With millennials now following in the house- hunting footsteps of predecessor generation X, today’s demographic cohort may experience a rather different affair than their parents.
According to Halifax, the current average age of a first-time buyer within the UK is 30. Compare this with figures from 1980 to 1984, when the average age group was 27 (source: The Telegraph), and it’s clear to see why today’s generation’s home search may differ from that 30-something years ago. This may relate to mortgage services, the process itself and housing availability – or perhaps a combination of them all.
It’s beneficial for first-time buyers to gain expert knowledge and take note of some tips before their dream dwelling hunt initiates. After all, there’s little point in going into the process blindfolded. The first port of call is an obvious one; budgeting. Without the financial ability to firstly; secure a deposit for a house and secondly; have the available means to pay for monthly mortgage instalments, house-hunting may have to take a back seat while you set out to attain these goals.
Save those pennies!
Today’s deposits range from 5 to 20% and, in order to acquire this deposit, some devoted economising is demanded. First and foremost, eliminating any unnecessary outgoings is a must; goodbye wild nights out down your local. Account for all your expenditure, from petrol and food to credit agreements and any other outstanding bills. It may be worth creating a spreadsheet to keep track of where your largest expenses fall.
With your finances in order, the next step is to consider any other costs that may be associated with procuring your humble abode. Factor in survey costs, solicitor’s fees, removal costs, building insurance, kitting out your new home with furnishings, mortgage payments and valuation fees as well as stamp duty. Remember, hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Are you ready?
While you must ensure that you are financially prepared to commit to purchasing your very own home, you must also make certain that you are additionally, on a personal level, emotionally ready to take this leap forward to safeguard your future. Whether going it alone, with a partner, future housemate, or a family member, you all must be of the same mindset when it comes down to the nitty-gritty. Whoever you’re planning to move in with, remember this is a long-term commitment – so not only considering who you move in with, but also the suitability of both the area and house itself.
For many couples, this may mean an extra bedroom for the pitter-patter of tiny feet or keeping an eye on the catchment area and Ofsted reports for local schools. For others, this may mean checking out the local amenities to guarantee that your desired area can accommodate all your requirements.
Researching your coveted area is vitally important and, if you’re a commuter, it’s best to con rm where your local means of transport is located.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area you wish to move to, take day trips to the town or village and investigate the neighbourhood. Look out for open spaces to relax on your days off – there’s a plethora of parkland within the Kent boundary – local restaurants and bars as well as local supermarkets.