Tuesday 9 March 2021

 [This is a collaborative post but all words and opinions are my own]

The day has finally come where I'm talking about buying a houses and mortgages on my blog - how time flies! It's crazy to me that we never got taught anything at school about 'real life' situations about how mortgages work, stamp duty and all that other adulting stuff. Luckily, both my mum and step-dad work in a bank so they have constantly been giving me the 411, and how important it is to start saving as soon as you can. Whether you're single or have a partner to purchase a house with, the important thing is to assess your own situation and what is financially going to work for you in the long-run. I am currently in the process of *hopefully* purchasing a house, and these are some of my tips:

tea with gi house buying

1. Open a separate savings account. 

I now have two: one for travelling and fun stuff, and the other for all things house related. You'll need to consider that apart from paying a deposit, you'll also have to pay a lawyer for the conveyancing, stamp duty, and of course to furnish it! I have mine on Natwest, and they offer me 1.5% interest as long as my balance at the end of the month is £50 higher than it was the previous month. 

2. Find out how much you need for your deposit and what you can borrow. 

In most cases, the money you will have to put into buying a house is at least 10% of the full price of the house. So if you want to buy a house that's £200,000, you'll need to save at least £20,000. Most banks will offer you 4X your salary, and will look at your current spending habits before agreeing if they're going to lend you the money. 

3. Find the right estate agent. 

Buying a house can be stressful, so sometimes it's easier to let someone else do all the hard work for you. GrowProperty help you understand what you can afford, and will be with you for every step of the process. They can advise on how to negotiate and making the best offer, arranging all the legal work, and help with all the paperwork. 

4. Be realistic. 

If I could, I'd love to buy a 4 bedroom house with a pool and a garden. The fact that I'd be having to do that on 1 salary means that is highly unlikely unless I won the lottery this year. Being a first-time home buyer means that the house you purchase won't necessarily be the house you live in all your life. It is however a good way to get on the 'property ladder' and have a place that is yours. In time your situation may change and you may need to upgrade or down-size, which you can do when the time and need arises. 

5. Make an expenses plan. 

I love spreadsheets, and I make one every year showing what my 'fixed' spendings are each month and what I'm putting aside for adult things/travelling. It's a good way to visually see what you're left with at the end of the month, and what you can actually afford to save every month. I've also been using Revolut 'Vaults' a lot to have separate savings for individual trips, luxuries and birthday/Christmas presents! 

6. Choose what's right for you. 

Not everyone is going to have the same 'goals' or things to tick off in life. A lot of people are fine with renting, or don't want to have roots in just one city. The same way as others may prefer to have a smaller apartment but have more money to spend on experiences, and others have always envisioned owning their dream home by 30. It's always useful to hear advice and tips from other people who have done it, but in the end the decision is yours! 

I hope this post has been useful, and whatever stage you're at it's important to not stress or compare. We're all on individual journeys! 


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