For the vast majority of people in the world, the single biggest amount of money they will ever spend is on buying a home. It’s also one of the biggest financial decisions they will make, bar none. And although the average person would love to make their next house purchase their dream home, the reality for most is that the costs involved are way beyond them. Or are they?
The truth is that your dream home might be a lot more available than you might think. With some clever strategies, it’s possible to buy more luxury for less money. In today’s guide, we’re going to take you through some of the simple tactics you can employ when searching for your next property to ensure that you save thousands, and possibly end up with the home of your dreams. Let’s take a closer look.
Play the savings game
The ultimate truth of buying a property is that when you have a large deposit, banks will give you a good reward – in the shape of better terms on your home loan. So, the earlier you start saving for a deposit, the more likely it will be that your dream home will be within your reach. Even if you only start stashing away a relatively small amount of money each month, it is all an excellent contribution that will give you more leeway when it comes to negotiating a mortgage deal. In an ideal world, you would have at least 20% of your new home’s value put aside in a dedicated savings account – but the more, the better. And it’s not just better interest rates you will enjoy – banks will see you as less of a risk, will be willing to lend you more, and you may even avoid any private mortgage insurance payments that some banks force in customers without a good deposit.
Improve your credit score
Like it or not, your credit score will have a direct impact on your ability to borrow money. People with bad credit get terrible terms – pure and simple. They are forced to pay over the odds in interest and will end up paying more for their home over 25-30 years than someone with good credit. A high credit rating grants you access to much better mortgage terms, with lower interest payments that could make a difference of tens of thousands – maybe even more- over the course of the loan’s lifespan.
Take your time
As with everything in life, the more you avoid rushing into things, the more money you will save. There will be times when you have to find somewhere to live fast, of course, but the reality is that time can save you money. When you don’t have to rush, you have the possibility of investigating every option – many of which we will examine in this post. And it also means that no one will have the power to hold you to ransom. Those people that need to move quickly often find they end up paying over the odds. So, the more time you give yourself to find the perfect property, the more money you will save – it’s as simple as that.
Luxury or location?
Luxury homes in sought after locations come at a premium. So if you want to save a decent amount of cash on your home loan, it’s worth prioritizing one over the other. If you are prepared to live outside of the popular city center, for example, it should reduce your costs by a significant amount. And with some savvy searching skills, you could, potentially, find a home that is just outside your perfect area but it also luxurious beyond your dreams. You wills till have access to all the local facilities that makes that location so appealing, but you won’t have the prestigious area code. Is that a price worth paying? Certainly, it’s something to think about if it saves you thousands and helps you pay off your home loan in a quicker time.
Rent, don’t buy
Of course, in the vast majority of cases, it is cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent. But it’s not always that simple. When you think about the added costs of maintaining a home – something which renters don’t have to bear – money can soon stack up. And ultimately, if your career involves moving around a lot, it makes sense to rent as you will avoid the huge costs involved in buying and selling a home every year or two. Let’s face it, luxury homes are expensive, and you will need a significant deposit, income, and savings behind you. But a similar house for rent involves less saving and is more accessible to most people. Throw in a few beautiful furnishings and fixtures (none of which you will have to replace when they die, unless you are at fault, of course) and you can easily see why renting your dream home is more appealing to some people than buying it outright.
Always pay for a home inspection
Home inspections will set you back a small amount of money – but could help you shave thousands off the asking price of your dream home. A surveyor will inspect the property and reveal any defects or worrying issues that could have an impact. And when it comes to negotiating the asking price, it can be an incredibly valuable tool to use to drive down your offer. You would be surprised at how many homes sell without a proper survey, and the simple truth is that the more you know about the house, the easier it is to haggle on the price.
Build it yourself
If you have the time and money, you can save a small fortune by building a home yourself. Buy a plot of land, build up relationships with local construction firms and architects, and you can build the home of your dreams to your exact specifications. Bear in mind that if you are a first-time home builder, you will need a significant amount of savings. Lenders tend to avoid the risks of offering mortgages for homes that don’t exist yet, so the likelihood is that you will need to pay for it yourself. But make no mistake about it, if everything goes to plan, this technique is the cheapest possible way of creating your dream home. And it’s a money maker, too, should you decide to move on to bigger and better in the future – all the profit will be yours for the keeping.
The ‘fixer-upper’ is another great way of creating and living in your dream home. Take some time to look around for old, dilapidated houses, buy them for peanuts, and spend a decent amount of money on doing it up. There are plenty of things that can go wrong, of course, but as long as you make sure that surveys take place and you choose the right building companies to work with, there is every chance you will save a lot of money.
Go for a buy to let/vacation home
If you want to play the long game for your dream home, why not think about treating it as a business? You can buy a house and rent it out – banks tend to give you better deals than they would for live-in mortgages. And if your dream home is in a fantastic tourist location, it should work well as a vacation home for the time being, which you can rent out to holidaymakers. Ultimately, of course, the idea is to pay off your mortgage and end up moving in yourself. But if you are prepared to wait 10-15 years or so, and can put in the hard work of maintaining a property for tenants/guests, it’s a great tactic that should pay for itself.
Check out auctions
Lots of homes end up going to auction for a variety of different reasons. Some homeowners struggle to sell on the open market, for example. There will be homes that have been seized by the government, too. And then there are the many homes which, for a variety of legal issues, have been lying empty for man years. The point is, it’s possible to pick up your dream home for a fraction of its usual selling price at an auction. Not everything that sells at auctions will be a bargain, however, so it’s a good idea to get to know the auction system and read up on some tips before you dive in.
Make it your last move
Finally, a dream home should be for life – so make this purchase your last move. The simple truth is that buying and selling a house costs you money, regardless of how you do it. There are taxes, legal fees, renovation costs, removal vans to hire – the list is endless. And every time you move, you will have to face those charges and costs. So, make your dream home your family residence forever, and you will never have to pay any of these fees ever again. Good luck!