What to consider when buying a property

Buying a property is a fantastic opportunity to invest your money in something that will build wealth over time. Over the long term, buying is cheaper than renting and you’ll be glad you did it. It’ll also be an opportunity to create a home for you and your family, making your mark and creating a space you enjoy spending time in – something you also don’t always get from renting.

If you’re new to house hunting, or even a seasoned veteran of the property market, there are always a few things worth taking into consideration that will aid you in finding your perfect home. Check out these great tips below:

Shop around

The best place to start looking for a new home is online. There are a number of great sites and apps available that will help you get started on your great house hunt. Once you decided on where you want to start viewing it’ll be important to get the estate agents to work in your favour. Get them onside and you’ll find out more information than the average buyer, who to them are just a dime a dozen. Be the best house buyer you can be.

Visit multiple times

When you go to view a property it is a good idea to arrive early. It is definitely beneficial to explore the local area before you decide if this is the house for you. You will also be able to take your time when viewing the property. Consider also viewing the property at a different time of day, if not to see the interior again, then to see what the area is like in the evening. If it’s an area with lots of bars and restaurants then it could be quite noisy in the evening.

If you view a property that you instantly fall in love with, your judgement may be clouded after just one viewing. It may be easy to forget to ask the important questions and to overlook critical details. Consider taking an experienced buyer with you at least once to make sure that your viewings are productive.

Talk to the neighbours

Provided you make it through the rigmarole of house hunting, with endless viewings in all the locations you might want to consider, then you’ll have hopefully found your ideal home. But there are a few other things to consider than just the property you’re about to buy.

By talking to the surrounding neighbours you are not only able to find out a lot about the neighbourhood. Ask about the pros and cons of the area. There are a number of tools and apps available online that can help you find out about the area and its crime rate, proximity to restaurants and entertainment, and other useful information but nothing beats a little bit of local knowledge from the people who already live there.

Borrow within your means

It pays to have some money to set aside for a deposit when you’re looking to buy a house. It will not only make it easier to secure a mortgage, but it will also mean that there is some equity in your property as soon as you buy it.  There are a range of different mortgages available, so take some to decide which one might be right for you. A mortgage broker or Independent Financial Advisor will be able to compare different mortgage deals on the market – but they will charge for their advice.

In general you will be able to get a mortgage with a deposit of between 5% – 20%, but the best deals are only sometimes available with a deposit of at least 25%. Since the credit crisis, lenders have been more cautious about who they lend to. So make sure you can meet the repayment demands, especially in the event that your circumstances change or if interest rates were to rise.

Consider renting

If you’re not ready to move yet and are still saving for a deposit, or if you decide that owning a home isn’t right for you, then renting is still a sensible option. An increasing number of people are choosing to rent and the range of rented accommodation on offer is better than ever. Over a fifth of 35-44 year olds prefer the freedom of renting. The benefits are that it is usually cheaper than owning and bills are more predictable too. With fewer outgoings you will be able to save money. Renting also offers flexibility in that you will be able to move between properties relatively quickly as compared to owning. The same tips for house hunting still apply to the rental market so be sure to shop around before you settle on the home you want.

A Happy Marriage Needs Financial Harmony

Marriages that thrive and endure are based upon a number of things. Couples do not always agree with each other every time. There is nothing wrong with compromise of course but one thing on which both partners must be clear is finance. Mistakes are made and of course the recession caught out many people who had not seemingly made a mistake; they were caught out by circumstances over which they had little control.

A Worrying Start to the Century

Complacency and greed had prevailed in the early years of the Century. Mortgage lenders were extremely lax when it came to judging whether or not to approve an application for money. Some even advanced more than the purchase price of a property because they felt that the raging inflation on real estate would soon see the value rise past the sum advanced. There was so much toxic debt created but it was rolled into Collateralized Debt Obligations thereby hiding them within safe lending. When the crash came, the inevitable crash with hindsight, prices crashed, the economy floundered and many businesses collapsed. Unemployment and foreclosure took over from complacency and greed.

The environment was not pleasant and it inevitably impacted on households all over the USA.


