It's moving time!
Are you ready to buy your first home? Whether you're buying on your own or with a partner, here are four considerations to help you decide if you're ready to make the big move
Finding the right home can mean taking some time to think about your future plans.
If you are in a relationship, married or have plans to marry and extend your family, you'll need to ask yourself some important questions before you move home. Will you need somewhere with extra space? Somewhere with a large backyard for the kids, or family dog, to play in? Will you like it enough to spend the next 5-10 years there?
Purchasing your first home can offer many attractive benefits, including increased space and privacy. But owning a new home can also require new responsibilities regarding the maintenance of the property. Keep in mind that when you are switching from renting to owning your own home, you won't be able to call a landlord if anything needs to be installed or repaired.
Make sure you (or the partner you may be purchasing with) feel confident enough that any plumbing issues or yard maintenance in the future can be handled - or that you can afford the funds to hire somebody to do it for you!
WHERE DO I SEE MYSELF?
While nobody can predict exactly what the future holds, many of us have a vision of where we would like to be further down the line. Some of us may be settled in a job that we never want to leave, while others may have a lifelong dream to see the world before settling into a secure job.
If you're facing any transitions in the next few years, you may want to put off buying a house until things are more settled. If your employment situation feels secure and you're prepared to stay in the same place for a while, then you may be ready to buy.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
As appealing as your own space may sound, if you're currently renting and finding it difficult to fill your piggy bank for your future plans, you may want to reconsider if it is the right time to buy. You will also need to decide if is more convenient for you to buy an existing property or build your own, based on your income. Then consider the cost of your initial deposit and any potential house maintenance costs. If you are purchasing a newly built property, you may be able to avail of the new Government Help to Buy Incentive for First Time Buyers; further details on this can be found on page 4.
Consider what your real savings target should be and set up an automatic transfer into your savings account on pay day. There may be some sacrifices along the road, such as spending less on clothes or holidays or entertainment, but picture it in the long run - you can host entertainment for your guests in the comfort of your own home!
Finally, remember to book a mortgage appointment early. Don't forget that the money you spend on rent each month will be taken into consideration when a bank is assessing your affordability for a mortgage.
Breda Gormally, KBC Hub Manager, Baggot Street says: "We always recommend that customers come in early to meet with a dedicated Mortgage Consultant. This means we can take the time to explain the mortgage process and help customers become fully aware of the requirements and what's involved with taking out a mortgage."
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS THE PERFECT HOUSE
Well, there is, but you might not be able to afford it. It's okay, though. You can make whatever you can afford into your perfect abode with time. And you'll forget all about that 'perfect' house you never wanted anyway.
Be clear on what you are willing to compromise on and what is a 'must have'! Discuss with your partner and make a decision on the preferred location of your new home, considering the proximity to shops or your workplace. If you are going to be unhappy with a long commute, it may be worth waiting until you find the right home in the right location.
Forget the national average house prices - you can only assess how much it will cost to buy your first home once you've chosen where you want to live. You may have to review your 'wish list' location criteria if this area is out of your budget, but at least you have a starting point for your desires.
Buy or rent?
While it is true that in many places in Ireland today it has become cheaper to buy than to rent, waiting to buy can sometimes make more sense for you at a particular point in time.
Renting might actually be the most flexible option for you at this point in your journey. Maybe you need to save more for your ideal location or the extra bedroom, or you want to look for that new job now. Don’t forget, the money you are spending on rent each month will be taken into consideration when a bank is assessing your affordability for a mortgage, when you do decide to buy in the future.