Choosing to buy a house is one of the biggest decisions most people will take in their entire life, so it makes sense to think about it carefully. At Belvoir Birmingham, we help people buy their first property all the time, so we know just how important it is to make the right decision. To help you towards taking your first steps on the property ladder, we’ve come up with some questions you should ask yourself when choosing to buy…
Can You Afford It?
This may seem like an obvious question, but it’s one that you should answer thoroughly. It’s a good idea to create a spreadsheet or write down your incomings and outgoings every month, then factor in your mortgage repayments based on the size of the deposit you have. If you think you’ll have enough in the bank every month after all your expenditure, then buying a property could be easier than you think.
Are You Thinking About Life Changes?
A house isn’t just for the here and now, so you’re going to want to think about the period that you are planning to own the house for. If this is a stepping-stone home for five or so years, then really think about what your plans are over the next five years. You can’t plan for every eventuality, of course, but you can think about certain occurrences that could happen and how they may affect your ability to afford your monthly repayments.
Have You Factored in the Additional Costs?
When you’re sitting down to consider the affordability of a property, don’t forget that there are buying costs involved. These costs include stamp duty and having a survey done on the property as well as any moving costs from your current home. There are also potential mortgage and solicitor fees to take into consideration. These costs can run into the thousands, particularly if you’re buying an older property that will require a thorough survey, so you’ll want to make sure that you have set some money aside to cover them all.
Have You Planned for an Increase in Rates?
Interest rates have been very low for quite a while now and they don’t look to be on the rise in the near future, but they won’t stay this low forever. A good exercise would be looking at mortgage repayments and calculating how much they would rise if the interest rates increased by a few percent. This is particularly important if you’re thinking about buying a property for the long term.
At Belvoir, we can help if you’re looking to buy your first property, so please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be more than happy to guide you through the process every step of the way.