Getting onto the property ladder can be daunting, especially if you’re on a budget or are a first-time buyer. Luckily, Cardiff isn’t a particularly expensive part of the UK, but it can still be difficult to save for a deposit whilst staying within budget.
It all takes time, patience and a lot of research to ensure you can afford the area you’re looking to live in. With a bit of preparation, you’ll be on the ladder in no time.
We’ve provided a few useful tips to get you started, helping you discover the different options available to you in Wales. Before you know it you’ll be searching for Cardiff removal companies and choosing a moving date. It doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems, it all takes time. So browse our guide on getting on the property ladder in Cardiff, and begin the journey towards your new home.
Start Saving for a Deposit Early
Even if you haven’t fully decided to get onto the property ladder just yet, it’s important to start saving for a deposit as soon as possible so that you’re prepared in advance. Saving enough money takes time so it would be wise to start as soon as possible so that it doesn’t delay you in the future. Work out some rough calculations so you know what you can save and by when.
There are plenty of tips to help you when you’re saving money for a deposit, but it’s important to do what’s best for you and your situation. Save what you can, when you can and don’t stress yourself out trying to reach a specific amount by a certain deadline. Creating a plan or end goal is great for motivation, but it doesn’t always work out. Be sensible, be patient and do what’s best for you.
Be Realistic With Your Research
Another important aspect of getting onto the property ladder is to be realistic with your research. Not everyone finds their dream home immediately. Don’t get caught up with a specific ideal image, it’s good to compromise especially if you’re on a budget. There will be a great home out there for you, it just takes time to find.
Another important part of the process is the actual research itself. It’s always disappointing to find a property you love, in an area you can’t afford so always set yourself a budget and look into the area beforehand. Desirable areas of Cardiff like Pontcanna and Roath can often be rather expensive. Never neglect an area in case there are hidden gems to be found, but also ensure you stay within your budget to save yourself from future stress.
It’s also wise to research the average cost of utilities and the property’s overall condition before buying, as simple issues like not knowing the heating system are one of the biggest regrets of house buyers in Wales. You won’t remember to check every little detail but making a list of questions to ask at viewings is useful, making you more informed before you decide.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help
Getting onto the property ladder can be overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. It takes time, research and a lot of saving, but remember that there are ways to find help. Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to look for help from your parents. Many first-time buyers rely on family members when saving for a deposit. Whether it’s by releasing equity from their own house or a smaller cash gift, some parents may be able to help.
When looking into mortgage schemes, don’t forget to talk to a mortgage broker. If you’ve found a promising property, then talk to your solicitor. They are all here to help you through the process and help you understand how much you can realistically save. There are a variety of schemes and professionals who can help you step by step, providing you with the right information. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to seek advice and support.
Take Advantage of the Schemes Available
Another form of help can be through the government’s Help to Buy Schemes. If you need help saving for a deposit or want to save more quickly, then these schemes could be a good option, especially for first-time buyers. There are a number of ways of getting help to buy a home in Wales, including:
- Help to Buy ISA – Created mainly to help first-time buyers, you can use the ISA to save for a 5% deposit. The scheme will then provide a shared equity loan of up to 20% of the purchase price whilst the remaining amount is to be covered by a mortgage. The scheme supports the purchase of homes up to £300,000 bought through a registered Help to Buy builder in Wales.
- Homebuy Wales – This scheme helps low-income households by providing an equity loan to assist with purchasing. You will need to contribute 70% of the purchase price through a mortgage and then repay the equity loan when you resell the home.
- Shared Ownership – For those looking to buy but cannot afford the full purchase price, Shared Ownership Wales is an option. This means that you can buy a share of the home and pay the rest through rent. The initial share can be between 25% to 75% of the value of the chosen property but it can be increased over time.
- Rent to Own – If you’re currently renting a property in Wales, then this scheme may be able to help you save for the deposit. You’ll be able to gradually build up lump sums whilst renting the property to afford the deposit. The agreement lasts up to 5 years but you can apply to buy your home between the end of year 2 and at the end of the agreement.
If you’re eligible for any of these schemes, then they could help you save a lot more quickly and get you onto the property ladder much sooner. It can be daunting committing to a purchase, but these schemes can provide relief and make the process go much more smoothly. If there’s help available to you, why not take it?
Trusted friends or family members can act as a guarantor on your mortgage if you have a small deposit or if your credit record isn’t ideal. They could either use their savings to offset your loan or allow a charge to be placed on their own property.
Your guarantor would be legally responsible for your mortgage payments if you can’t meet them so it’s important to discuss the option in advance and ensure that they are a trustworthy and dependable choice. But if it’s possible and with low risk, it could be a good first step onto the Cardiff property ladder.
Buying With Friends
If you’re finding it difficult to take your first step onto the property ladder or can’t financially do it alone, then buying with friends could be a great way to get you started. It allows you to split the deposit, mortgage payments, legal fees, survey costs and monthly bills into more manageable amounts.
It can sometimes be complicated living and buying with another person as it requires a lot of trust between everyone involved. To ease your mind, you could draw up a legal co-habitation agreement to describe everyone’s share in the property and what would happen if there was a change of circumstances. It’s always wise to legally protect yourself.
Get Your Paperwork Organised and Ready
Once you have an offer accepted, you have to ensure that everything is ready to get started. Even after an accepted offer, it can still be a long process until you’re physically handed the keys, so make sure you help the process go as quickly as possible by preparing in advance. There’ll be various paperwork you’ll need to submit like-copies of your ID and utility bills. Talk to your estate agent and find out what you need.
You will also need to begin the mortgage process and discuss it with your solicitor. That will also require paperwork so it’s important to know where you stand and what you need to gather. Payslips, bank statements, these are all critical to continue with the process.
As with anywhere, getting onto the property ladder in Cardiff may seem overwhelming at first, but with a little preparation and organisation, you can help ensure a smooth and happy process. Don’t forget to look for help where you need it and start saving for that crucial deposit as early as possible. Stop saying ‘you’ll do it now in a minute’, it doesn’t take much to get started. The earlier you begin, the more you’ll be helping your future self.