May 25, 2024

How To Get On The Property Ladder

The property ladder can be tricky at the best of times, but in the recent years it has felt, for many, almost impossible. First, there’s all the jargon, that, unless you work in the industry, might as well be an entirely different language.

Then, there’s the fast-paced nature of it all, with so many different parties pulling you this way, and that, encouraging fast decisions, immediate action and general pressure. And thirdly, though the list could go on-and-on, there’s the small matter of actually having the money to buy a house or flat, from saving for a deposit to ensuring you can get the correct mortgage (especially now mortgage interest rates are at an all-time high).

In short, though owning a home might feel like your next logical step (ah, walls we can actually paint any colour we like, just imagine that? ! ), getting it, is a different matter entirely. It’s a major financial challenge in the modern world and can leave you feeling deflated and dejected.

However, we’re not ones to simply give up, and so we called upon sisters Margot & Alexia, who happen to also be the founders of Your Juno, an app designed with the sole aim of giving women and non-binary people the financial knowledge and confidence to build their wealth. “We decided to build a financial empowerment platform aimed at providing the best education in a fun way — a bit like the Duolingo of Money,” the sisters say.

Below, the clued-up pair share with us their five top tips on how to get on that property ladder — finally!

5 steps for getting on the property ladder

1. Get clear on your goal

First off, make sure that you do want to buy and not rent a place. There are pros and cons to both — it’s important to consider your future ambitions, financial goals and lifestyle preferences. If you’ve decided on buying, break down your wants and needs into the following three categories:

Must Haves — non-negotiables: For example, your maximum price, the number of bedrooms, connection to transport or a school

Like To Haves — features you would like to have: For example, a garden, proximity to a cute cafe

Nice To Haves — nice to have but not essential: For example, high ceilings

Then, check out Zoopla to get a sense of the budget you will need to buy the properties on your radar. It is important to keep in mind all the extra costs that can add up, for instance: stamp duty, solicitor fees, valuation fees. Stamp duty is the biggest extra cost, you won’t pay it on the first £500k if you’re a first-time buyer, and then it increases gradually. Consider all this together and set a range of your financial goalsgoal. Now you know the destination.

2. Understand how mortgages work

Mortgages are ‘secured loans’ you get from a bank or lender to buy a property. As the borrower, you promise collateral (in this case your home) to the lender in the event that you stop making payments. Mortgages can be fixed-rate or variable-rate. This refers to the repayment strategy.

Fixed-rate mortgages allow you to know exactly how much your monthly repayments will be for the duration of your fixed term — regardless of what happens to interest rates in the market. This can be a good or bad thing: it gives you the security of knowing how much you need to pay per month, however, if interest rates fall, you cannot take advantage of a cheaper deal.

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