If you’ve come to this post then I’m assuming you’ve decided you want to own your own home and are looking for help as a first time buyer. No matter what age you are when you make this decision, my first piece of advice is START SAVING!!! Home ownership is a very expensive venture, the sooner you start saving up the better your options will be.
This will be a blog post series guiding you through the various steps, this post being group 1.
First time buyer ‘help’
There are lots of schemes and programmes out there that supposedly help first time buyers. Make sure you’re reading all of the small print, exclusions and exceptions before going ahead as many turn out to be more hassle than they’re worth.
Saving money is something I know a lot of people struggle with. The best thing to do is to save something each month from the moment you get your first pay check. There’s always something that you’ll want to save money for, even if it’s not initially to buy a house. Holidays, the latest tech, a new phone, a car, it all costs. Being good at saving money will always be a useful skill. If you’ve been saving for a while it also means you have a nice starting block in your savings if you then decide you would like to buy a home for yourself.
Something a lot of people forget about is how much their credit score can affect things. Credit scores will affect the mortgage deals you’ll be offered. It’s a good idea to check what your credit score is and make it as healthy as possible. I usually use the free version of Experian to keep an eye on mine.
Think of where you would like to live. UK? Europe? USA? Canada? Australia? New Zealand?
Research into the house prices in that country/area and any other stipulations linked with it. For example, in London the majority of homes are either shared ownership or leasehold which involves a lot of additional fees added on top of the usual price. Again, the best advice is to keep an eye on all of the small print.
What do you want?
No, I’m not quoting that scene from The Notebook (although it’s now in my head).
Think of what you want/need in your home. What could you not live without? Do you have any deal breakers? What would be the dream? Make a list, or if you’re artistic enough why not sketch it out. Visualise what you want and need and then go searching. It will help you to keep focus and not get lost in the sea of options.
Use your network
Do you know someone who has recently bought in that area? Ask them about their home buying journey. They may have found a great broker, or estate agent that they recommend which can save you a lot of time, effort and money. Use your connections. The more help, advice and information you can gather from your network, the better.
Your first time buyer tips
What else would you say to a first time buyer? Any tips you have that I’ve not discovered yet? What was your home buying journey like, how long did the whole process take?
Hopefully this helps you to get a few steps closer to your dream life, keep believing.