7 Ways to Afford a House ...

Buying your own home may seem impossible these days, but there are ways to afford a house. Being a homeowner is a major commitment and responsibility, but also has many rewards. Since owning your own home gives you more security and an asset you can leave to your family, it's no wonder that it means so much to so many people. With the huge price rises seen in some areas being a homeowner can seem out of reach but here are some of the ways to afford a house …

1. Look in Cheaper Areas

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One of the ways to afford a house is to look in cheaper areas. If you live in a city, you may have to compromise in order to buy a property. Look in less desirable districts or further away from the center. You'll probably get a lot more space for your money as well. Or you may have to consider moving away altogether - every country has towns where the property is more affordable.

2. Buy a Fixer Upper

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You could also look for a property that needs renovating, although you will probably be competing against professionals. Be sure to factor in renovation costs before making an offer. If your budget is really tight, choose a property that is in liveable condition, so that you can renovate it bit by bit. Avoid anything that needs total renovation as you won't be able to live there until it's finished, and you'll end up spending far more than anticipated.

3. Inheritance

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While you should never count on receiving an inheritance, if you are lucky enough to do so, then buying a home is an excellent way to invest your windfall. Even if it's not enough to buy a home outright, you may still be able to put down a sizeable deposit. That could make all the difference and bring a home within your reach.

4. Buy with a Friend

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Since buying a home can be very difficult on a single salary, buying with a friend could be the answer if you don't have a partner. It could give you a chance to build up a deposit for another home. You'll need to agree what happens if one of you wants to leave the property (do you sell, get a lodger in, or will one of you buy the other out?).

5. Self Build

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Building your own home isn't for the fainthearted, but it's one possibility to consider if you can get a cheap enough plot of land. There are lots of companies dedicated to self-building, and you can pick the design that suits you most. There is even such a thing as 'kit homes' now. Self build is a great choice if you want a home that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

6. Conversion

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If you have an imaginative eye, look for a building that could be converted. Chapels are a popular choice, but many other buildings lend themselves to conversions. In the UK, former public toilets have even been turned into lovely homes! You'll need to get permission for a change of use.

7. Houseboat

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Finally, moving onto a houseboat has long been a cheaper alternative to buying a house or apartment. Bear in mind that you'll need to pay mooring costs and be very organised, as space won't be as generous as in an apartment. But houseboat dwellers love the quirkiness of their homes.

What would you do to afford a home - can you think of any unusual ways to get a home?

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