For young people moving out and getting their own place is becoming harder and harder. We hear enough about it in the news, and there was one stage where I thought I’d be living at home forever. Since completing my degree and becoming a mum, we finally have a place to call our own so I have put together a list of my top tips for anyone looking to get onto the property ladder.
As graduates with only a small amount of savings behind us, the best option was a Shared Ownership scheme. If you can’t quite afford a mortgage on 100% of your home, this scheme offers you the chance to buy a share of it instead. You purchase 25%-75% of the property price using a deposit and a mortgage and then you pay rent on the remaining share.
You do need savings for a deposit and usually they are 5-10% of the property price meaning that it will most likely be a reasonable target for you to save towards (depending on the price of the property). You can however opt for a greater deposit, which will lessen the amount you have to borrow; our savings enabled us to put down a 5% deposit.
What attracted us to a Shared Ownership scheme was the fact that we wouldn’t be paying money to a landlord each month, we would actually be paying towards owning a share in our home. You also have the option to buy more shares if you have the money to later on.
You can find out more about Shared Ownership on the Help to Buy website where you can choose the desired region you’d like to live and fill in an eligibility form and see if you qualify.
Keep an open mind
I think it’s really important to be open to lots of different areas when moving into your first home. Especially with Shared Ownership; the majority of the properties available are brand new builds so it depends on where they are being built. The area may not be your first choice but it is always worth exploring new areas as you may end up surprising yourself.
Do your calculations often
My partner and I would always make a list, whether it be twice or three times a week, we would aways sit down and go through all of our outgoings just to make sure we didn’t miss anything. It’s a really good thing to do just so you don’t have any nasty surprises when you eventually do move. It helps to have things written down in front of you and it’s a great tool to see how much you need to save or if you have a property in mind, how much exactly your rent/mortgage and bills will be.
When you are saving for a deposit you need to make lots of changes to your spending habits. We had to be very tough on ourselves because our home came up quite quickly once we started looking, so setting aside money each month was a priority for us. Say no to that takeaway or that night out, you’ll be surprised what the odd tenner can do in the long run.
Do your research
This might be a bit of an obvious one but you’ll be surprised about how much time you’ll spend researching during your home search. It’s so important to thoroughly look into the different types of properties available to you, mortgage providers etc. Of course a lot of your opinions will be based around this research but I will also stress how important it is to go and experience it for yourself. Go to the areas you’re reading about, don’t just listen to Sally on Mum’s Net who said the area didn’t have many parks, get a feel for the type of property you want by going on lots of viewings. Nothing will give you an answer like your first-hand experience so make the most of this time in your life by researching and exploring every option before making a decision. Take what you want from the forums, they can be really useful but remember, what you read isn’t what you may necessary feel, so go and do a bit of research for yourself.
Good luck and please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any more questions specifically related to Shared Ownership.