In 2011, we all knew it was impossible to get onto the property ladder; getting onto the property ladder was like climbing Mount Everest with one arm. As politicians reassure us that it won’t be like this forever, have there been any real changes as we come to the end of 2012? Well, from where most people wanting to get onto the property ladder are, the answer to this would appear to be no – not in any noticeable sense.
In 2011, HSBC conducted a survey regarding home owners and non-home owners. They found that on average 78% of all non-home owners from age 18-35 would like to own their own house. Although ideally most people would like to own their own home, in today’s economy it’s often not possible. Many people simply aren’t earning enough to be able to afford mortgage repayments. Either that or they cannot find a bank or building society which believes that they can. It is worse for buyers who already own their homes as on average the valuation of the property they bought will have dropped £2,000 since the recession began. Families in particular have been the most affected. As the need for space grows, the sad fact is it just isn’t available.
Now if you’re still interested in buying your first home and you are aware of the facts, you need to be clued up about the shark pool you are stepping into. For starters, you need to find a reliable lender. In 2011, the most reliable were The Yorkshire Bank and Halifax who provided a combined 68% of mortgages across the UK. You also need to be realistic about the repayment amount – the lower the repayment amount, the longer it will take to pay the mortgage off in full – the average mortgage repayment duration being over 15 years. Have a good look at your monthly budget or any factors that will change in the foreseeable future. For example, if you know you are going to have a career change, do not take out a mortgage until you are fully settled in. Also, make sure you have enough money to cover the deposit and the costs of solicitors and commission that may be charged on top of all the services provided by the bank.
Make sure you are fully aware of what you’re getting into when it comes to buying a home for the first time. After all, you want to swim not sink.
Graham Zuckerman is writing on behalf of http://www.propertyportfoliosoftware.co.uk/.