It’s been a rough couple of years, true, but first time buyers are creeping out of the shadows of their rented flats or parental homes, and looking for the guidance and confidence to strike out on their own. After the decision is made, however, there can be some bumps.
First off, it’s overwhelming doing anything for the first time, but buying property? Isn’t that, well, such a grown up thing to do? So maybe you put it off, and maybe you can come up with every reason not to: prices are too high, you don’t have enough saved up, whose going to give you a loan, loans are scary, I’ll just go back to bed and think about it tomorrow…
Even with these fears and hurdles, first time buyers are on the rise, slowly but surely, and its time to get the confidence you need to join them. Now is the time to take control of your living situation and your finances. Yes it’s scary, but like most initially difficult things, it’s worth it.Â Here’s what you need to start thinking about to get started.
First, sort your money.
Get familiar with your finances, not just what you have in your account but your fixed costs and spending habits.Â Also check up on your credit report.Â When you go in for that first loan meeting, you should know what you have and how much you can afford on a monthly basis. Make sure to always leave a little wiggle room in case you have a gap in employment in the future.
Next, research your loan possibilities. Go online to get your toes wet, educate yourself on your options and what kind of number people in your situation are getting. You can then go straight to the bank, or meet with an individual mortgage broker,Â preferably both, to learn as much as you can–research all of these possibilities to get the best and safest number for you. Don’t forget to take advantage of government incentives for first time buyers and new build flats.Â Remember to consider the additional costs of home ownership, including taxes, insurance, and maintenance.
Now that you know your price range its time to look for a property.
Don’t freak yourself out about the place being too perfect. If you can see yourself living there in 5 or 10 years that’s great, but if you don’t, remember, this is your first purchase, just as you are no longer the person you were 5 years ago, you wont have the same needs in 5 more.
But that doesn’t mean don’t buy it.
Having your own property will help you buy that next one when you can afford it or would like more space or a different location. Or if you’re savvy enough, keep it, rent it out, and generate some more income. We highly recommend the latter, which brings us to our next point.
Location: they change, they evolve, and most of the time you can tell when a neighbourhood is on the getting-much-more-fun route, so look for signs of development (this will also mean your property will be worth more later) but don’t be afraid if its not the hippest thing since sliced bread–yet.
Don’t worry too much about the perfect right-now neighbourhood; what does matter in the moment is transportation. Can you get to where you want to go and how easily. A home near a reliable source of transit is surely going places. Remember location, location, location transportation, transportation, transportation.
Once you’ve found your property its time to put in an offer. Already having the mortgage secured will help but this is not always the case, especially when purchasing a piece of a development (but more on that latter).
This process can be different depending on who you’re buying from and the history of the property, but just remember to stay as involved as possible, you should be passionate about your purchase and it keeps things moving.
When it comes to that down payment don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can, or even consider going in on a purchase with parents or siblings. Now more than ever first time buyers are doing so with the support of their family.
Taking that step from renting to ownership doesn’t have to be done alone, but even if you are, don’t waver, don’t loose your confidence, know the difference between good advice (that interest rate seems a little high, why don’t you shop around some more?) and your old flat mate’s cousin’s girlfriend’s nosy comments (why would you want to live there? Nobody wants to live there). Being a homeowner means having the confidence and organization to make your own decisions.
Inspired Homes will have a presence at the First Time Buyers Home Show, on Saturday the 7th of March, at booth 10.Â It’s a great place to get started, look at some new properties, and meet with financial advisers.