more companies are adopting remote work, there is no need to live in cities anymore, hence the move towards country living.
The move to country living will open up new business segments for businesses that serve both individuals and businesses. As people move, they are likely to put their items in storage as they make the move and organise their new lives and living situations. Companies like Safestore, which offer secure personal storage solutions, will see an influx of business, from those who need to store items for both the short and long term.
Safestore offers personal storage units of various sizes to serve those who are moving, those who need to store items for a long time, or those looking to renovate the houses they are moving into.
There is no doubt that the move to country living will have a massive impact on our cities. The impact will mainly be felt by businesses that relied on the people moving away or those moving to take advantage of the voids left.
4. 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!
5. 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…
6. 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…
7. 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!
8. 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.
9. Space savings hacks
To be happy in our day-to-day lives, we all need plenty of space. While any place can feel like home if it’s put together that way, the typical idea of good living doesn’t involve squeezing past those you’re living with at every waking moment. In fact, shrinking homes have been affecting people’s health and happiness for a while now, so utilising your space the right way is key.
These problems aren’t just caused by how big the house or flat is from the outset, but how it is arranged. If you’re living in one of these areas and finding your personal space is lacking, then turn your attention to some space-saving hacks. We’ve listed ours down below, so do give them a try if you’re in need.
A bit of DIY never hurt anybody, particularly when it comes to effective storage solutions.
After all, there are people moving houses to completely new areas for the sake of having more space, but it’s far more cost-effective to just take what you have and refashion it to your needs. Sometimes the move is necessary, but other times not.
10. Consider self-storage for moving
When you’re desperate for a fix to your woes around space, then a quick fix can sometimes be needed to save you from a sticky situation.
In that case, you should consider using the services around self-storage. Companies like Safestore ensure that all your goods are packed away safely and securely at the lowest price point possible. Whether it’s for life events, moving to a new house, renovations or just stashing some furniture, this firm is ready to take on your goods so that you can breathe a little easier. They endeavour to free up.
My Travel Tips and Recommendations
To book flights, I always use flight search engine Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals.
For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!
Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner.
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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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Jasmin Charlotte04/28/2017 at 21:27
Well done! It must be so hard to buy a property in the UK. I love living in London, my boyfriend owns our flat (+ bought it before I met him) but it’s so hard to think of upsizing and me being able to have enough to go in for the deposit. I hope one day I’ll get on the ladder!