A de-busting guide for first-time buyers: is your first home as out of reach as you think?
- Credit: Dales & Peaks
Nowadays, it’s never been harder to take your first step onto the property ladder – right? Maybe not!
According to Tom Currey from Dales & Peaks Estate Agents in Chesterfield, this is a commonly mis-held view.
“I think so many people today are told it’s impossible to save up and buy your first home. Everyone assumes you need a huge deposit, that renting is far cheaper, and that moving is simply too stressful to contemplate,” Tom says. “The reality is there are more options out there than people realise.”
Below, Tom shares five common myths first-time buyers have, and the truth behind them.
Myth 1: Renting is cheaper than paying a mortgage
“Rent prices are on the rise as much as house prices, and what you’re able to get for your money may vary,” Tom reveals. “While it’s true, renting can better suit some people depending on what stage of life they are at, I think there comes a time when everyone wants to know the money they are paying is going towards a house that will last them for many years to come.”
Buying a home is also an investment, and the amount you spend on home improvements can drastically increase your property’s value, meaning if you decide to sell, you can make a profit. Also, rent prices can go up or down in the time that you let a house, however, fixed mortgage rates are available which can make it easier to manage your money.
Myth 2: I need to save a lot of money to afford the deposit on my first home
“This one trips many people up. I think most people are convinced it’s simply impossible to save up enough of a deposit to afford a house, but there are so many lending options and government schemes out there that can make it much more manageable,” Tom explains.
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The government’s Lifetime ISA can help you save. By signing up, you will receive a 25 per cent top-up bonus on whatever amount you pay into the ISA. By speaking with an estate agent and seeking the help of a mortgage advisor, you can also discover what borrowing options you are eligible for, and learn more about your lending options.
“Five per cent deposits are now being accepted and shared ownership programmes allow you to pay a mortgage on a share of your home and rent on the rest,” Tom says. “This opens the property market up to first-time buyers and makes it easier for them to take this next step.”
Myth 3: You need to view a lot of homes before deciding on one to buy
“Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime, but this doesn’t mean finding the right house will take forever or that you need to book a hundred viewings before making your decision,” says Tom.
Using social media and technology means you can now view detailed photos, videos and take tours of properties without needing to book an in-person visit.
“This makes it easier to refine your search, prioritise what matters most to your family and only view properties you know will suit your needs,” Tom says. “So, if your dream home is the first or second one you see, then don’t be put off. It just means you understand exactly what type of property is right for you.”
Myth 4: Now is not the right time to buy
“Truthfully, there is no perfect time to buy a home. The right time to move or buy your first house will depend entirely on you, your family, your routine and where you want to move,” Tom shares.
The property market can change depending on what region you are looking at. “Derbyshire and the Peak District are current UK property hotspots, with many people preferring a relocation to the countryside as opposed to remaining in busier, urban areas,” Tom says.
Try speaking with a reputable local estate agent as they can help answer any questions you may have, allay your concerns and help you decide if you want to move now, or simply begin making plans for the future.
Myth 5: Not working with an estate agent can save you money
There are lots of costs to consider when buying your first house, like mortgage fees, stamp duty, moving costs and admin charges. This can all add up and make the cost of moving seem daunting.
“Many people can mistake working with an estate agent as another unnecessary cost, but this isn’t the case,” says Tom.
“An estate agent can help you find a home that suits your needs and meets your budget. By taking care of matters on your behalf, handling negotiations and managing the paperwork, they can all ensure the sale is completed on time, preventing delays and further costs.”
By working with a local estate agent, you can also gain expert knowledge of the area to which you are moving, in order to make sure it’s right for your family.
Dales & Peaks is an independent, family-owned estate agency based in Chesterfield. They can assist you with every step of the buying process, from beginning to end, and offer the guidance you need to help you find your next home, whether it’s the first, second, or fifth.
To find out more, visit dalesandpeaks.co.uk or call 01246 567540.