As you move through your 20s you might be thinking about your financial future. Everything from your career to where are you going to live and what kind of lifestyle you want to maintain. These are all big questions that may take some time to figure out. One of the biggest questions is though whether or not to buy property.
Buying your first home is a landmark occasion – it signifies financial maturity and independence. As well as being an exciting milestone, investing in property can also be fraught with stress and not just during the process; once you’re a proud homeowner your financial responsibilities are literally set in stone. With so much pressure on first time buyers to get it right, here is a handy guide to making sure your first move is the right one. More information can be found here.
- Check that you can afford it. It sounds obvious but in the past some of the biggest issues facing first time buyers is taking on too much debt. Everyone wants to buy a beautiful house straight out but often, if you want to be successful on the property ladder you have to lower your expectations a little and look for the charm in less expensive properties. You can use a mortgage affordability calculator to work out if the asking price is just too much and this will save you many sleepless nights once the paperwork has been signed.
- Does it fit your needs? When buying your first property you need it to be practical. There is time in the future to find the perfect home to settle down in but for now most first time buyers just want a foot in the door. Therefore consider your needs now before making an offer. You might want to ask questions like ‘can I get to work easily?’, ‘am I close to local amenities?’or ‘is it big enough/too big for me or my family? Keeping in mind what you need from your property now will stop you taking on more than you can manage.
- Is it a fixer-upper? One way to get more brick for your buck is to look for a fixer-upper. These are properties with huge potential but that needs a little tender loving care and a whole lot of hard work and financial investment. If you are considering this route be sure you can spare the time and money down the line otherwise your fixer-upper will be an expensive flop.
- Are you ready to settle down? Hand in hand with your practical needs comes the readiness for owning your own home. Unless you are buying it as an investment property that you don’t intend to live in, you have to consider the reality of committing to one place for a period of time. If you have itchy feet, a career that isn’t fixed or isn’t something you see a future in it might not be the time to buy. Take some time out – travel, settle into your career or retrain – whatever you need to do to make ownership a welcomed experience.