We’re in recession. Whatever the government says or does, it doesn’t seem to change the fact that there is less money than there used to be. That doesn’t mean that you have to be in recession too, however. One thing the recession has done is to drop the prices of houses in the country. So if you have been looking to get your foot in the property door then you now have the perfect opportunity to do so.
Old vs. New
One of the first choices you will have to make is whether to get onto the ladder with an old house or a new build. Well, with a selection of schemes and options available to really push property sales, the choice just got a lot easier. While older homes are still for sale at market rates – perhaps a lot more than you could afford – a lot of new builds are now available at significantly reduced rates under the affordable housing schemes.
What this means for you and me is one of two options. First up is what the government calls an ‘equity loan’. This loan is free of all fees for the first 5 months, enabling you to step up onto that first rung of the ladder without having the full amount in your hands. Secondly, an offer which has had a great uptake is the ‘shared ownership’ route.
The shared ownership option allows you to buy a chunk of the house – generally between 20% and 50% – while still paying rent on the rest of the flat. If you are unable to get hold of a sizeable mortgage and let’s face it; in the current climate, who is? You also get the option of being able to buy shares in your house as and when you can afford it. This scheme seems like a great idea from the UK government and offers a fantastic option for families earning less than £60,000 per year to get their foot in the door and stop paying restrictive rents on properties they don’t want to stay in.
There are, of course, some things that have to be taken into consideration. There are generally a set of restrictions on who can be eligible for these types of flats. Your income will be assessed and while the government only suggests under £60,000, a lot of these flats are only available for those under £50,000 or less. They also put a minimum cap upon the earnings too – they do not want you defaulting on the rent, after all.
Speaking of Mortgages
Another thing the government has turned to is the 95% mortgage. In order to help you get on the property ladder and to help developers sell new builds, this allows buyers to place only a 5% deposit on a house and receive the rest of the 95% as a government backed loan. This is another example of the government favouring new developments which, while upsetting homeowners, is great for the housing market and you. Now you can get hold of that great £200,000 house for a deposit of just £10,000. Sure, you still need to pay off that mortgage, but at least you don’t have to pay rent anymore! Be careful with how much you commit to, though: the last thing you want is to get in over your head.
You can find a great selection of affordable new build houses and flats for sale all over the internet. One of these is whathouse, with a great selection of special offers around the country. So, wherever you’re looking to buy, there’s something within your price range.