By David Hnyda, Sales and Marketing Director, Places for People
From dreaming to planning to owning, many first time buyers will be seeking to step on to the property ladder in 2024. Planning is everything when it comes to turning a property ownership dream into reality, so we’ve rounded up 10 things to consider when making your move in 2024
1. Make your money work for you
Start by mapping out your moving budget. Buying a home is about more than just saving a deposit, so budget for the survey, Stamp Duty, professional fees, insurance, moving costs, decorating costs and any big-ticket items you’ll need to buy. Make use of savings accounts with high interest rates and find a savings method that works for you.
2. Think about how to buy
There are different ways that you can approach buying a property, depending on your needs and the size of your deposit. If you have a smaller deposit, shared ownership could be a sensible route on to the property ladder. You might be pleasantly surprised by how little you need to save for your deposit in this way.
3. Find an independent financial adviser
Engaging an independent financial adviser (IFA) can be an excellent way to find the mortgage that’s right for you. There are hundreds of mortgage products aimed specifically at first time buyers. A financial adviser can take the heavy lifting out of sifting through them. They may seem expensive but remember they can help you understand the process and save you money in the long term.
4. Seek out savings
If you’re buying a new home, ask if there are any incentives available. Mortgage contributions, Stamp Duty contributions and other financial incentives could help you save money when buying a new build.
5. Research the local area
Don’t just find a property you love, find a whole area. From shops, restaurants and leisure amenities to green spaces, sports clubs and schools, it’s important to know what’s going to be on your doorstep once you move. The Places for People website is a great place to start; we include detailed location information for every property we sell. Finding a home where you can walk to work, or with great public transport links, means you can cut down on car journeys and enjoy the eco-friendly benefits of living locally.
6. Write your non-negotiables list
What’s on your dream floorplan? Whether it’s space to work from home, a downstairs cloakroom or an open-plan kitchen/living space, be clear on what’s non-negotiable versus what’s nice-to-have. But be realistic too – check the local market to see whether your wish list marries up to reality.
7. Think about interior design
Owning your own home means you can fill it with bright, bold colours or pale, muted tones – or anything in between! It’s never too soon to start thinking about your style and how you’re going to create personalised spaces you’ll love. Start a mood board for each room to track your ideas and see how they work together. Find inspiration in the world around you, in magazines, on social media… capture anything and everything that inspires you.
8. Plan your space
Start thinking about how you plan to use the property and your storage needs, to work out how best to utilise the available space. Remember that newly built homes are often designed to be more space efficient. Check your measurements carefully for each room – don’t buy beds and sofas until you’re sure of your room sizes!
9. Engage a good solicitor
A proactive solicitor who is easy to contact and keeps you updated regarding the purchase process can take much of the stress out of moving. Ask friends for recommendations and vet potential solicitors thoroughly online before choosing. Be sure to find one who can help you cut through the jargon.
10. Be poised and ready
When you find your dream home, you’ll know. The more paperwork you have ready in advance, the faster you can move, so you stand the best chance of snapping up your ideal home.
Finally, remember to enjoy the journey. Much is made of how stressful buying a property can be, but it can also be a really exciting process, particularly when you’re buying your very first home. So, seek out the joy as you plan your dream move and buy the home you’ve always wanted.