With the increase in available mortgage products for first time buyers, and signs of recovery in the housing market, a lot of people are asking if it's finally the right time to buy their first home.
While keeping an eye on interest rates, house prices and the financial press can be useful, it's important to remember that the most important deciding factors are your own personal circumstances.
So, the real question isn't "Is now the right time to buy?", but "Is now the right time for me to buy?" At Stewart Milne Homes, we've put together a list of questions to ask yourself, which could help you determine if now is the right time for you to take that all-important first step on the property ladder.
1 Do I have a deposit?
A deposit is now essential to securing a mortgage and financing a new home, so it's important to prepare to make an initial payment on your new home.
In Scotland and England, there are Government-backed schemes in place to help those who have only saved a small deposit; as little as 5%. New Buy in England and MI New Home in Scotland are secured schemes that allow people to obtain a 95% property on a new home, and could help you move in sooner than they may think.
At Stewart Milne Homes, we also have an exclusive plan for First Time Buyers, that could help you to move in to a new home with just 5% or 10% deposit. If you want to find out more about saving for your first deposit, our blog has some tips and tricks to help.
2 Am I in debt?
If you are carrying a lot of debt, it could be wise to make plans to pay it off before you take on the expense of buying a home.
A mortgage is a big financial commitment, and moving costs and fees could add even more to your credit card balance. In addition, your current debt levels could affect your credit rating, and your chances of being accepted for home finance.
For help to start tackling your debt, the money advice service gives free, impartial and practical advice to people looking to reduce their debt and manage their finances.
3 Have I planned a budget?
You may have already moved out of mum and dad's some time ago, and are used to managing a budget on your rented home, but a new home means a new budget, and it's important to plan for a new set of expenses.
As well as your monthly mortgage repayments, you need to factor in other essential monthly expenses, like home and life insurance, factoring, utilities, council tax and travel. When buying a new home, you could incur additional legal fees, completion fees, stamp duty and moving costs. Make sure you have obtained estimates of all the costs involved and planned a moving budget that covers it all.
4 Should I seek advice?
With so much information available on mortgages, deposits, interest rates and fees, it can be difficult to make sense of it all and work out how it can affect you.
Make an appointment with an independent financial advisor, for information on all the options available to you, and expert guidance to help you make the right choices for your circumstances.
Do you feel ready to start the journey to your perfect first home? Start the search for your first home today:http://www.stewartmilnehomes.com/homes-home.aspx