Going to bed every night in a home you can call your own is the dream. But for many first-time homebuyers with small budgets, the idea of owning a home can seem out of reach.
With careful planning of both your financials and priorities, there are ways to find a new home.
Adhere to these compromises, admit what you can let go of, and you’ll be on track to buying a home.
1) Don’t Forgo the Agent Route
It may seem prohibitively expensive to hire an estate agent at the start of your search. However, a good agent will listen to your needs and find a place within or under your budget.
It is essential to know who you will be partnering with when making big life decisions like buying a home. Consider running a background check on your agent to determine if they are above board. So, how long does a background check take? Long enough to get started before you book time with an agent!
Remember, your agent only makes money on commission. They have no motive to show you a home you would not reasonably be able to afford.
Your estate agent understands different neighbourhoods and will present you with options that you could never find on your own. Spend the money on a quality partnership and open unseen doors on your search.
2) Shave Down Your Wish List
The number of first-time homebuyers in the UK has been steadily increasing until taking a drop in 2020. Now is the time to get in on the market. But do not begin your search thinking you will find every amenity on your wish list. Before you even start tours of homes, write down what you NEED and what you can forgo.
If you are planning for children and want to have at least three toilets, consider looking for homes with only two. You’ll find much more affordable prices once you start cutting out whole rooms.
Housebuying is also the time to put your DIY skills to the test. Say you find a home that seems nearly ideal, but there is chipping paint or decades-old fixtures in the kitchen — don’t give up. Embrace any flaw you see as a way to negotiate the price down on the home. Your upfront savings will more than cover necessary repairs.
Plus, when you renovate a home yourself, it creates a personal touch you would not find with brand-new fittings.
3) Start Saving Yesterday
Property is the soundest long-term investment you can make. Start saving as soon as possible for a home of your own. While renting may be cheaper initially, you are not building any generational wealth.
The more you can pinch pennies today, the wider your options will be when you shop around for homes tomorrow.
Start putting aside a portion of every paycheck for your dream home to conquer the down payment. For most homeowners, the cost of a mortgage is less than their rent.
Follow savings tips, or use a savings calculator to set up a plan that will get you to a comfortable place before you begin to look for a house in earnest.
4) Discover the Next Horizon
If you’ve been looking in a single area for months and keep encountering the same budgetary restrictions, it is time to pass.
The location is usually the hardest compromise home buyers have to make. The median home price in England is currently £259,000, but that price starts to plummet when you move out of major cities.
In general, the size of a home begins to increase, and price decreases the further you move away from the cities. If you work from home, it might be time to reorient yourself to a life in the countryside.
Life in the country can be worth it when you save thousands of pounds. Even a long commute can seem pleasant when it puts money in the bank.
With more houses available than buyers, you will be able to pick and choose in the real estate market. Even with a smaller budget, you can make the dream work. Implement these tips, and you’ll find more and more options than you ever thought were available.
Be smart and put your money where it matters, and don’t waste it on frivolities. Start looking today!