How To Get On The Property Ladder

Over the last few weeks, we’ve looked at budgets, setting up an emergency fund, and investing for beginners. But what about those big ticket items? We asked Emma for her tips for getting on the property ladder.

Buying a home is a topic that comes up a lot in the groups. Rising rental costs means that for many, owning their own home can feel like a pipe-dream. So for the last piece in this series, we asked Emma how to get your foot on the property ladder. Whether you have the money saved, or are starting with nothing, Emma can help.

If you already have the money together and are now looking for your perfect home

1) Don’t rush into buying the first place you see. It’s almost always the case that you will find somewhere more suitable if you allow more time for your search. Keep in the back of your mind that whilst it’s one of the most exciting moments of your life to buy your first home, it’s also the largest loan you will ever have so choose the location and property wisely.

2) Never accept the first quote from one solicitor, or one mortgage broker. Always get a point of comparison so you don’t get ripped off. This happens a lot!

3) Visit the property more than twice before you decide to buy it. Preferably on a weekend and again in the evening so you can see what the local area is like and how you feel about it in a different setting having slept on it. Believe me, your mood can really alter how you feel about a property, but if it’s the right place it won’t matter what time of day or mood you’re in.

4) Put some money aside for emergencies and home improvements – especially if it’s not a new build. Don’t blow all the cash on the deposit and then find yourself putting things on credit when the boiler breaks suddenly. It’s a bit of a trap that you can avoid if you put a bit of extra money aside.

If you’re starting from scratch

1) Get your ‘money house’ in order first and learn to budget – this isn’t just to help you save more money but also to get used to a large sum of money coming out every month without fail. Setting up a standing order each month and treating your savings like another bill will discipline you to prioritise your savings pot.

2) Set yourself three monetary goals: the first being what you can save in the short term, then the medium and the final amount. Most of the time when we say to ourselves we want to save £30,000 and look at our current pot of £1,750 it can feel really demotivating and out of reach. Hit £5,000 first and go from there.

3) Subscribe to an online property magazine or blog and read regularly on the topic. The more knowledge you can get around the options available, market trends, opportunities etc the better. There’s always more to learn.

4) Make your money work for you better. First time buyer? Look into getting a Help to Buy ISA for the additional bonus. Or do some negotiating around your base salary. Ask for a pay rise to help you reach your goal quicker.  Book in some viewings, get used to the feeling of looking around. Call some mortgage brokers or arrange an appointment at the bank. A qualification meeting is free and really insightful to see how much you can borrow.

And remember, buying a home might be a stressful time but it’s also an exciting one. Make sure you take the time to find the place that’s right for you!

Massive thanks to Emma from all of us for giving us her insights. If you enjoyed this, check out her top tips for starting a budget, setting up an emergency fund, or investing for beginners. And if you’ve any other tips or tricks that have worked for you we’d love to hear them! 

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