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Can You Afford To Buy Your First Home?

For the longest time, buying a home was one of those things that was just sort of treated as an expected part of life. It was up there with a career, a marriage, and all of the other things that make up the stereotypical path of someone’s life. Of course, as time has gone on these things have become less and less necessary to live a happy life but when it comes to buying a home, something else has happened. There are just as many people who would love to buy a home as before, but it’s become more and more difficult. The reality is that with house prices constantly going up and wages stagnating, many people end up feeling as though the idea of actually being able to buy a home is little more than a fantasy. But is that actually the case? Of course not! The truth is that it’s still entirely possible to buy a house, even if it’s not as easy as it once was. You’ve just got to be prepared to put in the effort to understand the process, and make sure that your finances are in the right position to do it. With that in mind, here are just a few things to consider when trying to figure out if you can afford to buy your first home.

The mortgage

Can You Afford To Buy Your First Home? - growing money in jars image
Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

The most obvious thing that comes to mind when people are thinking about buying their first home is the process of getting a mortgage. After all, unless you happen to be extremely lucky, you’re very likely not going to be in a position to buy a home outright. (If you are then what are you doing reading this?!) The issue for a lot of people is that the process of getting a mortgage can be rather scary and complex. After all, you often end up having to wade through stacks of paper with all kinds of confusing clauses and small print. Not only that but your success in actually applying for a mortgage can often depend on a number of factors. Using something like a home loan eligibility calculator is a great first step in checking to see what kind of mortgage you may be able to take out. That way, you can figure out any potential changes that you might need to be able to buy a home and what it could end up costing you in the long term.

The deposit

One of the biggest barriers to a lot of people’s ability to buying a home is very likely to be the deposit. For many people over the years, they’ve been able to buy a home with incredibly small deposits that made buying a home and getting a mortgage a whole lot more accessible. This is something that has become even more pronounced in the era of COVID-19. Where previous generations might have been able to get a home with a 1% or 2% deposit, there are many lenders who won’t accept less than a 10% deposit in the current era. When you combine that with the rising house prices then it’s clear that being able to afford a deposit is a much bigger challenge than before. However, just because something’s a challenge doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. The key is to start putting money aside as soon as possible. If buying a home is something that you’re really committed to then every spare bit of money that you have should be put away. Find new ways to budget to allow you to save more and every bit of extra cash that comes in should go in the pile. It isn’t necessarily going to be a fast process, but it’s the only way to really afford a deposit in the current era.

The fees

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Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

It often comes as something of a nasty surprise to a lot of people when they realise just how many fees are involved in the process of buying a home. If you’re not aware of the fees that come with buying your first home then you could end up in some serious trouble. You have to consider mortgage fees, a valuation fee, a survey fee, a potential broker fee, your solicitors fee, and a whole lot more. Now, most of the time these are things that you will be taken through at the start of the process but you need to be aware of these kinds of fees well in advance so that you don’t go into the process assuming that you can afford a home when you simply can’t.

Your credit rating

As strange as it might sound, it’s not just a matter of having the money and actually being able to afford a home, you also need to be able to demonstrate that you can afford the payments in the long term. The way that this is calculated is through your credit rating. If you have a poor credit rating then it won’t matter whether you have the money for a deposit or not. Things like paying off your credit cards on time and making any loan payments in full is the best way to ensure that your credit rating is always in the best possible shape.

The truth is, while it is absolutely possible to afford to buy your first home, it would be a mistake to assume that it’s something that’s going to be easy to do. A home is likely to be the most expensive purchase you ever make and that’s not something that you should take lightly. If you want to buy a home then you’ve got to be willing to think ahead. It’s the kind of thing that you need to plan for and make changes in your life if you want to be able to afford it. The mistake that a lot of people make is that they assume that they can’t buy a home when what they actually mean is that they can’t buy a home “right now.” By planning ahead, managing your finances, and working towards a goal, you’re going to be in a far better position to buy your first home regardless of your personal circumstances.

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