The Property Game

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The world of property can often be a daunting one. Whether to buy or rent, what area to go for and how best to sell your home in an ever changing market are regular dilemmas faced by us when considering where and how we live. Here, we look at some of these issues to try and gain a better insight into the property game.

Where to buy?

There are many things to take into account when trying to decide on where to buy your home. You may wish to stay close to other family members or where you grew up, and of course there is the dreaded daily commute into work to take into account. Those of us with children are more than likely to be driven by the school catchment area. Getting our children into the best possible school is often top of the list, and such is the demand for certain schools that house prices in the catchment area are driven up by that simple fact.

As well as schools, other factors in making certain areas more desirable include transport links and local amenities. Can you easily jump on a bus or train into town? Can you nip to the local shop for a loaf of bread, or enjoy a chilled glass of wine at the nearby pub? Are there parks to walk the dog and coffee shops in which to meet with friends? All these things affect how we live and enjoy life. The closer a house is to these amenities, the more you will pay for it. The same can be said for the rental market with higher charges closer to the high street.

To Buy or Rent?

Buying your own home comes with many positives. You are investing in your future financially and each monthly payment means being closer to living mortgage free.

Being the owner of your house means you can live as you wish, decorate, renovate and alter the property however you choose. Have as many pets as you like and live your life without regular visits from a landlord to check on the condition of the property. The downside of this however, is that you are financially responsible for the upkeep of the building and its contents.

It is worth remembering the other costs that come with home ownership. You need a substantial deposit to be able to get the best mortgage deals, plus the mortgage arrangement fees, survey and legal costs involved before you even buy your home. The type of mortgage you go for also needs careful consideration – you need to allow for interest fluctuations and other financial changes that can affect your monthly repayments.

If you want to put down roots, stay in the same area and would like financial stability then buying is a good choice for you.

Renting is often a more viable option for many people. If you like to have the flexibility to move area as you wish, and don’t want the responsibility of the upkeep on a property then renting will suit you.

There are far lower initial costs involved. The bond and deposit required by landlords does vary and can seem a large amount to pay but compared to a mortgage deposit is nothing. A negative of renting is that the money you pay each month is going to the landlord, not to an investment in your own future.

The landlord is responsible for any repairs to the property and any white goods or furnishings they have provided. This is great as there are no hefty repair bills for you but in return they will expect you to look after their property, and checks on the building are regularly carried out. While living in rented accommodation you have to live by your landlord’s rules, which may include not being able to have pets or decorate to your own taste.

There are positives and negatives for both options. Look carefully at your circumstances and make an informed decision that is right for you. The choice is yours!

Selling Your Home

There is more than one option when it comes to selling your home and moving on.

Estate agents are still a fantastic option for selling. They do all the hard work for you, value your property and give advice on any improvements that may be required in order to make your home more desirable to buyers. They are able to effectively market your home, show potential buyers around and most companies now offer online advertising as well as the traditional shop window and glossy brochures.

An alternative to selling on the housing market is to sell at auction. This can be a much quicker option, as once the hammer falls the sale is legally binding and the deposit paid immediately with the balance required within 28 days. You can look around for the best auctioneer for you, there are independent auctioneer houses and some estate agents have an auction department. You need to set your reserve price carefully as this is the minimum amount you will accept for your property. As well as being a faster selling option, auctioning your home can also mean you sell for a better price with competition between buyers on the day.

Overall, the best way to buy, sell or rent is to arm yourself with knowledge. Be informed, know what you want, know the market you are in and this should make the whole business a lot easier!

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