How to reduce the cost of buying a home

How to reduce the cost of buying a home

Are you considering moving to a new house but aren’t keen on the costs that come with it? If the answer is yes, you might be pleased to know that just because buying a house can be expensive; it doesn’t necessarily have to be. The truth is that you can buy property without it breaking the bank, it’s just a case of taking steps to minimize the amount that needs to be spent.

When you invest in property, whether it’s to live in or to rent out to make a profit from, there’s usually a range of fees that come with the purchase. In addition to a variety of other costs. However, just because these costs can be high, they don’t have to be. Want to reduce the cost of buying a home? Below is a list of useful tips that it is worth implementing in your property purchasing search, to help reduce your buying costs.

House shaped from £20 notes

Take out a 95% mortgage

One of the most significant costs that comes with purchasing property is the cost of the deposit. To be accepted for a mortgage loan, usually a 25% deposit is required, sometimes even more than that. This is a lot of money and can be one of the highest costs associated with buying property. However, the good news is that there are 95% mortgages that you can consider taking out. These are mortgages where you only need a five percent deposit, rather than a 25% one. Not all mortgage companies offer these types of mortgages and not everyone is eligible for them, but if you take the time to do your research and shop around, you may be able to successfully apply for this kind of mortgage and save yourself thousands.

Mortgage document

Save on the cost of fees

Another high cost that is associated with purchasing property is the cost of covering the fees that come with buying a property. These can run into thousands and are usually incredibly high in price. However, there are steps that you can take to reduce the cost of these. One of these steps is by using the Open Listings websites to house hunt, make offers online, and securing a 50% commission refund. Believe it or not, there are lots of websites that offer a range of deals for buyers, helping to save money on the cost of property fees. Take the time to do your research, and you’re sure to come across some incredible deals.

Moving cardboard boxes

Move out of your old home & into your new one

The moving costs that come with purchasing a new home can also be high. Instead of renting out a moving van and professional movers, consider moving yourself out of your old home and into your new one. The process may take longer and be more stressful, but if it reduces the cost of moving to somewhere new, surely it is worthwhile?

Buying a new home is always going to be costly. However, it doesn’t have to be overly expensive.

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4 tips when looking for your next home

4 tips when looking for your next home

Have you ever thought about getting your own place but are afraid of taking this big step? It’s likely that you’re hesitant due to the responsibilities that this involves or the money that you’d have to invest. Here you’ll find 5 tips that you may find very useful in the quest to find your new home.

Monthly budget

Establish your budget

Often, we get excited about getting new things and we forget about the limits to our purchasing power. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to us over-extending ourselves and getting into debt. It’s vital to take care with this because you don’t want to be worrying about losing your new home. The best way to avoid falling into arrears is to work out an affordable monthly budget and select a mortgage plan that fits your payment capacity.

North West England road map

Location, location, location

One of the most important things when it comes to choosing a house is the location. Why? Well, because it will be the starting point of all of your daily activities. You have to take into consideration that from home, you’ll be going to work, taking your kids to and from school and their recreational activities, visiting family, going shopping, socialising with friends etc. If things aren’t within easy reach, you don’t want to be spending long periods of time travelling from one to another. Be sure to keep all of these geographical things in mind when property searching.

House plans

Size, design and layout

Whether you have a large budget or small, decide upon a home that will fit your and your family’s needs for many years to come. Choose a house that works for everyone on a practical level and makes daily living enjoyable. If you’re planning to start a family or having an ageing parent move in at some point, find a house that you can expand into when necessary. If you’re going to be working from home, you’ll need a quiet space where you can remove yourself from day-to-day distractions during your 9 to 5. If you or a family member has mobility issues, a single level property is most practical.

Estate agent

Get professional help

You’ll come across a whole world of options on your quest to acquire the perfect place. You’ll likely find the process a little bit overwhelming at times. Luckily, there are people that can help make your life easier. Estate agents have the experience, knowledge and skills to assist you in your search. You should do a lot of research before selecting the agent with whom you want to work. Fortunately, there are many companies like liveloveathome.com that have a list of agents near your chosen location.

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The most popular new home amenities in 2016

New build houses on a cul-de-saccredit

Being an architect in the housing industry can present quite a few challenges, the biggest of which is probably being able to predict what home buyers are going to be looking for in the upcoming year. It’s difficult to design a new home unless you know what consumers want, but once you have a handle on the market, your job is as good as done. It’s then only a matter of working the wants of home buyers into blueprints for homes being developed by the builder. Here are a few of the home amenities house buyers are looking for in new homes this year.

