If you are newly-engaged and a first-time buyer, it can be quite daunting when it comes to taking the plunge and purchasing a house. The recent economic problems and situation with the housing market have made it much harder for young people to get a mortgage and get a foot on the property ladder – this has put a lot of people off buying.
What are the issues?
Twenty years ago, it was common for couples to only need a 5 per cent deposit when buying a home and beginning their journey through marriage. However, this meant that people were taking out large mortgages, and many ran into problems with them. This has led to lenders asking for larger deposits; for most lenders, the minimum is now 10 per cent but depending upon circumstances, you may be asked to provide more than this. It is important to get proper financial advice on mortgages when you are buying your first home. Either talk to an independent financial advisor or go to your bank (and several others!) to see what they can offer you. Once you have gathered a large amount information, it is far easier for you to make a decision on what to do next.
You also need to be aware that lenders now have very strict criteria to follow when determining who to lend to – you may be asked for all kinds of information from your lifestyle to spending habits and savings.
Choosing a home
These days, finding potential homes to go and see is easy. There are plenty of websites that have listings from multiple estate agents, and you can search on price, location and other key factors to create a shortlist. Once you have that shortlist, you can begin seeing prospective houses. Either the current homeowner or the estate agent will show you around. It is always a good idea to go and see a house at least twice, and there is no harm in turning up with a list of questions about the property, the area and local issues. The more information you have, the easier it is going to be to make your decision.
Another option is a new housing development. New homes are much sought after these days because they will not need any work before you move in. Renting is also a rising trend if you are unable to get the funds for purchasing your first home. If you are looking to rent one of these homes rather than buy, you may also have the advantage of access to a management agent like Hamilton King Management, who can help to guide you through all the details of being a tenant; they will also be there if you need help with property maintenance or other issues.
Buying a home is a huge undertaking and can be confusing, particularly when you realise that there are other options available to you. The main thing is for you to do your research first before you make any big decisions. Taking your time will help you to make sure that you are making the right decisions for you and your family.
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