Four of the most common dilemmas faced by first time buyers
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You'd nearly think first time buyers were making a major life decision or something...
Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make and it will throw up a lot of important choices and dilemmas. From who to invite to the housewarming party to who’s banned forever after getting sick on your couch!
All joking aside, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make along the way, from saving right through to picking the house of your dreams. Giving these the thought they deserve now could make a big difference to how happy you are with your purchase in the long run.
1. How can I save up?
Buying a house is a far harder undertaking than it was for our parents’ generation. It's not a possibility for everyone, but if you're able to move home, taking a break from renting for a while might sound good.
However before doing anything rash, make sure it's the right decision for you. On the other hand, moving home won't affect you getting a mortgage, or make the bank view your savings any differently, so make sure you aren't sacrificing too much.
You'll still need to continue saving regular monthly amounts which will demonstrate your ability to make monthly mortgage repayments. With the help of an online mortgage calculator, figure out roughly what your mortgage repayments would be and try to keep what you save each month above this figure.
2. Should I opt for a Fixed or Variable rate mortgage?
Whether you choose a Fixed or a Variable rate mortgage will depend on your financial circumstances and your attitude to risk. With a fixed rate mortgage your repayments will stay the same, so you’ll always know what you will be paying each month. This can give you a nice sense of security while you settle into your new home.
While a variable rate may go up as well as down, it too has benefits in that you can make overpayments or switch out of the mortgage without facing any breakage fees.
3. Should I buy a house or an apartment?
If you can’t afford a house in your dream location, opting for an apartment might be the next best thing. You get to live where you want and between work and your hectic social life, you’ll probably never be home anyway!
Buying an apartment can be a stepping stone to get you on the property ladder and could help you build up that all important deposit towards a house down the line, so it doesn’t have to be a choice between one or the other.
Right now your priority might be living in the city centre within easy walking distance of work, but in five or 10 years’ time you may need somewhere more kid-friendly, close to local schools. It can be hard to take a long-term view but if you’re in a good position then buying a home now that you can grow into could really pay off later!
4. Should I go for a pristine new build or a fixer-upper in need of some love?
While it can be tempting to buy a sparkling new house in turnkey condition, it’s well worth considering a second hand home that you can do up over time. Consider how much extra you’re paying for that glossy finish. If you have the appetite to take on a property in need of work and redecoration you may get a lot more house for your money.
Older developments tend to have much bigger back gardens and they may offer potential to extend down the line. In some instances, they also benefit from more green areas, like local parks nearby, and often have wider roads and much more parking space. However, with age comes maintenance, so your property will likely need more care (aka investment).
One major plus of new homes is a much better BER energy rating, which means that you’ll save on your heating bills and won’t have to put up with icy drafts through the house and leaky radiators in the middle of winter.
Another advantage of buying a new home is that you may be eligible for the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme. This is designed to help first-time buyers to get a deposit together but only applies to new homes. If you’re a first-time buyer and want to buy or build a new home to live in, you could be eligible for a refund on tax paid over the last four years up to a value of €20,000 or 5% of the purchase price of a new home. Make sure to check if you qualify on www.revenue.ie.
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Check out our ‘Home Buyers HQ’ from saving to sale agreed, everything you need to know. If you're looking to start your own home buying journey you can book an appointment with the permanent tsb team today.
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