Getting on the Housing Ladder – Top Tips for First-time Buyers

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In life, there are several key events that stand out as important turning points and help to shape your future. Most people find that the first main event as they approach adulthood is passing their driving test. This allows young adults to gain a degree of freedom that was not attainable previously and helps them begin to be more self-reliant and independent.

The next key stage in life is completing formal education (whether it be after school or graduating from university). Ideally, the young adult will then have the knowledge and skills to enable them to start to cultivate a meaningful and financially rewarding career. After this point, there is the process of beginning to plan for a truly independent life. This usually entails purchasing a first property and getting on the housing ladder.

It is one of the most important events in adulthood and can be both an exciting and stressful time. If you are looking to purchase your first property in the coming years, it is vitally important to make plans to achieve this life goal.

Housing Ladder

In this article, some key tips will be discussed that will enable you to successfully get onto the housing ladder and own your first home.

Start saving now!

As a first-time buyer, it is likely that you will be expected to put down a deposit on your home and pay back the rest of the cost of the property via a mortgage. At present, deposit rates for first-time buyers can be as low as 3% of the total value of the home; however, it is not uncommon for a deposit of 10% to be required. A lot will depend on your credit score and the level of monthly income (minus debt repayments if applicable) that you as an individual or with your partner currently receive.

Remember that the larger amount you can afford to put down as a deposit, the lower your monthly mortgage costs will be. Put simply, it is often better to put a larger deposit down on a first property so that you can live more comfortably each month with lower outgoings from your income. It makes perfect sense to start saving for a deposit on a first home as soon as possible.

Ideally, this will be once you have secured a suitable job and can put a significant amount away each month. Start a dedicated savings account with your bank and set up a direct debit to automate the movement of funds from your main account each time you are paid. 

Also Read: 5 Common Home Selling Mistakes

Research the housing market

As a first-time buyer, it can be incredibly beneficial to conduct in-depth research on the housing market. This will give you a comprehensive idea of the house prices in your locality and how they fluctuate from one location to another.

After looking at a range of properties that are suitable for first homes, you should have a clear indication of the average values and how they fluctuate based on the desirability of a location and the features that the home offers. Use this information wisely. It can help you in the subsequent negotiations process when you are ready to make an offer on a home.

If you can demonstrate that similar properties with the same features and broadly similar locations are selling for lower prices, you may be able to reduce the asking price of the property in which you are interested. Remember that even a 5% saving off the listed price of the home can represent a significant financial saving that could help you fund basic home improvements or new home furnishings. 

Plan your moving day in advance

Moving into your first home can often be a stressful experience. It is vital to think about what will be required when moving, even before you have successfully completed the purchase, to allow you to prepare and plan.

In addition, you will need to decide if you can move the items yourself or with the help of a firm and should be aware of these basic considerations at the beginning of the house-buying process as they may have a cost implication. Having to take all your belongings from a family or rented home requires planning, and bulky items can be difficult to transport.

Consider the services of a mattress shipping firm if you need to transport this type of furnishing to your new property and do not have access to a suitably large vehicle to do it yourself. Many shipping and moving firms have extensive experience in helping to facilitate home moves and may be able to offer competitive rates along with a trusted reputation in moving goods safely.

Search online for firms that specialize in removal work and make a shortlist based on cost and customer reviews. Ideally, you will choose a firm that has a large volume of positive customer reviews and can offer a price that suits your budget.

Also Read: Moving With Kids: How Do You Make It Stress-Free?

The importance of location

As a brief final point, every real estate agent recognizes the power of location in a property’s value. Being in a leafy suburb or within walking distance of public parks or convenience stores can have a significant impact on the asking price. Ideally, you should create a shortlist of the amenities and location aspects of your property when searching for a first home.

For instance, if you do not have a car, local shops may be vital. If you need to commute to work each day, being close to major road networks could be an advantage.

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