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How to prepare yourself for a property purchase

By Andrew Bellino

Property is likely to be the biggest purchase you ever make in life, which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re ready for the financial commitment. While looking at houses for sale might seem like one of the more exciting parts of the process, there are nevertheless various other steps you need to take before reaching this stage.

Being properly prepared for buying property is essential, so ask yourself these critical questions before taking the plunge.

How much can I afford?

Being realistic about the type of property you can afford will not only help focus your efforts, but also ensure your finances are in check. Using a mortgage calculator is a good place to start, as this will help ascertain just how much you’ll need to pay off your debt.

Once you’ve got a better idea, it’s time to take a look at the market and see what’s available within your budget.

Where can I buy?

Each area will have its own profile, so it’s essential to take a closer look at whichever suburbs you’re considering. A city centre apartment, for example, will come with a much higher price tag than a unit out in a more rural location.

Few people manage to fulfil all their wishes when buying their first home, so think about which areas you’re willing to compromise on.

How much can I borrow?

Lenders will have their own specific criteria that you will need to meet before they will lend you the money for a property purchase. Providing you’ve done your financial homework and built a significant enough deposit, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to secure a loan.

It’s important to make sure you don’t stretch yourself beyond your means. Mortgage payments are only part of the picture – you’ll also have the day-to-day running of your property to factor into the equation as well.

What other expenses will I incur?

Everything from insurance to utilities will begin to mount up over the course of your property ownership, so spend some time figuring out exactly what your outgoings are likely to be.

Being realistic from the start will help avoid any nasty surprises further down the line, so it’s well worth investing some time in getting to grips with the figures. Once you’ve bought your property there’s no looking back, so make sure you’re truly prepared before taking those first steps onto the ladder.

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