First Step on the Housing Ladder
Making the first step onto the housing ladder is sometimes easier said than done. With global property markets rising too fast for many, we look at some helpful hints on how you can get your first home.
Rising house prices are often seen as being good news - they indicate increasing wealth for many and may also signal a healthy economy. They are not, however, good news for everyone.
The UK, like many property hotspots around the world, has seen property prices rising to record levels. This has spelt trouble for many individuals and couples who are not already on the housing ladder.
Would-be first time buyers do have options when it comes to buying that first home though. Let's look at some ways of taking the first step onto the housing ladder.
Buying with friends or family members is one route that many are beginning to take. The basic idea behind this plan is that single people are being priced out of the housing market but that pooling resources means increased accessibility to finance and hence an increase in affordability.
This can be a great idea if you have a close friend (or group of friends) and you are all in the same position of trying to find that first home.
There are some associated problems that shouldn't be glossed over too of course. You'll need to make sure that you all get on very well and that you expect to do so in the future. No matter how great your relationship, you'll definitely need to put a suitable legal framework in place to deal with any future changes in circumstance.
You'll also need to consider what they other person (or people) will be like to live with - great friends don't always make great co-habitors.
Another option that you could consider would be to have your parents (or relations) act as guarantor on your mortgage.
This basically involves your parents agreeing to cover the element of the mortgage that is beyond your own income levels. This can lead to a significant increase in your spending power.
It is a plan that relies on understanding parents and there may well be a risk involved for them. You'll need to make sure that they are aware of exactly what they are letting themselves in for.
An alternative, for those renting accommodation, is to come to some agreement with your existing landlord. He may well be open to setting up a financial arrangement that allows you to part-own the property, in return for a lengthy guaranteed lease. If you don't ask, you'll never know!
All of the methods above involve taking a creative approach to the problem of becoming a home owner for the first time. If you're desperate to get on the housing ladder but don't appear to have the means to do so then now is the time to start thinking outside the box.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keith Barrett writes about Winchester estate agents, property and many other aspects of investments. This article may be used by any website publisher, though this resource box must always be included in full.