Taking your first step onto the property ladder can seem like a daunting prospect, especially considering that a typical deposit is usually between 10% and 20% of a property’s value, even taking into account the increasing numbers of 5% deposit mortgage products out there.
We often get asked by first-time buyers: “How do I get on the property ladder” and we always tell them that it is achievable with some patience, hard work and dedication to make it a reality.
If you are a first time buyer, our useful tips on how to get on the property ladder could help you make your dreams a reality sooner than you think!
Start Saving Early
The sooner you start saving, the sooner you’ll be able to get your foot on the ladder. And not only that, but the earlier you start saving, the more it will become a habit, meaning you’re less likely to take lump sums out of your account for impulse purchases.
A great way to maintain consistent savings is to set up a direct debit from your bank account to your savings account every month. Try to achieve a regular transfer of a specific amount each month on payday. That way, you won’t miss the money each month as you stash it away!
Stay With Your Parents if you can
This is easier said than done - it can be tempting to move out and be independent at the very first opportunity, and of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And some may not have the choice, whether that's for work or other reasons.
However, if you’re serious about owning your own property, then the rent you pay is money you could be saving for a deposit. Those monthly payments could instead add up to a substantial deposit over time.
So if you’re still living at home, and you're not catching any harm by doing so, then don’t be in too much of a hurry to leave, as staying with Mum and Dad could help you buy your own place much quicker.
Make Sacrifices and Prioritise
Be sensible about how you spend your money. If buying a property is your focus, then you may need to make a few small sacrifices to reach your goal. Any chance to save money is an opportunity to get a little closer to the first rung of the property ladder, so think twice before making any impulse purchases.
Be Realistic and Flexible
It’s unlikely that your first property will be your dream home, or your forever home, and the location might not be your first choice either. However, if you’re serious about buying a property, there needs to be some room for compromise. Put it this way - over time, properties tend to rise in value, and the outstanding mortgage decreases over time as you chip away at it each month. The gap between the value and what you owe is called "equity", and the more equity you have, the more available cash you have to put down on your next home when you sell your first one. Also, if as you get older, your earnings increase, then this, combined with the equity you have, should allow you to trade upwards to something more resembling your dream home.
In the meantime, it might be that you choose a smaller property, for example, a one bed flat, or 2 bedroom terraced, or you find an ideal sized property but with a slightly longer commute than you’d like.
When it comes to your first property, the most important thing really is just getting on the ladder.
Speak to a Mortgage Advisor Before you View any Properties
When you’re in a position to put down a deposit, arrange meetings with a couple of mortgage advisors to find out exactly how much you can borrow.
Mortgage calculators on banking websites aren’t always an accurate indicator, and you may be able to borrow slightly more or less than you think. Therefore, it’s essential to know exactly what budget you have to work with so that you don’t view the perfect property, only to find that it’s out of your reach.
Save Your Money Wisely
Keeping your savings in the right place can make a big difference to the time it takes to achieve your deposit.
It’s best not to keep your savings in your current account. Not only will you gain little or no interest, but you’ll be far more likely to dip into them when you fancy a treat. Instead, consider opening a Lifetime ISA. These accounts allow you to earn a 25% annual bonus from the government up to a maximum of £1000.
So for every £1000 you save, you’ll receive a £250 top up until you reach the maximum savings amount of £4000 per year.
Neil Robinson Estate Agents are your local property experts for the Skelmersdale area. We can also recommend mortgage experts to help you with your finances.
Call us on 01695 355110 or email email@example.com to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.