Halloween can be for many people a time for scary films, eerie pumpkin carvings and lolly-seeking children dressed up as ghosts and goblins. In the midst of a busy Spring property season and with so much ‘spook’ about, it’s understandable if you find buying your first property frightening.
Property ownership need not be scary, however, as long as you take the time to research your options, prepare yourself for the lifestyle change – emotionally and financially – and think through each decision before finally committing yourself.
After all, a property purchase provides you with an asset. So, while accruing the related debt may be daunting, you’re actually adding to your long-term financial wealth.
To put the ‘scariness’ into perspective, it could be you find yourself dreading the length of time it takes to pay off a home loan, fearing you might not being able to afford repayments, or worrying that you’re buying the wrong home.
These are all valid concerns. Yet, undertaking thorough research while seeking professional knowledge and support can help ensure nothing scary comes your way.
Ask all the necessary questions before you are locked in; careful research will help you understand what those questions are. This may involve searching the web, talking to friends and family about the purchase decision and your mortgage choices, and seeking professional finance advice.
If you’re still in doubt about your ability to repay a mortgage on your own, consider purchasing with a friend, partner or family member.
Make sure, however, that you consult professional legal advice to understand the roles and responsibilities of each party before committing yourself.
This Halloween, help yourself to these handy treats to help make buying your first property a rewarding experience.
Research all you can, but save yourself valuable time by embracing new media – online forums and social networking sites are a great place to ask questions and gather firsthand accounts of the pitfalls and benefits.
Set up a savings plan early on, so you don’t feel overwhelmed or rushed to scrape together a deposit when you find your ideal home. Challenge yourself to save as much as you can within a timeframe; this will give you a clear goalpost and help you to create a good savings habit. A small treat here and there is a good reward for staying on track.
Practice making loan repayments ahead of time. Calculate what your weekly/fortnightly/monthly repayments would be and budget accordingly so when the time comes it’s no real financial surprise.
Be organised with your paperwork. Set up a folder to collect all of the documents you’ll need for applying for a home loan so when the time comes you’re not rushing around searching for that important piece of paper. Documents such as passports, bank statements, recent payslips or tax returns, plus written details about assets, liabilities and any other income will all be required.
You don’t have to do this on your own. Consider using an experienced, reputable mortgage broker who can walk you through the cobwebby maze and help reduce the scary monsters to dust.