Getting on the property ladder is harder than ever, and with the amounts of money required to get a mortgage you’ll want to be sure you’re getting the right home for your requirements. But what should you look for in your starter home?
Something important to consider is how your family intends to grow. It’s easy to say a two-bedroom home will do, and that you’ll get a larger one when you have your next child. However, economic fluctuations and changes in income, as well as accidental pregnancies sooner than planned can put paid to such careful planning. If you can afford to, having an extra bedroom or reception room you can convert is a good idea.
Prioritise your needs. Is a garage very important? How about a garden? What about the quality of the neighbourhood or the size of the rooms? The height of ceilings and the presence of a dining kitchen can also be important. Make a list of your priorities and bear in mind that you are not going to find everything you need in a starter home; to some degree, getting your first home is about getting on the property ladder rather than getting the house of your dreams.
You may be able to afford a bigger home that ticks more of the boxes if you’re willing to settle for a fixer-upper. Be wary of structural problems, because they will cost so much money. Painting, wallpapering, and laying carpet can be done on a budget, and you may be able to sort things out to your liking by agreeing to spend some time doing up the house.
Getting the house you want is a matter of climbing the housing ladder, building equity and then using it to buy a larger or better home. When you’re looking for your first home, you’ll need to be able to compromise and give up on some of your dreams for now. But don’t worry – the right starter home will allow you to grow your home budget until you can afford the home you’ve always wanted.