Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House?
If you’re trying to decide if now’s a good time buy a house or a flat, you’ll probably have thought about how Brexit affects your decision. Regardless of Brexit the UK housing market is always going to be unpredictable and it can be difficult to know if it’s the best time to buy a property.
Your personal circumstances matter far more than Brexit, so think carefully about:
- Your ability to afford a mortgage
- How much money you have for a deposit
- Where you’re looking to buy
- The type of property you want
- Your job security
Outside of your own personal circumstances, you should also consider the state of the housing market, what property prices are doing at the moment and consider seasonal fluctuations in the availability of properties. Christmas and summertime may mean fewer available properties on the market which limit your choice.
First Time Buyer?
If you’re a first time buyer, you may want to consider whether any of the government Help to Buy schemes are suitable for you to use. You can read more about incentives for first time buyers here. A Help to Buy scheme could result in you being in a much better position to buy a property and get on the housing ladder.
Can You Afford to Buy?
Before you start to look for a house or a flat, you need to know what you can afford. You’ll probably need a mortgage and most mortgage lenders have an affordability calculator to decide how much they will lend you. This is based on your income and expenditure.
If you have a large deposit, this can help to stretch your budget further but as house prices change so much depending on your location, this will have a big impact on affordability.
You should get mortgage advice from an Independent Mortgage Advisor so you know what works for you. There are many different mortgage products that you might consider, based on your circumstances.
Always make sure the mortgage advice you get is independent or else you could only be offered limited products which may not be the best for you.
The Housing Market in 2020
No one can tell you what’s going to happen to the housing market this year, but you can definitely do some research on trends in the market. If you rely on what the media says, you may find that political bias can filter into their articles so talk to estate agents, read trade press and talk to your mortgage advisor too. Remember that your local property market can behave differently to the market as a whole, so be aware of these differences.
It’s important to think about your job and its security before you decide to buy a home. Some industries are going through tough times for various reasons, and it’s worth considering how secure your job is before you take that next step.
You will need a job to pay your mortgage and it’s important to think about what your Plan B would be if you did lose your job. If you’re stretching yourself to the limit of what you can afford, then maybe you should reconsider.
Only you will know when you are ready and feel secure enough to commit to buying a property. There are so many things to think about, but perhaps your first step should be to look around and decide where you want to live so you can see what property prices are like in that area. This will give you a starting point so you know roughly what you would need to borrow.
If you’re a first time buyer, make sure you explore all the options from the government to help you get on the housing ladder, as there are some real financial benefits for you.
Hopefully you'll find an affordable property in an area you choose. When that time comes, our nationwide team of Conveyancers and Conveyancing Solicitors are here to help you.
Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.