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First-time House Buyers: to Buy or Not to Buy; that is the Question
Buying your first house is always a difficult time. There are so many important decisions to make, and problems to be solved, which combine to make it one of the most stressful events that will occur in most people's lives.
Some of the most obvious problems include the need to:
* find a suitable house to purchase
* plough through complicated financial information
* choose an appropriate mortgage that will cover the cost of the house and is within your own strict budgets
* save up enough money (usually whilst still renting another property) to cover a mortgage deposit
* deal with unfamiliar legal fees, surveys and other costs
* make a realistic offer on your prospective new home
* waiting to see if the offer is accepted
* complete the purchase
* move and get settled in the new house, with whatever decorating/rebuilding is required
Given these factors, it is perhaps not surprising that first-time buyers can be the first to get spooked by changes in the housing market.
First-time buyers (FTBs) make up an extremely important sector of the house buying market, and many analysts view them as the life blood of the whole housing market. Without them a housing slowdown or even collapse of the system is inevitable. Recent reductions in the number of FTBs purchasing houses, with Scotland achieving its lowest annual total for nine years, and the increasing struggles experienced by FTBs trying to get onto the first rung of the property ladder will have serious knock-on effects, which are already being experienced around much of the country.
National Savings and Investments (NS&I) Senior Savings Strategist Dax Harkins said: "Despite a recent cooling house market, house prices have continued to outstrip both savings rates and incomes over the last year which means potential first-time buyers need to start saving sooner and harder to get into the market."
Whilst house prices continue to increase at a faster rate than people's incomes there will be fewer people able to afford a house.
In a recent study NS&I found that the average length of time required by FTBs, to save for a 5% mortgage deposit, ranged from five years in East Anglia, to three years, nine months in Scotland, with the average being four years and nine months, this is nine months longer than a year ago. The average age of first-time buyers also has increased, going from 37 from 31 three years ago.
The property website Rightmove has warned that the housing market could remain static for several years whilst it waits for the incomes of FTBs to catch up with the housing prices.
Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said "As many sellers are refusing to part with gains they have made, buyers are forced to make up the affordability gap?The reality is it will take seven years of static house prices and wage inflation to bridge this affordability gap." Marjorie Townsend, head of Edinburgh-based Lindsays Residential, says: "It was recently reported that an average home in Edinburgh costs seven times the income of the majority of nurses. This is a shocking statistic." With over one in six FTBs turning to relatives and more high street lenders offering 100% mortgages, or even 102% from Lloyds TSB and Scottish Widows, to help buyers get onto the property ladder, some may be able to squeeze onto the first rung, but end up with long-term crippling debt in the process, fuelling the continued house prices inflation.
Various banks have come up with innovative methods to help facilitate the ability of FTBs to purchase a house which, whilst not addressing the real problem of house prices, will allow more people to own their own home.
A guarantor mortgage can increase the amount that can be borrowed, as long as the borrower's parents have enough income to cover all their own debts, plus their child's mortgage each month; however the parent will not have to make any payments themselves unless their child's mortgage goes into arrears.
An offset mortgage could mean that money from a parent's savings account can be offset against their child's mortgage. Although the parent would not receive interest on their savings, the reduction in the amount to be paid by their child could make a big difference, and they would not incur tax on the amount either.
A 'Professionals' mortgage is a possibility for certain workers, which allows them to borrow more than their initially low-pay career would usually make them eligible for, on the understanding that their future pay will increase rapidly as they become high earners.
Whilst some may urge for caution to prevent the possibility of building up financially crippling levels of debt, others see a need for buyers to act fast.
Marjorie Townsend, of Lindsays Residential, believes: "The best advice for first-time buyers is to move quickly ?There really is nothing to be gained by waiting for a competitive closing date, which will drive the price up. There are lots of sellers out there who are eager to sell and whose particular circumstances may require a quick transaction."
