Getting ready to make the leap and become a homeowner for the first time is an exciting life milestone that you may have been dreaming about for years. But as much as it’s exciting and definitely something to look forward to and be proud of, it’s also not without its stress.
It’s a huge financial decision and not one that’s to be taken lightly. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole process, then in this post we’re going to share with you 6 tips to help keep you right as you navigate the world of becoming a first-time buyer.
Start Saving As Early As Possible:
Just as you would with any big purchase you’re about to make, it makes sense to really start putting a savings plan into action once you’ve made the decision to start thinking about buying a house as a first-time buyer.
Even if this is a purchase that’s still a few years into the future, the earlier you can start saving money for the deposit, the better things will be. Ultimately you’ll have a lot more flexibility in the kind of place you can afford and may even be able to take a lower mortgage than you would otherwise.
Look At What You Can Afford:
Houses are not cheap, and getting a mortgage is just one small part of the process and not the only payment you’ll have to make on the house. So, even if you have something quite specific in mind when it comes to the kind of house you would like to have, it’s important that you look at the numbers and make sure you really can afford it.
It’s better to have something that costs a bit less for a few years and then upgrade later. The alternative is you put yourself under financial strain because you’ve hardly anything left each month after you’ve paid your mortgage, bills and any repairs that are needed.
Check Your Credit Score:
Even when you’re working and also have enough for a deposit, you still have to get your house financed through a bank or private mortgage company if you’re not buying outright, so because this is a loan, they’re not only interested in how much you currently earn, but are interested in looking at your past behaviour when it comes to dealing with money.
How they’ll want to do this is by looking at your credit history and credit score to see how reliable you are when it comes to paying bills and how much credit you have and use.
Your credit score is something you can obtain easily and for free through websites such as Equifax and ClearScore who will offer you insight into your score and what you can do in order to improve it, such as paying off old debts you’ve forgotten about or asking to have false entries removed and updated.
Checking your credit score is a great way to stay on top of your finances overall and is something you should be checking at least once per month to make sure things are as they should be.
Explore Your Mortgage Options:
Typically when most people are ready to buy a place and want to get a mortgage, the first place they go to is their bank. However, just with all big financial decisions and major purchases, shopping around is a good idea and can help you find a much better deal.
It’s also important to consider if you’re able to get a traditional mortgage since they’re dependent on the circumstances of the individual.
For example, if you work for yourself, then you may have trouble getting a mortgage from your bank. In this case, your best option would be to find a company who specialise in mortgages for company directors and self-employed people.
Choose An Agent Carefully:
When you’ve decided that you’d like to buy a house, then one of the first thing you’ll want to do is start looking at properties available that meet your requirements and budget.
The best person to help you with this is an estate agent, but before you go jumping in with the first one you meet, it’s important to look around a little and even read some reviews to make sure that the agent you’re going to be working with to help you with this is someone who’s reputable and won’t add on extra fees that you get a surprise bill for later.
We hope this post was useful in helping you avoid some of the mistakes people make as first-time buyers and that it can make the process a lot easier when the time comes for you to take this step.