Buying your first family home is exciting yet stressful. When you have a family and children, your priorities completely change, and so do your house hunting plans. While having no commitments or little ones around may mean you can buy something more lavish and minimal as your home, that’s not the way family homes work out. When you’re buying your first home, it’s essential you are aware of everything you need to know. Below is a guide that is sure to help you in this new chapter of your life.
A Guide to Buying Your First Family Home
Buying your first family home can be both exciting and daunting. With so many factors to consider, it’s important to take a step-by-step approach and do your research before making any decisions. From budgeting to location, knowing what you want and what you can afford will help guide you towards the perfect family home. In this guide, we’ll go through some key considerations to help you on your journey towards buying your first family home.
Determine what you can afford
Unfortunately, we can’t all afford houses or apartments worth millions of pounds, which is why determining what you can afford to pay out monthly is key. This is the first step you should do before anything else. The average first-time buyer in the UK has an income of around £41,000.
However, this isn’t to say if you earn less that you can’t afford to buy. It’s just advisable to price up costs and ensure you can afford everything. I’d recommend not taking the absolute maximum mortgage and repayments, and instead living below your means if you can.
You may be looking to remortgage in two to five years, after your first fixed deal ends, and the interest rates could rise in this time.
Know what you want
It may be that you want your first family home to be a 2-bedroom apartment in the city centre, it doesn’t have to be a 5-bedroom house in the countryside. If you know what type of property you want for your family and it fits your lifestyle, anything is doable (within your budget, that is!).
It’s better to decide what sort of property you want, and to agree on this, before going any further with your family home hunting.
Consider the location
If you have children or a workplace to get to then location is another key element of your family home. Check out the schools in the area of the property and see how far away from your workplace it will be if you were to move in.
Also, you may want to consider a location that is more city-based or perhaps a beach location. Think about your family and what they would want for their home too. It may even be better to ask them what they want, as this will mean that everyone is happy!
When choosing the right location for your family home, you need to think about:
- Proximity to schools: Check out the schools in the area and consider how easy it will be for your children to get to and from school.
- Work commute: Consider how long it will take you and your spouse to commute to work and whether the location is convenient for both of you.
- Safety: Look into the crime rates in the area and whether the neighborhood is safe for your family.
- Amenities: Think about what amenities are nearby such as parks, grocery stores, restaurants, and family entertainment options.
- Community: Consider the vibe of the community and whether it aligns with your family's lifestyle and values.
- Cost of living: Look into the cost of living in the area, including property taxes and utility costs, and whether it is affordable for your family.
- Accessibility: Consider whether the location is easily accessible by public transportation or major highways, especially if you frequently travel to other areas.
- Natural surroundings: Think about whether the location has access to natural surroundings such as beaches or parks for outdoor activities.
- Future development: Look into any future developments or changes that could affect the area, such as new construction or zoning changes.
Get expert advice
The experts are the ones to trust when it comes to buying property. RW Invest are a property investment company, who specialise in buy to let, but have helped countless first-time buyers who want to find a buy to let property. They will help you to find the perfect property in the best location possible. This is especially useful for people who may not know anything about property and need advice on their first home.
Remember the additional costs
As well as the initial costs for buying the property, you will need to account for additional costs such as booking and valuation fees, stamp duty and solicitors invoices.
Sometimes first-time buyers forget about these costs. However, if you know about them before you start looking for your new home, then you’re prepared when they arise.
Give yourself room to grow
You may be looking for your first family home when you only have one or two children, but this doesn’t mean to say you should only opt for a property with a few bedrooms.
Giving yourself room to grow as a family is ideal as you won’t have to invest in another property if you decide to have more little ones.
Think about future sales
Not only do you have to think about the future of your family when buying a house, but also about the future when you move out of a property. Is the property desirable to future buyers?
It’s rare nowadays that people live in the same place forever, so your property needs to suit you, but also appeal to future buyers when the time comes for you to pack up and sell.
But to appeal to future buyers, you will need to ensure the home is kept in good condition and you can maintain it whilst you live there. For this reason, you might not want a mansion that needs so much maintenance you simply can't keep up with it!
A manageable house you can maintain and keep looking great is a better option.
Additional tips that can help when choosing the right location for a family home:
- Climate: Consider the climate of the area you’re looking to buy your family home. If your family is used to a certain type of weather, it might be difficult for them to adjust to a new one. Extreme weather conditions could also pose a threat to your family’s safety and well-being.
- Noise: Think about the noise levels in the location you’re considering. If you have young children or are planning to have some, you might want to avoid living in a noisy area such as a busy street or next to a construction site.
- Health and medical facilities: It’s important to have access to good healthcare facilities in case of emergencies. Look for locations with good medical facilities and hospitals nearby.
- Pet-friendly: If you have pets or planning to have some, make sure the location you’re considering is pet-friendly. Check if there are any restrictions on owning pets or if there are any parks or open spaces where your furry friends can enjoy.
- Natural disasters: Look into the history of natural disasters in the area, such as floods, hurricanes, or wildfires. Consider the risks involved and whether you want to live in a location prone to natural disasters.
- Cultural and social events: Consider the cultural and social events that take place in the location you’re considering. Are there any festivals or events that your family would enjoy? These can be great ways to bond with your family and immerse them in the local culture.
By keeping these additional tips in mind, you can further narrow down your options and find the best location for your family home. Remember to prioritise what’s important to you and your family and seek expert advice when needed.
Buying your first family home is a big decision, but with careful planning and expert advice, it can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. By determining your budget, knowing what you want, and considering the location, you can narrow down your options and find the perfect home for your family. It’s also important to keep in mind additional costs, plan for future growth, and think about the appeal to future buyers. With these tips in mind, you can feel confident and prepared to make one of the biggest investments of your life.