You might feel that you're a long way from being able to buy your first home, however much you would like to. It's a huge financial commitment, and with prices seemingly soaring ever upwards in many areas it can seem like you'll never get on the property ladder. So what can you do to get on that first rung? Here are some ways that you can manage to buy your first home …
If you want to buy your first home, you'll have to make some sacrifices. Is it worth cutting down on your social life and saving your money for a house instead? Look at how much you're spending on frivolous things, and you may realise that it's quite a lot of money that you could be putting in your house fund.
2. Rent Rooms
Another way that may help is to rent out rooms when you buy your home. This income may not be taken into account by a mortgage company when assessing your ability to repay a mortgage, but it will help subsidise your expenses. If you can buy a home that's big enough to have a couple of spare rooms, you could earn quite a bit (though remember you'll have to declare it for tax).
3. Buy with Someone else
Buying a house with a partner or on your own is not the only way to afford that first home. Many would-be buyers get together with a friend or relative to achieve their dream of buying a home. You'll need to consider many issues, such as what to do if one of you wants to sell or can't afford their payments.
4. Lower Your Ambitions
If you downgrade your ambitions, you could find that a suitable home is within reach. We all have our dream of what the perfect home would be, but that's unlikely to happen first time around. Look for a smaller home, one that's in a slightly less desirable neighborhood, or that needs some work doing to it. And consider homes that you'd dismiss because they're not pretty or spacious - you can do them up or extend later on.
5. First-Time Buyer Incentives
Look into incentives offered to first-time buyers. For example, in the UK the Government offers a scheme called Help to Buy, which guarantees part of your mortgage. House builders may also have incentives. Look into what is available in your area and in your country.
Increasingly, parents are giving their children money to help them buy a house - effectively, an advance on their inheritance. If yours are able and willing to do this, you could put down a sizeable deposit on a home. This may make buying a home much more accessible.
Buying a house that needs improvement can be a way into home ownership, especially buying a home that wouldn't be in your budget if it were in perfect condition. It's best to avoid one that needs a ton of work, unless you are great at every aspect of DIY or know someone who can help you. Also check exactly what needs fixing and work out how much that would cost.
Buying a home can be an excellent investment, and allows you to feel truly at home in a way that you can't do in a rented home. Always do your research and be sure that the time is right for you to buy. What do you think is the best thing about buying a home?