Money is getting harder and harder to come by these days and banks aren’t as willing to lend as they used to be. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider owning a home if you don’t already. The market may be a little down, but the inventory is great; there are thousands of homes up for sale at competitive prices.
Understand what you’re getting into.
Before you take the leap into home ownership, you should understand the responsibilities. Buying a home is not as simple as purchasing gum at the supermarket. There are very many hoops to jump through and thorough research on what is expected of you as a buyer is important. You need to speak to a lawyer, estate agent and a banker before signing anything. Do not try to go it alone hoping to save some money. Complicated issues will arise, so let the professionals do their job.
Location, location, location
What is your lifestyle? How would you like it to be in 5 years? Where do you work? Do you have children or intend to? Do you want to live in the city, or are you looking for some peace and quiet?
Familiarise yourself with the location and figure out what it has to offer and whether it’s for you. Buyer’s remorse when it comes to your home is the worst feeling you can ever have. Take the time to research the area and even rent a place for a few months so you can be sure.
Don’t judge a house by its cover
Most homes are staged before they are put on the market. Staging a home is basically giving it a little spit and shine to make it look better. Look past the décor. Do the walls have cracks? Are the rooms large enough? Do you like how the house flows? Can you picture your furniture in there? Imagine the possibilities and don’t allow that shag rug from 1867 to scare you away, there just may be a beautiful hardwood floor under there, waiting to be discovered.
If you do need to do the house up after moving in, and you are serious about buying it, it might be worth getting the advice of an interior designer so you can get a rough idea of what it might cost. At that stage, you can consider how you want to finance any renovation. Usually people will increase the size of the mortgage to incorporate the added expense or get a dedicated loan for it from a bank like Clydesdale Bank, for example.
Get the building inspected
An inspector’s job is to find everything, and I mean everything wrong with the house. Some of what he finds may be minor and require nothing more than a little cleaning, while some issues may be major and potentially compromise the structural integrity of the home. Discuss the problems and get a budget estimate of what the repairs will cost. Is it worth it?
Lattes, lights and late fees
What does it cost to live in your intended house month to month? Are there lawn fees? What is the administration fee? How much did the previous owner spend on utilities? What sort of fines will you incur if your payment is late? Find out everything!
Buying a home can seem intimidating due to all the factors that have to be taken into consideration. Get all the numbers together and confirm that you have taken everything into consideration. This will give you a clear picture of whether your home is worth every pound; lost, saved or earned.