Moving Stories: What did buying your first home mean to you?
OK, so you had to work 52 extra weekend shifts to save for a decent deposit. Then you had to look round 35 pokey flats before you found ‘the one’. After 112 anxious days, the completion date finally arrived. Your first mortgage has been approved, the keys are now legally yours and the stress is over – you can breathe again! Now you can prepare to fall in love with your first home.
The removal men have finished unloading, the Wi-Fi’s working, and you’ve even managed to make yourself a well-earned brew. Sally the estate agent, John the solicitor and Tim the surveyor can all be safely deleted from your phone as you settle in and start living in your new home.
That first home feeling
Buying a home brings with it a huge sense of accomplishment. A mortgage is the biggest financial commitment most of us ever make. But what does it mean to actually get your hands on the house of your dreams? We spoke to some of our happy Habito customers to get the inside story on what it felt like to step over the threshold of their first home.
Every new homeowner has their own tale about the moment they walked through the front door. Sanjay and Richa touched the walls shouting “this is all ours!”, while Lauren and James just lay down on the carpet and gazed up at the ceiling in wonder. And who can blame them? We know that most people buying a home for the first time are driven by the positive feeling of freedom that comes with owning your own property. There’s also a social element at play – when you first get your first mortgage there’s a real sense of becoming an adult and belonging to a new social group. It’s a huge achievement, so touch the walls as much as you like!
Why buying was the best thing you ever did
After months of stress, you’re finally, officially, a homeowner! Just think – no more rent to pay, no more landlord inspections and no more nasty olive green bathroom suite. You’re now king of your own castle and you can do what you like. Whether its paint the walls bright pink, put a vegetable patch in the garden, or rip up the linoleum kitchen floor, it’s your call!
And, of course, on top of all that you’ve made a brilliant investment, a long-term nest-egg, that’s yours to keep. Your monthly mortgage repayments are going towards buying your home, not into your landlord’s bank account. By the end of your first mortgage term you’ll own your home and can then live rent-free. You could even make a profit if house prices rise, which seems likely if a recent house price forecast by online estate agent eMoov is anything to go by.
The report, which analysed data from the Land Registry, concludes that the advantages of buying a home will continue over the next 20 years. In the South-east, where the average house price is currently £313,334, the report forecasts a 42.07% increase during the next decade. So that same house you’ve just bought could be worth £445,159 by 2027 – and £1.4 million by 2037!
In London, the increase is an even more staggering 80%. Today’s average house price of £481,648 could shoot up to £866,719 by 2027 – and nearly £3 million a decade later! And even in the more down-to-earth North-west, the average house price of £150,249 is predicted to climb to £533,010 by 2037. That’s an awful lot of equity for your monthly first mortgage payments, so sit back, relax and enjoy that cuppa!
Surviving the buying process
Of course, buying your first home can be an emotionally exhausting process. First-time buyers have to weigh up all the pros and cons of renting versus ownership. Next is getting together a deposit, choosing the right property, and making an offer. Then it’s hoping you’re accepted and the rollercoaster ride of the property chain. Add in mortgage brokers, lawyers, estate agents and banks, and the whole process can really start to take its toll.
So here are a few pointers to keep you on the right side of homebuyer sanity:
Between estate agents, solicitors, mortgage brokers and lenders there are numerous parties involved. There are on average 10 people involved in every single house purchase – which means an awful lot of pressure on you as a buyer to get the job done. But remember, this is the biggest investment of your life, so don’t be pushed into anything rash.
Estate agent rushing you to put in an offer? Lender pressuring you to buy one of its ‘add-on’ products and services? Remember that you will eventually get over the threshold and have the keys in your hand. Whether it takes an extra couple of weeks or not, you’ll still feel great. So don’t get distracted by people wanting to rush the deal through, and don’t put up with bad service.
Scare tactics are there to do exactly that – scare you into making a rash decision. So don’t just use the estate agent’s in-house broker or conveyancer because they make it sound like the easiest option. Instead, shop around for your advice. That way, you’ll end up with a better price and a lot more peace of mind.
How Habito can help
Owning your first home is an important step for millions of Britons. Fixing the outdated mortgage application process has been our mission at Habito from day one. We want to make sure the UK can access a free digital mortgage broker that puts customers first. It all starts with a simple conversation with our digital mortgage adviser. This is a chat bot that you can access from any connected device, 24/7. There’s no hold music, no waiting for an appointment and no paperwork. With access to 20,000 products, our platform analyses the market in seconds. This allows us to find the best match for your personal circumstances.
Once we’ve found the perfect product, it’s over to our (human) mortgage experts to discuss your options. By using intelligent machines we’ve freed up our advisers to do what they do best: give great advice. Using live chat they are available wherever you are – at home, in the office or on the beach. When we’re all clear on how to proceed you’ll continue to be personally looked after by one of our human experts. They take care of your entire mortgage application from start to finish. And what’s more our service will cost you absolutely nothing. Zip, zilch, nada!
Finally, enjoy your new home!
Congratulations on making it from homebuyer to homeowner! Remember that when your first mortgage deal expires, you don’t have to stay put on the lender’s standard rate. Again, it really pays to shop around as you could possibly save thousands – yes, thousands – of pounds a year just by switching to a new lender. Here at Habito, we make it simple – when it’s time to remortgage, we alert customers. We always help people switch quickly and easily so they never have to pay over the odds. Just think what grand designs that extra money could be put towards!
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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.