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Five expert tips to get on the property ladder on your own

Often, we are sold the dream of settling down with a partner and purchasing our dream house together – but, what if you want to purchase a property on your own?

With over 7.9 million people living alone in the UK, and more people finding themselves ready to buy a home on their own, experts at regulated property buyers Good Move share five handy tips on how to get on the property market with a single salary.

1. Be realistic about the property you can afford


When looking to purchase a property with a single salary, being realistic is essential. In the current market, you will need around 5% of the property's value to get a mortgage², so if you are buying a property on your own you may need to secure a bigger deposit.

Although the deposit is generally the biggest cost you’ll need to pay when buying a home, you may need to factor in other costs such as solicitor fees, mortgage fees and home improvement fees. Planning of all these costs in advance will allow you to understand what is affordable and help you towards your saving goals.

2. Get the government to help you build up the cash you need

It’s not easy with one income stream to be able to lump sum to cover the deposit, especially if you haven’t got the means of asking for a little help from family. Luckily, there are many government schemes and grants to help you build up the cash you need – especially for first-time buyers!

If you’re a first-time buyer, the first £300,000 of a property is usually free from stamp duty. This could chop thousands off the total amount you would need to pay. Other schemes include the government’s Help To Buy scheme where you receive an equity loan worth up to 20% of qualifying new-build properties to cover a portion of the cost. Using this scheme, a single person wanting to buy a £200,000 house with a 10% deposit could access a 70% mortgage worth £140,000.

3. Budget yourself and get building your credit score

Once you are aware of the costs, it’s time to get budgeting. When applying for a mortgage, the lender will look at your monthly income and outgoings to see that you will have enough to live on after you have dealt with the mortgage repayments. So, it may be time to rein in the expenses for a few months before you make your application.

Commitments like loans or HP payments will be deducted from the amount you have to spend each month, so it’s best to pay them off as soon as you can. A lender is more likely to lend if they can see you have a history of repaying loans. So, apply for a credit card and use it. Just make sure you pay it off each month. That way it won’t cost you anything, and it will help you build up a good credit score.

4. Think about shared ownership

Shared ownership schemes are often run by local authorities and are normally exclusive to first-time buyers. The schemes enable buyers to take a mortgage on a portion of your home and pay rent on the remainder. This is a great alternative for first-time buyers who can’t afford the hefty deposits which come with buying a property through conventional means.

However, before looking through rose-tinted glasses it is important to consider that there are some real financial risks to shared ownership schemes. For example, as you are still paying rent on a portion of the property, on legal grounds you are technically still a tenant of the landlord. This poses a real risk that you could lose the portion of the home you have already ‘bought’ as legally you don’t have ownership until you have staircased (built the percentage you own of your home) 100 percent of your portion of the property.

5. Get some professional advice

Whether you’re single or not, speaking to a mortgage advisor means that you can get expert advice on securing a mortgage – and avoid making any expensive mistakes. Not only can they find the best mortgage in principle best for your personal circumstance, but they can also help you apply for schemes to boost your deposit.

Commenting on the tips, Nima Ghasri Director of Good Move said: “Many people look to purchase a property on their own; perhaps as a first-time buyer they are unsure about making that commitment with someone else, or maybe they are looking to purchase a buy-to-let property for an added extra income.”

“Thankfully there are many methods of approaching buying a property alone, and mortgage lenders are well aware of people’s reasons to do so. Therefore, we hope our tips will help buyers plan ahead and budget to successfully get themselves on the property ladder.”

*Good Move is a regulated property buyer in the UK


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