Arial view of a suburban neighbourhoodcredit

Amenities by neighbourhood

One of the things which developers look at when constructing a new development is the area surrounding the new sub development. Over-improvements aren’t limited to home repairs and home remodelling jobs so it’s important that they don’t get carried away with amenities that won’t add value to the home. There are, however, some élite developments such as the Texas neighbourhood of Belterra in Dripping Springs. These are trendy homes in an upper middle class neighbourhood with amenities suitable for this lifestyle.

Blue detached house with double integral garagecredit

Popular amenities currently trending

Developers looking to draw up plans for homes in a new development would be wise to see what amenities are currently trending first. According to realtors around the country, some amenities are popular no matter in which region of the country the home buyers were polled. The top amenities in 2016 include:

  • Great rooms – These are like a family room, living room and kitchen all rolled into one
  • Central island in the kitchen – This is where much prep work is done and to take this up one level, a central island with butcher’s block tops is in even higher demand
  • High ceilings on ground floors
  • Windows rated as Low-E (Energy Star)
  • Integral 2-car garage
  • Granite or marble counter tops in the kitchen
  • Smart gadgets – programmable climate control, lighting etc
  • Large front porch
  • Walk in wardrobes
  • Linen cupboards in all bathrooms – especially in the master bathroom

Knowing that these are high on the list of amenities, builders can now request their architects to design as many of these into their blueprints as possible. Oddly, bonus rooms, pools and spas are no longer trending as strongly as they had been in the previous decade.

Whether you’re an estate agent looking to match a buyer with a seller or a developer looking to keep up with trends, being able to match these amenities with a prospective buyer’s needs can make your job a whole lot easier. With the economy on a steady incline and jobs more readily available, the property market is beginning to boom. Since this is the beginning of a seller’s market, it’s vital to give buyers something in order to close the deal – that would be the above-mentioned trending amenities. You can sweeten the deal by offering exactly what they want, making it easier and quicker to close. Now that is sweet!

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Why 2015 is the best year to buy a house

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For sale signs

Buying a house can be a pretty daunting prospect. It’s a process that is expensive, stressful, tricky to get right and long-winded. Yet, despite all of that it’s still something many of us want to do. The safety and security of a permanent roof over our heads makes buying a house an attractive prospect – and the prospect of investing in something tangible makes the hassle financially worthwhile. So, with many people wanting to make that step into home ownership, what makes 2015 the year that they should take the plunge? What about people looking to move up the ladder too?

Stamp duty illustration

Stamp duty

One of the changes all buyers can benefit from in 2015 is those made to Stamp Duty. Brought in in December, these rules make a difference to the up-front cost that you’ll need to bear. Previously you had to fork out 1% of the purchase price in Stamp Duty on properties between £125,000 and £250,000 and 3% up to £500,000. Under the new system you still pay nothing below £125,000 and then above that you pay 2% of the cost over and above that figure, i.e. if your house is £130,000 you now pay 2% of £5,000, instead of 1% of the full cost, or £100 instead of £1,300. In Scotland the duty was rebranded as the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and although it operates in a similar way it carries no charge for the first £145,000 of the cost.

Monopoly board showing Mayfair

Rent

As with any decision there are push and pull factors when it comes to buying a house. One thing that may well ‘push’ you into buying a house this year is the increased cost of renting. The price of renting is rising to a point where the cost far outstrips the amount you could be paying towards your own bricks and mortar – with more than a quarter of landlords plotting above-inflation rent increases during this calendar year.

'Help to Buy' logo

Schemes

If you’re renting then chances are you can afford the mortgage payments, but it could be the deposit that you’re struggling with. The good news is that there are a whole host of schemes on offer during 2015 that can help you to overcome that hurdle. Check out the latest home buying schemes information to see how Help To Buy, Right To Buy and NewBuy all work. Essentially, Help To Buy sees the government stepping in to provide a loan – refundable on sale of the property – so that you’ll only need a 5% deposit. Right To Buy aims to help social housing tenants and NewBuy looks, as you’d expect, at freshly constructed properties.

Red Monopoly houses on pound coins

Economy

Forget the squabbling of the political parties; for house-hunters, the economy is in a relatively good shape to take the plunge in 2015. Low interest rates mean there are some excellent sub-2% deals out there and a host of options on fixed and flexible rates. It’s a competitive mortgage market and that’s a good sign for the buyer. Price increases have slowed – at least outside London – too, making this a steady year to invest.

Rising rents, falling Stamp Duty, a relatively stable economy and support schemes all mean 2015 could well be the ideal year to dip into the housing market.

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