Are you considering buying a house for the first time? You probably have visions of a cosy family home that will be filled with happy memories for years to come. But before you get caught up dreaming about white picket fences and roses around the door, there are lots of practical things to consider. For first time buyers, purchasing a house is usually much more complicated than you might think. Here’s what to bear in mind before you get started…
Can you afford to buy?--
Many of us consider home ownership to be ultimate goal, especially when bringing up a family. However, there is little point in making a commitment that is going to be difficult or impossible to keep. Do you have funds for a deposit, and do you know how you’re going to need to secure a mortgage? If you’re applying for a mortgage, you’ll need to have a good credit record, and a steady source of income. Make sure that your monthly payments are actually going to be affordable – there’s not much point in living in a beautiful house if you can’t afford to eat! If it turns out that buying is not feasible, don’t despair – there are lots of benefits to renting your home.
Can you afford to move?--
Buying a house isn’t just about making sure you choose the right property and being able to pay for it, or secure an affordable loan to cover the cost. There are lots of other financial considerations, such as legal and valuation fees, not to mention taxes. Unless you already own a truck, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of moving all your stuff into your new house, and include a budget for any items you need to buy like sofas, beds, tables and chairs. Make a list of all the things you will have to pay for as a result of moving, and decide if you are financially secure enough to do so.
Have you got an emergency plan?--
If you’re used to renting, you’ll probably have got into the habit of expecting someone else to fix any problems with the heating, the building itself or the appliances. Owning your own house means taking responsibility when things go wrong, so you need to set aside a plan and budget that will take care of anything that crops up. That way, if your roof starts leaking, you will simply have to pick up the phone to call experts like OC Pride Roofing, and you’ll have the funds to get it sorted. Taking good care of your house adds value, so your investment will be worth more – great news if you ever want to move!
Have you checked the house thoroughly before buying?--
Don’t rely on valuation agents and surveyors to ensure that everything in your potential new home is in good working order – check as much as you can yourself. Go for a second or third viewing, and turn on the taps to check the water pressure, flush the toilet to make sure it’s working properly, and knock on walls to find out whether they’re hollow or not.
Buying a house is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, so take time to get it right, making sure that you have the funds and that it’s the right home for you and your family – you can’t afford not to!