How to get your foot on the property ladder – our top 5 tipsIt’s tough out there for first time buyers, but take our advice and you might find it’s easier than you think.
With house prices set to rise over the next few years, buying your own home might seem more daunting than ever. The average personal debt in Britain adds up to £11k, and with little return on savings and hefty rents taking a big chunk of income every month, building up a deposit isn’t easy: these are challenging times for prospective first time buyers. But don’t despair, there are ways to pave the way to a successful purchase. . .
1. Be realistic
It’s important to be as flexible and open-minded as you can when it comes to tracking down your first property. By all means have a list of ‘must haves’, but you may have to compromise on location or space in order to make that initial step.
2. Save like crazy.
Obvious though it may seem, the bigger the deposit, the wider the choice of lender, the lower the rate and the higher your chance of having a mortgage application accepted. So even if means borrowing from family members, or cutting back drastically for a year or so, try and get that deposit pot looking as healthy as possible.
3. Get your finances in order
On a positive note, around one thousand buyers secure their first mortgage in the UK every day. And there are ways to make that particular minefield easier to navigate. Ensure your credit rating is in good shape by checking it at least six months before you intend to buy. Make your deposit funds easily accessible in case you need to act quickly. If you have your mortgage and deposit lined up and ready to go, you will be a more attractive prospect to a seller who may be spoilt for choice with multiple offers.
4. Budget for extras
It’s easy to overlook the less exciting elements of home buying in the dash to find the perfect property. Make sure you line up a recommended solicitor to handle the conveyancing and set aside adequate funds for additional costs, such as survey fees.
5. Focus, focus, focus
If you’re serious about getting onto the property ladder, then really go for it. Rather than viewing the odd flat every now and then, do your research and throw yourself into the process. With a realistic outlook and a bit of determination and energy, you should be able to find yourself a first time home within weeks, not months.
Even in Edinburgh, where prices can seem relatively high, there are good-value properties out there for first time buyers – here are just a handful that we have on the market right now, all at under the £175k mark:
This bright, traditional two bedroom flat comes with an ensuite, as well as a main bathroom plus built in wardrobes - a brilliant way of saving space and at a fixed price of £140,000, there’ll be no stressing about what to offer either.
You get a whole house for your money with this end terrace in Liberton, complete with driveway and garden. With two bedrooms, it’s ideal if you’re thinking of needing a nursery or want to rent a room out. A great buy for £155,000.
An excellent, central location at popular Canonmills, this traditional, tenement flat has its own front door and has been recently redecorated. It’s on the market at a very affordable £130,000.
This stylish, light-filled top floor, two bedroom, two bathroom flat is within a converted bond building at The Shore – one of Edinburgh’s most vibrant areas with its lively waterfront bars and cafes. Make an offer over £165,000 and it could be your first home.
Enjoy all the West End has to offer from this 1 bedroom, top floor flat set on a quiet cobbled lane. Fantastic location, and well-proportioned rooms make this a solid investment for offers over £165,000.