Overall it seems that the situation for FTBs will continue to prove difficult unless a major change occurs that bridges the gap between income and house prices for those in most need. Recent government initiatives such as the Shared Equity scheme, that allows part ownership of property, may go some way to enabling some FTBs to start out, but Ed Davey MP, the Liberal Democrat housing spokesman, believes the policy could make housing even more expensive, "It seems to be looking at the demand side which could stoke house price inflation and make the problem of affordable housing even worse."
Until the issue of supply and demand is addressed, there will continue to be problems. According to the Barker Review, which was published in April, up to 140,000 new homes need to be built each year in the UK if supply is to keep up with demand. Even if new homes are built at this rate, the time taken to stabilise the market will mean further delays for prospective new buyers who want to own property.
Richard works in Edinburgh for Bigmouthmedia, occasionally writing for the personal finance blog Cashzilla, and drinking too much coffee.
13 Extra Costs to be Aware of Before Buying a Home
Whether you're looking to buy your first home, or trading up to a larger one, there are many costs - on top of the purchase price - that you must figure into your calculation of affordability. These extra fees, such as taxes and other additional costs, could surprise you with an unwanted financial nightmare on closing day if you're not informed and prepared.
Multi Family Property Living
While most multi family properties are designed to allow the peaceful coexistence of many families within their separate units, some apartments and houses give you the feeling that you're actually living in one big family. Things like sharing one washer and dryer between five families means you never know whose underwear you'll have to fish out of the washer before you start your own laundry. And a shared water heater means that now there's an incentive to early morning classes. Catching the 'Cosby Show' every night at seven through your living room wall keeps you conveniently updated on the latest goings-on in the Huxtable home.
Home Mortgages: Should You Apply Now?
If you're thinking about applying for a new mortgage or refinancing your current mortgage, you might want to take action now.
Seniors Can Use a Reverse Mortgage to Fund Annuities, Investments, and Insurance Policies
For many seniors in or entering retirement, the prospect of purchasing long-term care, investments or annuities can be cut short by a lack of retirement income. Statistics show that 3 out 4 seniors will have to lower their current standard of living during retirement. Social Security, IRA's, 401k's, and other methods of retirement income usually provide enough income for living expenses and recreational activities, but do not leave much room to improve your financial future. A Reverse Mortgage is an increasingly popular solution for increasing income, and large amount of tax-free funds to safely move into investments and securities.
Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Before you go looking at houses, you'll need to find a real estate agent. Hiring a real estate agent takes a little bit of time to do. You're making one of the most important financial decisions in your life and you want to make sure you hire the right person.
Home Improvements Turn Average Homes into Dreams Come True
If you're thinking about taking out a home improvement loan, there are several options to consider. First and foremost, your mortgage consultant needs to know why you want a home improvement loan. Here are some factors to take into consideration.
Bad Credit Remortgage Loan: When Bad Credit Plays Mischief With Your Mortgage
Financial difficulties are married to bad credit. It is a tough marriage but can be peaceful with a little bit of counseling. The recommended counseling in case you have bad credit with a mortgage loan is bad credit remortgage. Remortgage is defined as replacing the current mortgage lender with a different one. Remortgage in case you have bad credit is very much feasible. You are a homeowner and that places you in a dominant position in spite of bad credit. You can make admirable use of your current position with your Bad credit remortgage.
Is the Inverse Mortgage a Scam? New Program Promises Mortgage Payoff inside of 5 Years
If a mortgage could be paid off in five years or less, without it costing homeowners an extra cent, why wouldn't every homeowner in America be doing it? Because they don't know, or because they're too wise? Although the former may be the case for many, I certainly hope the latter is the answer for most.
Flexible Mortgage Guide
Here is a useful flexible mortgage guide. Flexible mortgages are loans which allow you to increase or decrease the size of your repayments within certain limits. This type of mortgage is relatively new.
