New research from Aldermore has revealed that the process of buying your first home is so stressful it “made 35% of first-time buyers ill” and caused relationship issues for 34%!
So why is it so stressful?
The shortage and cost of suitable housing and difficulties in securing a mortgage are obvious culprits. They probably explain why 27% of first-time buyers had to delay buying for up to two years. While 9% found securing a mortgage the biggest challenge, 8% found the length of the purchase process a problem and 10% described the whole process as ‘an issue’.
Sadly, 17% of first-time buyers had experienced 2 or 3 failed attempts which illustrates just how ruthless the housing market is and 40% of first-time buyers felt they had had to make significant life compromises.
So, is it all bleak?
There is undoubtedly an urgent need for the three big issues (rising house prices, the availability of suitable mortgages and the buying and selling process) to be addressed. Unfortunately, with Brexit likely to grab political time and attention for the foreseeable future and with the economy vulnerable, it’s hard to see how things are going to get significantly easier anytime soon. But there is some help out there.
Help to Buy ISAs
The Help to Buy ISA is still a good way to get a little extra help. The government will give you 25% on top of the money you’ve saved and the interest, when the times comes to buy. You have to save at least £1,600 (on which you’ll get an extra £400) but you could save as much as £12,000 in which case you’ll get an additional £3,000! And that can make such a difference to that all important deposit.
There are still a few affordable housing schemes around – such as the shared ownership scheme. This is a system where you part buy and part rent your home. You can buy between 25 to 75% of your home if your income is less than £80,000 (outside London) and you can increase your share at a later date.
There’s also the Equity Loan scheme whereby the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. You can find out more about both by visiting the government’s Help to Buy website.
And there’s some good news
There are no quick fixes to the country’s housing dilemma even if there is some help available. But if you can endure the stress and delay, the good news is that according to the Aldermore research, 73% of recent first time buyers felt like they had “reached adulthood” when they finally bought their first home and 69% found “putting their own stamp on their new home to be an empowering experience”.
Graham Faulkner is Branch Director of EweMove Dorking
He’s bought and sold a lot of properties over the years and is also a portfolio landlord, as well as specialising in helping other landlords. Apart from his own experience and expertise, he can also recommend the right professionals, as tried and tested by him, to advise you.
Multi award winning EweMove in Dorking is a residential property sales and lettings agency who pride themselves on being refreshingly different and standing out from the crowd. EweMove Dorking covers from Ockley to Oxshott.