Many people dream of one day owning their own home, and every year thousands of people take that very step. Buying their first home is one of the most important decisions a person can make, so it’s critically important to go into it with eyes open. In recent years there have been many sad instances of banks foreclosing on mortgages after the owners were unable to keep up with their payments. Here are some vital questions to consider before you sign the contract.
1. Can You Afford It?
Firstly you will normally need enough capital to put down a decent deposit before your mortgage will be approved, although that’s not always essential with some providers. Common ways of funding deposits are savings or financial support from families. For some people the cash out annuity is an option, but because this can be a complex matter you should speak to professional advisors to ensure it’s the right move for you. The most important thing is, should your financial situation change suddenly, for instance if you lost your job, or had to take time off work through illness, you need to have enough money in savings or insurance to cover your mortgage repayments until things start to improve.
2. What Kind Of Home Do You Need?
What you want, and what you actually need, issometimes very different. Before purchasing your property think carefully about your requirements, such as for commuting to work, or the number and size of rooms you need. Perhaps you’re looking to renovate a wreck and sell it on for a profit, or move into your “forever home”. Or maybe it’s a property you plan to buy and then rent out to someone else for an additional income stream. Always make sure your basic needs are met before anything else.
3. What Does The Future Hold?
Of course it’s difficult to forecast future events, but some life events can be anticipated in advance. For example, if you’re planning to start a family soon then you’ll need to think about the schools in the area, and whether there are any busy roads that need to be avoided. Or if you plan on getting a car at some point, a property with off-street parking will really help with your insurance costs.
4. Can You Maintain The Property?
Since most properties, even newer ones, will periodically need some form of maintenance, it’s important to give that careful consideration. Having both the time and skills to carry it yourself, or the money to pay someone else to do it for you, will prevent your home falling into disrepair and losing its value.
5. Have I Done Enough Research?
Before buying your home, it’s a good idea to have it checked out by a professional surveyor for any structural defects. Also take into account issues including building regulations that might prevent you making any adjustments to the property; whether it has been built on a flood plain, even what kind of neighbours you’re going to have. Proper research before you buy can save major headaches further down the road.