For a lot of people, there’s one thing that is more of an aspiration than just about anything else. That thing is being able to buy your very own home. It’s strange that buying a home should be such an aspirational goal for so many of us in the modern era since, for the longest time, it was just something that was expected of pretty much everyone. Our parents and grandparents generations never really had to even think twice about the idea of owning their own home, it was just something that they could assume was going to happen eventually. Sadly, the modern world is very different to how it was even a couple of decades ago. The constant rise in house prices combined with the continued fallout from the 2008 financial crash means that more and more people are finding the very idea of buying a home near impossible. Of course, that raises the important question: is it really impossible? Is buying your own home really that much of a pipe dream or are there things you can do in order to make it a genuine possibility? Well, here are just a few things you can do in order to turn that dream into more of a reality.
Start saving right away
This one shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise but if you want to be able to afford your own home, you’re going to need to start saving. It’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to be lucky enough to have the money for a home or a deposit just lying around. That means that you’re going to need to start being smarter with your money overall. A lot of people find themselves stumbling at this first hurdle. They feel as though they’re not able to put away even a little bit of money which makes even the idea of having the money for a deposit on a house seem completely out of reach. However, the truth is that you’re probably in a better position to start saving than you might think. Even if you’re putting away a tiny fraction of your paycheck at the end of each month, you really would be surprised at how quickly that can start to add up over the course of even a few short years. By the same token, it’s time to get some more control over your spending. If you’re spending money on things you don’t need every month then you’re wasting money that you could well be putting towards your future.
Speaking of the future, one of the best things you can do is to start reconsidering the way you think about buying a house. Instead of thinking things like “I can’t afford to buy a house”, it’s time to start thinking more along the lines of “I can’t afford to buy a house yet.” That one small word can make a huge difference to how much of an impossible task buying your own home might seem. The truth is that, even if you’re able to put away a decent amount of money each month, saving up for a deposit on a house, not to mention all of the fees involved in actually buying one, is going to take a pretty long time. You might even be in a financial situation where you’re not really capable of saving more than the tiniest amount each month right now. If that’s the case then you don’t need to lose all hope. Your first step should be to think carefully about exactly how you’re going to go about fixing your current financial situation. Whether that’s through looking at new job opportunities, managing your spending, or dealing with your debts, making those kinds of changes can put you in a much better position in the future to start thinking much more seriously about buying a home down the line.
Learn to compromise
When it comes to buying a home, one of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people make is that they have some image in their mind of their dream home and they fail to consider anything else. And sure, if you only ever think about your perfect home then the chances of being able to actually afford it are going to be pretty slim. That why it’s so important that you learn to make some compromises to what it is exactly that you want out of a home. Think about things like how much space you really need. If you’re willing to consider smaller houses then your potential budget needs to be a whole lot smaller as well, thus opening up a lot more options to you. The same goes for things like the location of your home. Living in a city is always going to be more expensive but if you’re willing to be flexible in terms of location then you could end up finding some truly amazing properties far cheaper than you might expect. Being able to make compromises is going to lower the barrier between you and owning your own home significantly.
Get some help
One of the most common mistakes that a lot of people make when they first start looking into the idea of owning their own home is that they try to do everything on their own. When they do that, they inevitably end up feeling confused, frustrated and overwhelmed. After all, buying a home is about as far from a simple process as it’s possible to get. Because of that, it’s a good idea to look into the kinds of help and support that you can get during the whole process. Things, like talking to an independent property buyer’s agent to help you find the right home at the right price, or even just talking to friends and family who have been through the same process, can help demystify the whole thing. That way, you’re not going in totally blind. You also might want to look into things like buying schemes that are available in certain places and are specifically designed to help make first time home buying more accessible to a lot of people.
Consider some alternatives
This one might be a little bit out there for some people but it’s still worth considering. Are you absolutely positive that you need a house? Buying your own property can be a lot more than just the typical image of a house with a yard and a white picket fence. For one thing, there are plenty of amazing apartments out there that you might want to try. By looking into apartments instead you could end up getting a whole lot more for your money in terms of everything from space to location. Of course, it’s possible to go even further than that. There are plenty of people who have bought totally different types of properties than you might have even considered. Things like houseboats or even vans can be wonderfully functional homes if you’re looking for a more unconventional lifestyle or perhaps you just don’t need that much space. They’re a whole lot cheaper and they can help you can that first essential foot up onto the property ladder a whole lot sooner than you might have previously expected. Sure, this is most certainly not going to be for everyone. However, there are a lot of people who really have felt the benefit of trying out this kind of alternative lifestyle. Sure, you might conclude that it’s not for you, but it’s at least worth considering if you’re looking for easier and cheaper ways to get on the property ladder.
Fix your credit score
Most people tend to go through their lives willfully ignorant of their credit score. And, to be totally fair, it’s possible to get through a lot of life without really worrying about it. However, ignoring your credit score is going to make buying a house a whole lot harder. If your credit score is less than great because of things like bad debt, or staying in your overdraft, then it’s going to make it much more difficult to apply for a mortgage at all. Because of that, before you even think about buying a home, you need to get your credit score in order. There are plenty of different ways to do this but paying off your debts and being consistent with your bills are the best first steps you can take.
Here’s the cold hard truth about buying a house: it’s hard. It’s hard and it’s not the kind of thing that everyone is going to be able to do without putting in a decent amount of work, time and effort. That’s not the way things should be but sadly that’s the way they are. However, these tips, simple as they may be, really can do a lot to help make the possibility of you owning your own home something that’s a whole lot more realistic. With some patience, you’re going to be able to achieve the things that you really want, no matter how far away they might seem right now.