Six tips to get on the property ladder

Buying a house is one of the biggest steps you can take. It has become more challenging to get on the housing ladder in recent years, with house prices going up, changes to mortgage criteria, and renters forced to spend up to one-third of their income on rental costs; however, there are steps you can take to help get your foot on the property ladder.

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1. Understand your finances

It is vital to monitor your incomings and outgoings, as this enables you to understand and keep track of your financial situation. Once you have done this, you can look at where you may be able to make savings and what you could afford.

2. Government schemes

The Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes are government schemes that can enable people to benefit from a 25 percent boost to savings, to borrow up to 20 percent of the cost of a newly-built home, or to purchase a share of a house. These schemes have strict eligibility criteria but are worth investigating.

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3. Take into account all costs

Be prepared for all the associated costs when you are looking to buy a house. When looking at what you can afford, factor in stamp duty, moving costs and conveyancing fees on top the actual house price. Consider no sale, no fee conveyancing from companies such as to reduce the risk of losing money on a purchase that falls through.

4. House share

According to the ONS, the average age of a first-time buyer in 2017 was around 30. It may be possible to get on the property ladder earlier by purchasing a house jointly with a friend or family member.

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5. Think about what you can afford

You certainly don’t want to buy a house that you do not like or live in an area that is unsuitable or undesirable; however, you should think realistically about what you can afford. It may be that you could get on the housing ladder by purchasing a slightly smaller property or by buying in an up-and-coming area, for example.

6. Explore mortgage deals

Speak to an independent advisor to make sure you receive impartial advice on the range of mortgage products available on the market that is suitable for your individual situation.