Money troubles do cause breakdowns in relationships within families and between husband and wife. Debt can be stressful and certainly if it gets out of hand the consequences for a marriage can be terminal. It is imperative that couples talk to each other and certainly have no secrets. It should start before they even take their vows and continue every day.

Anything other than the smallest piece of daily expenditure should be discussed and agreed. The most important financial decisions in a married life will be the mortgage and right loans for autos, household improvements and similar. The children’s education and health are also very important and each should be discussed thoroughly. Neither partner should ever sign up for something without telling the other.

A Budget Is Vital

Even then, mistakes can be made whether couples agree or not. If debt gets out of control then both partners are likely to be stressed and that can often lead to tension. Problems must be shared jointly and extravagant spending should be avoided at all costs. A budget that accurately reflects monthly expenditure must be prepared and followed. The recession hit many budgets but that does not weaken the validity of having one. The economy has improved with jobs being created month after month. Unemployment has returned to pre-recession levels so anyone wanting to work should be able to find something suitable.

Money in installment

Once everything is written down the first thing to look at are the items of expenditure. It is an exercise in seeing whether there is some obvious waste. Any debt that is incurring a high level of interest is certainly waste. Credit card balances definitely fall into that category; high interest is added at the end of each month. It is much cheaper to take out a personal loan to pay off any such balances. Even people with a poor credit score will find the interest charged will be lower. The instalment repayments by the month can be put into the budget to replace the credit card amounts.

Regular Savings

There are other items for a couple to look at and often there are comparison websites to do much of the hard work. Three things come to mind immediately; utilities, insurance and telephone network. In the case of utilities the cost of oil is as low as it has been for some time. It means that utilities should be cheaper. If a supplier has not passed on any savings then there is likely to be another that has done so. Likewise it is worth shopping around for the best insurance premiums available, ensuring that any comparison uses like for like. The third thing is the telephone. There are even free services of course.

Obviously if further economies are needed then it may have to come by cutting down on such things as eating out or perhaps forgetting the coffee shop on the way to work. It is worth the effort without really being a sacrifice.



Learn How To Protect What You Value Most

Your home is your castle. Unfortunately, that’s only a figurative distinction, not a literal one. Otherwise, you would have a draw bridge and a moat to keep you protected from invaders. But even though you don’t need to defend against bands of marauders, you still need to defend your figurative kingdom from burglars and home invaders.

Since a draw bridge is out, you’ll have to take other measures to protect your home, your possessions and what you value the most — your family. Here are a few things you can do to keep your home and everything in it safe:

Install a Security System

A security system is square one for making your home safer. A system like the ADT home security in Rover includes alarms on all the exterior doors, as well as optional alarms on the windows and cameras.

When setting up your security system, choose all the options you can afford. Even if your doors are protected, your windows will be vulnerable if they don’t also have alarms. Cameras will help apprehend suspects if the alarms don’t deter them.

Add Exterior Lighting

You can make your home less of a target by lighting it up. No thieves will be skulking around in the bushes if they know that there will be a big spot light shining on them.

Add exterior lights to your walkways, landscaped beds, and along the perimeter of your lawn (especially if your home is surrounded by woods). The lighting will add visibility that will make it harder for burglars to break in unnoticed.

Get a Safe

Some burglars prefer a smash and grab approach. They will break in even if you have an alarm and just take what they can and run before the police show up. (This is another reason why having cameras is important.)

A safe will protect valuables such as your jewelry, cash, passports, and other documents. Just make sure that you choose a safe that is bolted to the floor or installed in the wall. Thieves will just take a safe that is not bolted down and crack it later.

Install Smoke Detectors

Fire can wipe out your home and valuables such as antiques and important collections. You can reduce the risk of fire by installing smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Put a smoke detector in each bedroom and on each floor of your home.

You can also choose a security system that includes a fire alarm. If the smoke detector goes off, you can trigger the fire alarm to get immediate help.

Buy the Right Insurance

You can’t always prevent bad things from happening. What you can do is minimize your loss by purchasing the right insurance. Purchase home insurance that protects your home against damage — such as fire or floods — and insurance that protects you against loss — such as in the case of a theft.

Keep your home and your family safe. Take these measures to protect yourself against theft and loss from fire. You’ll be glad that you’ve been proactive when the worse happens.