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How to buy a property in an unpredictable property market

Property, as always, is a hot topic. Depending on what paper you’re reading, house prices are either falling or stabilising and interest rates are… well everyone agrees…not great. What isn’t clear is where does that leave you and it's worth booking in a chat to explore all of your options. You may be asking yourself...

Should you wait to buy? That will always be a golden question and often the answer is no.

Should you stay on the conservative side of your budget until the market becomes more stable? Short answer- yes, long answer to follow.

Should you be thinking more about what makes financial sense than what you truly want to live in? This is an age-old dilemma because property is a financial investment that you come home to every night. It's impossible to listen to your head and ignore your heart, but what is key with your first purchase is not forgetting that your investment has to financially work for you. The easiest way to balance head and heart is to buy a property that ticks your boxes aesthetically in an area that is more likely to increase in value over the next few years. Here are three top tips for buying in today’s market.

1. Think long term

The worst thing you can do is assume that you will be selling for a profit in a couple of years. If you are making a purchase today you should be buying a property that you aren’t desperate to sell quickly. There’s always the prospect of that elusive crash helping us to make sensible decisions and now is as good a time as any to seriously consider the ‘what ifs.’ Planning for the worst while hoping for the best is the best piece of advice for today's property market . Look at your purchase as a long term investment, property always wins in the long run.

2. Don’t stretch yourself

Mortgage rates are the highest we’ve seen since 2008 but they’re not unprecedented. Don’t assume this is the worst they will get. Average rates since 1995 are 5.63% but in September 1998 they reached an eye-watering 8.87%. In this cost of living crisis where fuel, food and gas and electricity prices are soaring, it makes sense to err on the side of caution when deciding how much you can comfortably afford to pay in mortgage repayments. Only you can determine what lifestyle you want to have and how much disposable income you need to enjoy life, don’t let your mortgage repayments stop you from doing everything else that brings you joy.

3. Buy to add value.

It is lovely buying a home that you can walk straight into without even having to think of a lick of paint to freshen up the space but if you are willing to do some work, it will pay off. Not only do you get to decorate to your taste when you take on a property project, should you buy in the right location, the increase in value is a great cushion for a shaky property market.

Today's property market needs to be navigated with caution. It is still a great time to get on the property ladder, but it is crucial to be making an informed decision with your purchase. Book a free consultation for a tailored approach to buying in 2023.

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