Let’s just put it out there – there is no set right time to buy a house. The title is misleading, but only if you think that time is measured in age and you have to get to a certain number before diving into it, or crawl back into hiding if you’ve passed it without putting your name to bricks and mortar. That’s not the way that the world works – fortunately, in this case. The right time to buy is more about taking a whole load of things into consideration.
Can You Commit?
Owning a property isn’t like renting. Nor is it like living with parents. It’s something that’s completely in its own remit – you won’t be able to simply choose another place to live in to escape to when things get tough or you fancy a change, such is the life of a renter. You can apply to live in let accommodation and be in there almost instantly. With buying, you have to wait a certain amount of weeks to ensure that everything has been verified by all of the parties involved (estate agents, the sellers, solicitors to name but a few) and make sure that you have the funding in place to be able to get through it all as efficiently and quickly as you can. A drop anywhere along the line can see the wait be held up by days, weeks or months depending on how severe it is. Committing to the time that it takes to buying a house can be something that puts a lot of people off. In a world where we are wanting everything right here, right now, it can be hard to accustom yourself to having to wait – especially if you have been renting and have been used to moving in straight away.
Will Your Work Be Changing?
If you are up in the air with your job, know that you will be changing your career soon or are thinking about embarking upon another path, it is not the right time to buy a house. Not only will the uncertainty around your job be something for you to dwell on for some time, but until you are well settled into your role and have passed the probation period (if there is one), it’s not a financially stable time for you to be able to commit to the ordeal of paying off a mortgage. Most lenders will not consider offering you a housing loan unless you have a set contract in place and proof of all of your earnings for a certain amount of time. We are living in an age where lenders have been previously stung by those who haven’t been able to afford to pay their mortgages off, and so we are unfortunately the ones who are having to pay the price for it by jumping through hoops to get to where we need to be. As long as all of the hoops are in a straight line and there are no hurdles, however, the jump should be just fine.
Have You Found The Right Place?
If you know that you going to grow bored with a property within a number of weeks or months, it is not the right time to buy a house. There are certain houses which would be something that you would never be able to afford outright and buy; the deposit for the mortgage would be crippling to your bank account. This doesn’t mean that you are unable to live in them – a lot are up for rent on the open market. With this, a lot of millennials have become accustomed to living ‘beyond their means’ in terms of being able to get into accommodation that they can afford to pay month-by-month, but essentially never belongs to them – and never will. It’s a Catch 22 situation in that you are paying out the money which could have otherwise gone on a mortgage. The right place for you is something that you can stick with for a couple of years, that will suit all of your needs (basic, without bringing into the picture ‘need for a games room’ or ‘need for a swimming pool’) and is suitable for you to add at least one more person into the mix. This is either if you want to move somebody in with you (such as a partner), need to get a lodger or consider starting a family.
Are Circumstances Likely To Change?
If you are purchasing a house with another person, such as a partner, but know that things are slightly rocky or can’t see you actually moving in together, it’s not the right time to buy a house. Unless you know that things are okay and can see you lasting far into the future, it’s not the right time to commit to something that could potentially be difficult for you both to get out of. And again, unless the mortgage is in one person’s name or there is just one person buying it outright, there is little chance that things will go as smoothly as hoped if you ever parted ways.
Is It In The Right Location?
Where your home is based can say a lot about whether it’s the right time to buy it or not. If it’s in the city and you’re centrally located for your work, then this could be an ideal location for you. If it’s in the suburbs and you’re working in the city, again it could be a great idea – properties are generally cheaper the further out of the city that they are, and with links into major cities operating well with public transport at the moment, there are so many ways to get in to your place of work without driving. It’s just if it’s the other way round when the trouble will start to happen. If you are looking inner-city but working in a suburban location, or have a family and are within a city, it can prove difficult to find something that you are going to be consistently happy with. If you are going to miss the hustle of busy city life, steer away from moving out of it unless you can get back in quickly.
Can You Afford The Deposit?
If you are finding the deposit hard to raise, try not to go for a mortgage which offers a lower deposit for increased payments – unless you vehemently know that you can afford it. It can be easy to get sucked into getting something quicker than you had originally planned. As previously mentioned, it’s down to the culture that we live in; we want something straight away rather than being able to wait for it. Cars are available on finance for us to drive away on the day, there are schemes in place for you to get any electrical goods for your house with an increased APR percentage put into place and there are so many ‘buy now – pay later’ plans that it’s hard to actually be able to avoid them; the temptation is just that much. It’s in our faces every day and advertised extremely well (those who are advertising it are profiting off it so much that it’s no wonder that they’ve got the money to spend on the extra marketing). Therefore, it’s little wonder that more and more people are choosing to go for these types of mortgages. The sudden increase in how much you will be paying each month, when it eventually comes around, can be enough to bankrupt you if you’re not careful. It’s important to remember that you will be paying back a lot more in interest, so will take a longer time to get to the point where you will be paying off your actual mortgage rather than the interest it has accrued.
Look At The Climate
Generally speaking, it’s never the right time to buy a house – there is always something cropping up with lenders, the housing market or economics which will serve as an off-putting feature to those who are looking at the wider picture. If you know that house prices are on the rise in comparison to previous years when you were looking, all it takes is a few more years of waiting, if it even gets to that long. There are constant booms and dips in the market which take turns in being great for sellers and then great for buyers. Realistically speaking, if the boom was high on where the sellers were profiting constantly, there would be no housing market to speak of; it would get to a point where nobody would be able to buy at all, and as such the prices would end up coming down to an affordable price in order for them to move on and get to where they need to be. This is what happens, in layman’s terms, every couple of years or so. If you can stick it out, great – if you have the money to buy now, even greater – if not, sit tight. You’re in for a bumpy ride.