Purchasing a property is an important life decision. It can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Before you take the plunge into home ownership, there are some key questions you should ask yourself to ensure you’re making the right decision.
1. Do you know how much it will cost?
Be clear on how much you can afford to ensure your lifestyle won’t change drastically when you become a homeowner. It’s important to have a budget prepared before you start looking and know what the costs of buying a property, such as stamp duty and surveys, will be. Have a budget prepared before you start looking, then speak to an experienced mortgage broker who can advise you on how much you can borrow.
2. Have you got financial protection to cover you for unexpected events?
How would you pay your bills if you were injured or ill and couldn’t work? Or worse, how would your partner cope financially if you were to pass away? It’s always important to be prepared… there’s a range of financial protection products you can take out to cover you financially if the unexpected happens, including income protection, critical illness cover and life insurance. We recommend having some form of protection so that your mortgage and bills are paid if the worst happens. We can advise you on protection, so get in touch with us for more info.
3. How well do you know your chosen area?
Get very familiar with the area you’re looking to buy in. Keep your eye on the local market to get a feel for how much it will cost to buy the type of property you’re looking for. You’ll then be able to spot anomalies and will know when a property is perhaps too expensive or even a little too cheap. If you find that the ideal property doesn’t fit within your budget, you can then look in different areas or look at different property types. Will the property require redecoration or renovation, and if so, how much is this likely to cost?
4. What type of property will suit you?
Can you afford what you need? You might dream of a three-bedroom house but only be able to afford a two-bedroom flat. Will that work for you, and will you have to put anything in storage or get rid of certain items to fit everything in? Make sure what you can afford works for your lifestyle or make any changes in advance.
5. Are you ready to settle down in one area?
Ultimately, purchasing a property is about deciding where you want to settle down for at least several years or more, so ask yourself if this is truly where you want to call home for now and in the future.
6. Is the property you have in mind in reasonably good condition?
Found a property you like the look of? Consider its condition as well as its location and cost. Make sure that plumbing, wiring and other structural elements of the house are up to date or if anything needs updating, then factor this cost into your budget.