Most of us grow up with aspirations to buy our own home. Economic uncertainty and a shortage of affordable housing have made it more difficult to get onto the ladder, but it’s not impossible to take that first step. If you think you’re ready to become a homeowner, you’ve come to the right place.
First things first: your finances
When you’re on the verge of buying a house or an apartment, it can be easy to get carried away and start looking at wallpaper prints, paint colors and tiles for a brand new kitchen, but try and get your priorities in order. Before you even book a viewing or flick through online galleries, make sure your finances are in order. Buying a house is a complex process, and you need to ensure that you have a deposit and a mortgage offer before you can seriously consider taking the next step. Shopping around without a budget is a dangerous thing to do, as you may find something that you adore that is way over your maximum budget. Once you’ve got the figures, you can start your search.
Taking a look at the options
The next thing to do is check out for homes for sale in your desired area. The Internet is a valuable resource, and it’s a good idea to browse property listings on a regular basis so that you don’t miss any new additions. You can also set alerts so that details of properties matching your requirements are sent straight to your inbox. It’s also beneficial to get in touch with some local agents and sit down with them and outline what you’re looking for They can recommend available properties based on your wish list, and they can keep you informed about new properties that may be coming onto the market. They may also be able to use their contacts or local knowledge to show you houses that you perhaps wouldn’t consider based on the pictures or descriptions in the brochure. You may have written off a 2-bedroom home because it seemed too small, but the agent may know that there’s room to extend or the possibility of turning an extra bathroom into another bedroom, for example.
Making the right decision
It’s so important to get it right when you’re buying property. You don’t want to settle for something that doesn’t excite you so don’t rush into making decisions. Unless you have to move quickly, it’s worth holding out for the house that gives you butterflies and ticks most, if not all, of the boxes. Don’t give up if the first few appointments don’t live up to your expectations, but be realistic. If you’re struggling to find anything that fits the bill, it may be worth rethinking your priorities and being slightly more open to compromise.
Have you saved for a deposit? Have you got firm mortgage offers? Are you ready to become a homeowner? If so, now is the time to set a budget, think about what you want from your new home and get out there and try and find the perfect property. Good luck!