As we get towards the end of 2017, many people will be turning their attentions to the next 12 months and what the future has in store.
Whether the last year has been a positive one, or if you’ve dealt with adversity, the end of the year is a good time to reset and look ahead to the good times ahead. For a lot of people, this takes the form of a New Year’s resolution or two.
The most popular are the tried and tested losing weight, getting fit, giving up a vice or two or taking steps to do a good deed every day.
However, for some people, getting onto the property ladder will form an integral part of their personal goals for 2018. With interest rates having an impact on mortgage rates, house prices expected to rise and the end of stamp duty for first-time buyers, it is important for people keen to tick this off their list to get themselves in apposition to act quickly.
So, how do you make sure buying your first home is as smooth an experience as possible when it comes to your finances?
Get a free credit check
Your credit score has a significant impact on your chances of being approved for a mortgage, but many people are unaware of their credit score. Handily there are a range of quick and free credit check providers that can give you a good idea of where you stand.
Taking the time to do this will avoid disappointment at a stage when you’re ready to act and buy your new home and, if your credit score is not where you want it to be, you can give yourself time to improve it.
There are some simple steps you can take that will improve your score, which include:
- Registering on the electoral roll if you haven’t already
- Make sure there are no mistakes on your credit file
- Keep up to date with your bills
- If you have debts, pay off as much as you can
Save, save, save
Building up a nice nest egg to use as your deposit when buying a home is obvious, but it is far from straightforward. Taking steps to cut down on your spending and making sure any money you have left at the end of the month is saved for your deposit is vital.
There are a wide range of savings products tailored specifically for first-time buyers so doing your research will really help you maximise everything you can save.
Getting your deposit ready to go can speed up the process and ensure you are ready to act quickly when you find that perfect new home.
Think about a contingency
Of course, unexpected things can crop up at any time and the likelihood is that the remedy will not be cheap. When buying a new home and securing a mortgage that are certain expenses you need to consider and keep money aside for.
These include things like mortgage fees, solicitors’ costs and the cost of moving your possessions from your rented home. Thinking about all of this before the time comes and keeping some money back to cover these costs will avoid any unpleasant surprises and difficult conversations with family and friends.
Filling your new home
If you are just getting onto the property ladder, the chances are you will have been living in rented accommodation or with family members. While this is very comfortable it often means moving into your own property will leave you without some of the things that make a house a home.
Of course, buying a new build home means you may already have appliances included, but you need to set aside some money for essentials when you move into your first property. The main areas of the home to consider are the kitchen, living room and bedroom.
For the kitchen you’ll need cutlery, cups and plates, as well as a bin, kettle and tea and coffee for those breaks from carrying boxes into your new home. Something to sit on in the living room will be a godsend after a long day moving and you’ll definitely want to have a bed ready for when you can’t keep your eyes open any longer.
All of these items are essentials when moving into a new home, but often overlooked when it comes to budgeting for a house move, as the focus is on buying the actual home.
Following these top tips will help to make buying your first home as smooth a process as possible.
If you’re planning to buy a new home why not check out what you can afford and search for live, real-time mortgages.