Buying your first home can be one of the most exciting and difficult times in your life. Daniel Thomas from Fine & Country Cardiff gives tips on what information to seek out before you put your foot on the first rung of the property ladder.
Buying your first home is the first step towards owning an asset that will impact the rest of your life. Before taking this step, make sure the timing is right.
Arming yourself with the right information will help you make a sound decision. In most cases, owning a property will pay off financially if you live in it for at least five to seven years, even if it is not your forever home. Owning a property requires desire, sustainability, and a long-term financial commitment.
The first thing to do is to create a financial checklist. Very few first homebuyers are in the enviable position of paying cash, so organising a home loan with repayments that are well within your capacity, even if your circumstances change, is essential. Spending some time assessing your savings history and current monthly budget will clarify the financial soundness of your purchase decision. Any institution will do the same when assessing you as a loan risk and doing it yourself will avoid any disappointment should you be refused.
Be realistic about what you can afford. Set the top price you are prepared to pay and stick to it. With some research, you will have a firm idea of the type of property that is in your budget range. Remember to factor in additional expenses you will incur as part of the buying process, in addition to ongoing fees and maintenance costs.
Timing is of the essence. The best scenario is for you to be ready to buy, but also be able to wait, if required. If you are currently renting, this can be a juggling act – you don’t want to be stuck with another six months on your lease and lose out on the right home, but you also don’t want rush with only a month to find the right property. Transitioning from a tenant to a homeowner means taking on full responsibility for the property. If anything in the home requires repairs or maintenance, the buck stops with you.
Be clear about what are the non-negotiables you must have in a property, what you would like if it is possible and what you can live without. You may find that what you really want is outside your budget, which means waiting until you are in a stronger financial situation or compromising on your wants.
One sign that shows you are ready to own a home is understanding that it is not always going to be easy. It takes money, time and a whole lot of effort, but it’s also an exciting step.