Those of you who are concerned about staying within your budget when it comes to building or buying a home should possibly watch the excellent 2012 documentary, The Queen of Versailles. The film tells the story of timeshare magnate David Siegel and his wife Jackie, and their plans to build the largest and most expensive private residence of all time, modelled on the French royal palace (although Versailles didn’t include an indoor roller skating rink). The house has been under construction since 2004, and is far from complete, since the Siegel’s cash flow was rudely interrupted as the global financial crisis dug its claws into the US economy. By the time the house is complete, it will have cost approximately USD $100 million, which is perhaps a tad more than most of us have to play with. So what are the best ways to find a home that suits your need, as well as your budget?
A house or flat is the most expensive thing we’re likely to ever buy, and thinking of it in those terms can be overwhelming. While it can be an uplifting experience to find your dream home and imagine your life there, it can also be alarming to think of the mortgage and just how many years before the home is 100% yours. Shopping around for the best mortgage deal is vital, and there are many comparison websites that can be extremely helpful. Few of us decide to buy a home in a spontaneous fashion, and so a number of years of preparation are usually necessary; although this just involves saving money so that you can have the funds to cover the deposit- and even more, if possible. This makes you a far more attractive candidate for a loan, meaning you won’t have to be disappointed by finding the perfect home, only to be turned down by your bank manager. Sure, you might have to forgo some the luxuries of life (and even live with your parents for a while longer), but it will be worth it in the long run.
Know Your Limits
Part of the successful discovery of your new home comes down to whether you can afford it. While you might think that you can commit yourself to a massive mortgage in exchange for mansion living, remember that you don’t want to just be eating nothing but bread and cheese for the next couple of decades. Though the figure is largely based on anecdotal evidence (and parental advice), it’s suggested that no more than a third of your income should go towards your mortgage (or even your rent). Remember that buying a home is a very much a long term proposition, and you need to consider the future, as much as is possible. What will happen if you lose your job (although mortgage insurance can assist if this ever happens)? Will you or your partner want to take time off work, or even leave work permanently to raise children? It can be difficult to plan for these things, but it can be wise to consider them.
Where To Look?
While the Internet has forced a number of industries to drastically change the way in which they operate (newspapers and travel agents, for example), a great real estate agent is something that will always be necessary when it comes to residential property. Checking their listings is usually the fastest and easiest way to know what’s available, although it’s beneficial to check rival agencies prices for homes in the same area; just to make sure that there’s not a huge mark up. Buying via an agent also removes a lot of the legal complications that can be inherent when buying a property privately, as the agency needs to ensure that all their legal obligations are met. If you choose to buy privately, it’s essential to have the contract reviewed by a solicitor, and whether you buy via an agent or privately, at property auctions, it’s always a great idea to have a licensed professional inspect the property to search for any structural issues- otherwise you might be paying far more than you ever thought…
About the Author
This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogge. When she is not working she likes to travel and do yoga.