Home Equity Loan Information - How to Use One Wisely
Using a home equity loan to get out of debt or make improvements to your home is usually a smart move. You have earned the equity, so it only makes sense that you put it to good use. Usually this type of loan offers a lower interest rate than credit cards or traditional loans, so it is a wise move for many circumstances. Perhaps one of the smartest uses of a home equity loan is for home improvements. You can take a $10,000 dollar loan, put it towards a new kitchen, and then turn around and sell your home for a profit. There are a few tips to getting the most out of your home equity loan. Use your head and ask questions, and you should have no trouble making the right decision.
What is a Home Equity Loan?
A home equity loan is a loan that is guaranteed by your home. Are you in urgent need for cash and want to get the same without selling off your home or property? Getting a home equity loan is a good way to do so.
Remortgage Debt Consolidation - The New Recourse For Credit Crunch
Shakespeare once said about human nature 'with nothing shall be pleased, till he be eased with being nothing'. It is human nature to not be satisfied with anything for long. With the expansion of technology, so many multi-utility items are available which everybody wants to accumulate. The real issue is that our relationship with these modern gadgets is short and we need to make purchases frequently. But little do we realize that there is a limit to our credit cards. Resort to debt consolidation when your credit card payments become unmanageable. A very common process by which one can procure debt consolidation is remortgage.
Florida Refinance - Refinancing in Florida
The decision to buy a home in Florida can be one of the best you will ever make. If you own a home in Florida you may be considering refinancing. Refinancing now can potentially save you thousands of dollars over the length of your mortgage. Florida lenders are offering low interest rates and could save you thousands of dollars over the length of your loan. Mortgage companies serving Florida and the United States are able to offer loan packages that make refinancing your home a wise decision. Compare your current interest rate to the rates being offered now and see how much money you can save by refinancing your home.
Jacksonville Florida Real Estate Mortgage Home Loans - Get the Best Rate Everytime
There are hundreds of mortgage companies in the Jacksonville real estate market. All claiming to have the lowest rate and excellent customer service. Well, it is simple to figure out that if you are reading this information off of billboards or in an expensive yellows page adverisment, it is very possible this isn't so.
A Home Loan Can Help You Own Your Dream Home
Owning your dream home need not just be a dream. You can own it with a home loan offered by any number of financial institutions to help meet the shortfall between the purchase price of the home and the down payment that you provide.
Remortgage ? When Monthly Mortgage Payments are Touching New Heights
Current economic scene has hinted towards a fall in the Bank of England base rate from a three and a half year high of 4.75%. 78% of the property investors are contemplating refinancing their home loans. Are you thinking the same? This is the appropriate time for remortgage and moving to competitive interest rates. Remortgage is indeed a very cost effective option.
Top 10 Things to Consider on Home Loans
Here are our Top 10 most important things to consider when shopping for a Home Loan, Equity Line of Credit, or Refinance, courtesy of Loans-Directory.Org:
Home Equity Loans Can Provide Cash in a Hurry
Think About the Long Term. Estimate how long you expect to stay in your current house. Depending on the severity of your situation and the real estate market at the moment, you might even want to considering selling your home altogether and taking on a short term rental in your new locale. If you expect to stay in your current home for a few more years, the flexibility of a home equity loan may work for you.
I Have A Slice of the American Dream and It is a 30 Year Nightmare
Well, we did it. We are buying a beautiful, brand new house, planning our wedding, and getting ready to move. The cramped trailer we have lived in will just be a memory. The house we are buying is a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 2 car garage slice of the American Dream.
Bad Credit Home Equity Loans
A home equity loan allows you to borrow against the equity you have built in your house. Even if you have no equity, you may be able to borrow up to 125% of the value of your home. You can use the extra cash to consolidate bills, fund college tuition, or any other reason you see fit. If you have bad credit, you can still apply and be approved for a home equity loan. Mortgage lenders are offering great interest rates and easy terms on home equity loans, even if your credit history is less than perfect.
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