2021 has seen UK house prices rise at their fastest pace in 14 years, with Halifax reporting that the price of an average home on these shores peaked at £276,091 in December. Overall, average house prices increased by a marked £24,000 over the year, and while a correction is forecast through 2022, this continues to create significant challenges for aspiring first-time buyers. But what practical steps can such individuals take to get on the property ladder? Here are some ideas to keep in mind!
#1. Prioritize Your Deposit
Let’s start with the basics; as the extensive cost of buying a home is synonymous with large mortgages and considerable borrowing. This is where deposits can come into play, as this makes it possible to commit a lump sum upfront and reduce the amount you’re required to borrow as a buyer.
Without a viable deposit, you may also over-extend yourself with regard to mortgage repayments, making it hard to keep pace and increasing the risk of financial issues and even repossession in the future.
So, you’ll need to prioritize and start saving your deposit as soon as possible, with a view to paying a minimum of 10% (but ideally as much as 20%) of the total house price upfront and as part of your mortgage agreement. You may even want to borrow cash from mom and dad to secure a hefty deposit, as this represents a low-cost option that helps you to get on the property ladder.
#2. Be Realistic In Your Property Search
On the issue of being over-mortgaged or spending outside of your means, it’s crucial that you identify a viable repayment budget and base your property search on such criteria. More specifically, you’ll need to be realistic in your property search, while creating a reasonable and slightly conservative budget while aiming to minimize your debt burden as much as possible.
Creativity may be key here if you’re to achieve genuine value for money, so you may want to consider various types of property (including flats and terraced houses) while seeking out affordable new build homes near me. You could also seek out government or public help to buy schemes, which can reduce buying costs and help you to access your very first home.
#3. Speak To A Mortgage Advisor
Before you start your property search in earnest, we’d also recommend speaking directly to a mortgage advisor. The reason for this is simple; as first-time buyers may be younger and lack understanding of the marketplace, creating a scenario where they need to rely on expertise to take their first steps as aspiring buyers.
A mortgage advisor will help you to understand your requirements and factors such as your credit score, while also estimating you may be able to borrow from a lender. Once you’ve liaised with an advisor or broker, you can take your first tentative steps in the market and hopefully begin the process of buying your very first home!
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