Buying your first home, whether alone or with your partner is an exciting time. It marks the dawn of a certain maturity, acknowledging your need for increased independence. Buying your first property, however, can also be terrifying. As you navigate your way through the minefield that is the property market, you could be forgiven for thinking that you will never make it to homeowner status.
First, there are the countless viewings of worryingly unsuitable properties, swiftly followed by the stresses and strains of tackling all of the financial implications that a property purchase brings.
Indeed, purchasing your first house, or flat, will almost certainly be the biggest financial commitment that you have ever made and, as such, it is scary. The thought of signing away the next 25 years or so of your life to a mortgage broker is daunting and can give rise to feelings of panic, fear and sheer unadulterated dread in the best of us.
You should remember, however, that this will also be one of the most exciting times of your life, marking the beginning of a new chapter. So try not to get too bogged down with the technicalities and take some time to enjoy the process and look forward to what is just around the corner.
These days buying a home is not something that you have to do alone. There is a wealth of advice, guidance, and information out there, easily available to us. From locating possible suitable properties, scheduling viewings and exploring the market, the world of property purchasing is now a hugely accessible one. You can visit property search sites such as http://www.propertyguru.com.my/resources/buy-property-guide/the-complete-guide-to-purchasing-a-proprty-in-the-subsale-market to explore the process and seek guidance for your up and coming purchase. These sites will also guide you through all of the paperwork that you are going to encounter once you have found a potential first home. From budget planning to selecting a property right through to completing the conveyancing forms, they can be invaluable in the process of buying a house.
But before we fall headlong into the technicalities, let’s take a look at some of the first steps that you will have to overcome if you are going to get onto the property ladder.
Getting a deposit
Before you are in a position to even start viewing property, you will need to have saved a deposit to put down on your first home. Deposits generally need to be at least 5% of the purchase price and can be up to 20% of this amount. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the deposit you have to put down on your first home the less money you will have to borrow and the better mortgage deal you are likely to get. Rates are usually lower for buyers with a larger deposit so spend a little extra time saving before you rush in, it will pay dividends in the end.
So as soon as you have made the decision to buy you need to start saving hard. Consider ways, however small, that you can make cut backs from day to day. Whether it be foregoing some of those weekday takeaways or walking to work instead of taking the bus, every little helps and you will soon start to see your savings build towards that house deposit. Perhaps you could do some overtime at work or take on some evening work to boost your bank balance. Bar work or freelance writing is often readily available and will top up your income nicely.
Setting your budget
When buying a home, most of us have high and usually unrealistic expectations of what we can afford. Take some time to explore the property pages and have a look at the asking prices for homes that resemble what you think you are going to buy. If these are within your budget then great, but if not then it is time to reconsider your search criteria. Maybe you need to go for something smaller, older or in a different location so that your budget will stretch to. Whatever the case, it is not the end, and you will find your perfect home – eventually.
You also need to budget for all of the other costs involved in purchasing a property. Aside from the actual purchase price itself, there are legal costs, mortgage fees, surveys, valuations, insurances and stamp duty, and that’s before any initial decorating and furnishing costs. Bear in mind that as soon as you become a homeowner, you also become a bill payer too. Make sure that your income not only covers the monthly mortgage repayments but can also stretch to all of the additional household expenses as well.
Finding a mortgage
As with anything in life it always pays to shop around, and a mortgage deal is no different. Do your research and compare market rates regularly before purchasing. Talk to the experts and be sure to get some independent advice before you sign on the dotted line. www.comparethemarket.com is a great source of financial advice for all things house.
Once you have made a decision on which type of mortgage is best, your lender will need to ensure that your income will satisfy the repayments so be prepared to supply evidence of your income (usually i the form of payslips) together with information about all of your monthly and annual outgoings.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. No one expects you to navigate your way through this process alone. Don’t forget that you know lots of people, not least your family, that have done it all before so take advantage of their knowledge and experience and let them share some of the house buying burden with you. A second opinion or some impartial financial guidance can prove invaluable, especially when you are beginning to feel weighed down by the whole process. They will be happy to help, and once you are safely in your new home, they will be the first on the doorstep for the housewarming.