Buying a property is likely to be the largest purchase you ever make – finding the right deal for you means choosing one mortgage from the many hundreds available. This will be much easier if you know what you’re looking for.
What’s Your Status?
Depending your life situation, age, income and financial status, you will need different things from your mortgage. Whether that’s flexibility, low rates or security, take the time to have a good look at where you are now, and where you want to be long term.
In For The Long Haul!
Most mortgages are for a 25-year term – so it’s an agreement that you could be locked into for a substantial part of your life. This means you need to have at least a vague idea of how your finances are likely to shape up long term – no one can predict the future, but good planning is one way to help ensure you meet the challenges to come.
Get The Budget Ready
The first thing to do is to draw up a budget – you need to know what income you have every month, and all your outgoings. Be realistic – there’s no point exaggerating your income or ignoring certain expenses. You want to buy your own home, but you also want to be able to eat once you’ve moved in! Take into account all your bills, council tax and loan payments, as well as living expenses such as food, running costs for your car, going-out costs and clothing. Check bank statements to make sure you have included all your usual expenses.
Crystal Ball Time..
Next, give some thought to your future. Now we don’t really mean for you to go to some charlatan and ask what your personal circumstances will be in the future, that would be just silly. However, what you would need to do is be honest with yourself in answering some personal questions in an attempt to plan ahead for financial reasons.
Do you expect your income to rise over the next few years, or will it stay the same? Do you have dependents, or are you planning a family? While some things are uncertain, you should be able to tell whether your needs will stay constant for the next five years, or are likely to change substantially.
Your budget should give you a fair idea of how much you can afford in repayments each month – bear in mind there will be other costs incurred when buying property, such as legal fees and stamp duty.
Generally, a mortgage lender will also look for a cash deposit – usually 5 or 10 percent of the total cost of your home. You will then repay what you have borrowed in monthly installments. Read on for more detailed information on how mortgages work.