How do you know when is the right time to buy a house? It’s a big decision for all sorts of reasons and, for some people it’s the most stressful thing they will do in their lives. One of the ways to mitigate that stress is to make your move at just the right time. Knowing when that is, though, can be a headache. Here are five signs that show you’re ready to get on the property ladder…
Rent up: You might like the flexibility that renting gives you but the simple fact is that renting is becoming very expensive. Landlords have put rents up as demand for properties has increased, meaning people are often paying much more in rent than they would in mortgage payments. The flexibility of the market brings uncertainty too – as tenants face the worry of not knowing when the cost will go up and by how much.
Deposit: Saved up enough cash for a deposit? That’ll put you in a strong position and is a good sign that you’re good to go. Consider a couple of things though. Your deposit is not the only financial expense you’ll occur, make sure you’ve got extra cash in the coffers to cope with fees, removal costs and stamp duty, for example. Also, be aware that the level of deposit you need may well go up, especially if the market changes. Once you’ve reached your savings target it’s probably a good idea to step in and buy while you can. Changes to stamp duty should mean you’re able you can divert more cash to your deposit too and that timely boost that triggers your move.
Frustration: Many rented tenants get to a stage when they’ve been living in a property so long that they want to stamp their own authority on it. Whether that’s something drastic in the garden, new facilities in the kitchen or simply a lick of paint for tired looking rooms (especially given that rented homes are often painted in relatively plain, neutral colours) it can be tough not being able to have your own way. Once you’ve reached that stage it’s often a sign that you’re ready to settle down and put in place your own roots.
Market: If the market works for you then it’s time to go and buy a house. This isn’t just about the deposit – it’s also about looking at the very latest deals on mortgages, both fixed and flexible, looking at the types of houses that are on the market and schemes such as Help To Buy, which can ease the deposit-sized burden. Check out this great resource to see more about this Government initiative and whether it suits your needs, and keep an eye out so that you can be poised and ready should the right house become available. If you know what you want then it’s about finding a property that fits those criteria.
Family: One of the biggest life-changing factors is having a family. If you’re settled with your partner, and your circumstances are right to have a family, then buying a house is something you might want to do right away. You’ll need extra rooms for your children and will want to give them a steady and secure environment to grow up in – something that comes from having your own property. Don’t leave it too late either – it’ll invite unnecessary stress if you buy during pregnancy or when you’ve got a young child to care for. Think also about moving to an area where there are good schools.