Your path to owning a home

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Buying our home has been one of the best things we have done.  Not only is it our home, but it’s an investment for our children’s future, their inheritance once we are gone.  Hopefully it will enable them to buy their own homes one day.

Do you want to own your own home? In most circumstances, the answer will be yes. A home is a fantastic investment, and it's also a great opportunity. You can choose to live in your own home, or you might choose to rent it out to bring in income from residential tenants. There are a lot of good reasons behind owning a home, so of course - most people want to do it. It's a good decision for you and your future.

However, it isn't as easy as simply saying that you want to own a home.  You don't just get a home because you want one. If only it were that easy.  You've got to do a lot of research, you've got to do a lot of saving, and you've got to be prepared for the responsibility of owning a home, because it is a pretty big one and it isn't always simple or easy to be a homeowner.

Here are the three things you need to do before you can own your own home:

Save a deposit

This is to secure the mortgage, so the lender doesn't lose out. If a lender loses out en masse, it can cause a recession and a crisis - so they need to be protected, and the deposit does that job; part of it, anyway. A deposit will be formed of at least a five or ten percent value of a property. So if you want to buy a house that costs £200,000, you want to save up between £10,000 and £20,000. Ideally, you want to save up 20 percent of the property value. This isn't necessary, but you’ll get a better choice of mortgage rates and ensures that your repayments are lower.

Apply for a mortgage

This is critical to home ownership and it is the loan given to ensure a home can be bought. Once you choose a property, you'll need to have a mortgage accepted in order to make a valid offer. Whether you are accepted and how much you’ll be allowed to borrow depends on your credit rating, income and deposit.

Sometimes repayments can be hard to meet -but you shouldn't be worried as help can be found from the source of the lender - you simply need to call them and advise them of the situation. They may be able to help and provide a short term solution.  It’s best to get a mortgage you know you can afford in the first place so you don’t run into difficulties.  We chose not to max out and went for a property under budget that we can afford to overpay the mortgage on so we have a nice safety net.

Check the survey

Once you have a mortgage, you need to ensure the property is suitable. If you have any issues or second thoughts, pull your offer and wait. It's a big commitment and if it isn't right for you then don't go through with it.  If the property is suitable, go ahead with the offer and ensure it’s all legally suitable. You’ll have to pay for a survey to guarantee the mortgage and this survey should highlight any major concerns.   If it flags up something that could cost a fortune to put right, you may want to withdraw your offer and move on, unless you can afford the repairs and it’s your dream home.

If you like this blog post, you may like my Home and Garden category!