Buying your first house is a very big deal, so you’re going to want to have the best advice available when making any decisions. Luckily the moving side of things is easy – you can call a reliable local company such as Your Local Movers to take care of that – but the following points can help with all that other brain-meltingly complex stuff that no-one bothers to tell you.
The first question that you need to ask yourself is ‘Can I afford it?’ because there’s no point getting all psyched up to buy your first property only to realize that you don’t have enough cash to do so. You’re going to have to take a good hard look at your finances and come to a decision about what kind of property you can afford. Be realistic and don’t shy away from the facts; you may not currently be in a position to buy that beach-front mansion as a first property but it might just be possible to get a foot on the property ladder with a smaller house that may, or may not, require renovating.
You may be very handy with a hammer and DIY may be a passion. This does not mean that you are a qualified trade person with the ability to transform a run-down hovel into a shiny and highly desirable renovation success. You might even find the whole idea of doing renovations utterly foreign and without merit. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that renovating a house (especially while you’re also living in it) will be easy, cheap or fun. Renovating involves a lot of hard work and there could, quite possibly, be tears, anger and frustration – if you’re buying your first property with a partner, it could even be the cause of a painful break-up. However, if you enter into the project with your eyes open and with realistic goals, it could be a very rewarding experience. Just be sure to think through all of the options and possible problems that arise from purchasing a ‘renovator’s dream’.
Once your signature is on the mortgage contract, you have essentially signed up for the long haul. The original meaning of the word ‘mortgage’ meant ‘death pledge’ – though nowadays with flexible banking arrangements, it’s a lot easier to switch your mortgage about to suit your circumstances. Don’t commit to a 25 or 30 year loan if you’re planning a round-the-world trip. If you’re thinking about having children then consider the impact (financial, emotional and other) that this will have on your ability to make your mortgage repayments. Is your job secure? Could you bear to rent rooms out to tenants, if it was a necessity? Buying a house is a part of being a supposedly adult person and it comes with responsibilities, so don’t approach the process with a parlour games attitude – but enjoy it nonetheless!
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