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Are you looking to buy your first home? The world of real estate can prove very daunting for many, and for good reason. There are several hoops to get through in order to end up with the keys to a new house in your hands - not to mention the exuberant costs involved! With a wealth of real estate jargon to bust through and a whole set of documents to sign, it can often be the end of the process that proves the most difficult. However, if you’re at the beginnings of your search for your first home, then here are five helpful tips to help get you on the property ladder.
How much can you really afford? It’s important to address this upfront as it will directly affect the rest of the buying process for you. There are mortgage calculators online that can make this process a fairly straightforward one for you. Essentially, you will be able to borrow roughly four times your salary, meaning that if you add that figure to your deposit amount (which ought to be between 5-20% of the value of the house), you will be able to work out what your spending power is.
There isn’t much leniency here, so don’t start looking at houses that are outside of your price range. That said, a good deal can often be done on a home that’s been on the market for a while, so consider houses priced up to 10% higher than your spending power and see if you can knock them down, if not, then it’s important to move on.
The worst thing you can do is take out a crippling mortgage that you can only just about afford because then if the worst happens and you face unemployment or redundancy, you stand little chance of being able to keep up with your repayments.
If it’s you and your partner who are already buying together, then this decision is pretty much made for you. However, if you were considering buying on your own, then your borrowing - and therefore spending - power could be massively uplifted by buying with somebody else.
Combining two salaries and two pots of savings will allow your mortgage provider to lend you more, putting you closer to that first home, or allowing you to stretch your budget for something a bit bigger than first planned.
One thing to be mindful of is who you choose to buy with. This is a big commitment so you need to be partnering up with somebody you trust completely, otherwise, things could go a bit pearshaped. Mortgages are a bit of a mess to get out of - so pick wisely!
It’s super straightforward to check your credit score online nowadays and for your bank to grant you a mortgage, you’re going to need to look squeaky-clean on paper. This means repaying any debt you a currently in and being able to illustrate sensible spending habits, particularly when it comes to taking out credit.
Government help to buy schemes is one of the most powerful ways to helping you get your foot on the property ladder. Buying a new-build home with just a 5% deposit is very much a possibility with state support.
Did you know? In Singapore, homeownership is one of the highest in the world. This is largely down to the Housing & Development Board (HBD) over there which provides masses of state-built affordable homes designed with low-income Singaporeans in mind. Not everybody can afford to own a home, though and these people tend to settle for an HDB rental flat which they can access at a heavily subsidised rate.
Whichever support scheme you choose in your location, there is bound to be something that makes it easier for you to buy a home as governments are keen to encourage first-time buyers onto the property ladder.
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