Saving your money
Saving for your first home can seem like a daunting task. The ‘bank of mum and dad’ has become an increasingly popular way to obtain funds for the hefty deposits needed to buy a home these days. However, while some get help from their folks, not all parents can afford to help their children. If you’re not fortunate enough to be able to get help from parents or another family member then it’s up to you to save.
At the heart of every money-saving plan should be a budget. To ensure you stick to your budget you must be strict with your spending, and avoid impulse purchases so you do not delay your plans of owning your first home.
Once your budget is in place, you should track and record your expenditure and assess where there are opportunities to save money. For example, you could stop going out for meals at restaurants or buying lunch or a takeaway as regularly as usual. Take a look at all the direct debits that come out of your bank account – how many do you actually use? Do you really need the cinema or sports channels on your TV package? How often do you actually use the gym and could you find a cheaper way to get your exercise fix?
Do your research
Researching an area before you move is our number one piece of advice for first time buyers. It’s easy to take for granted the local amenities and services in your home town, only to find the property you have found lacks the charm of the area you have left.
So make sure you do your research – visit the house several times on different days during different times. How is your new street and surrounding roads during rush hour? Have you visited during term-time and in the evening? A new home is often the greatest expense of your life, so taking a few days off to explore an area and get a feel for the community must be treated as part and parcel of your property search.
Remember the extras
You’re nearly there, you have placed an offer and are starting to get excited, but there are some additional costs you may have forgotten. For example, depending on the value of your house, you may have to pay stamp duty. Some other fees to look out for are solicitor fees, building inspection costs and property valuation fees. Spending the time speaking with your local estate agent will help you uncover common fees that are less known, saving you the frustration of any unexpected financial burden.
Should your offer be accepted, it is now time to think about moving. Don’t forget about potential costs attached to this, such as removing furniture, cleaning and maintenance.
Buying a property should be an exciting experience - there are a few key things to think about to help ensure your property journey is an enjoyable one. Thinking ahead is an important part of the property-buying process; consider how your life might change over the coming years.
Do you work nearby? What are your career plans and expectations over the next 10 years? What are your family plans? Do you have elderly relatives that might need looking after? Or are you thinking about starting a family of your own? Gaining a clear understanding of the answers to these questions will help you track down your ideal location and property.
A useful way to understand the scalability of a new home is by checking how many of the local houses have extensions. You may initially not be in a position to purchase a house of the size you might need in the future but if your neighbour’s properties have been extended, that’s a good indication that planning permission may be achievable for the home you are buying.
As a proud member of The Guild Property Professionals, we at Seymours love helping new buyers secure their dream home. Contact your local Seymour office today to sit down with one of our agents, who will be happy to assist with all of your housing requirements.
To find out more about Seymours’ award-winning services or to view a selection of properties go to www.seymours-estates.co.uk, follow @seymours_estate on Twitter or like the Seymours Facebook page.