Money Saving Tips for First-Time Home Owners
So you are ready to buy your first home; this feat is exciting and expensive in equal measure. Other than your deposit and mortgage payments to cough up, there are plenty of other costs that are teamed with home ownership. You’ll need to pay for ongoing costs including home insurance, gas, electricity and water; internet, telephone and television, to name a few. There are also further costs that tend to surprise you, such valuation fees (how your mortgage loan is calculated), and solicitor fees. Stick around for tips and tricks for saving on your first-time move.
Saving on Your Mortgage
- Do your research when it comes to finding a mortgage provider.
As a first-step, make sure you check your credit score. If lenders see you as a risk, they will charge you more to account for that risk. Look into getting your credit ratings up before taking out a mortgage. Secondly, take the time to contact a number of lenders; do not just go for the first provider you stumble across. Mortgage deals vary enormously and you could end up losing out on a great deal. Utilize mortgage comparison sites, with a particular eye on their administrative fees.
- Overpay on your monthly payments while interest is low.
If your dealer allows you to overpay on monthly payments, then go ahead whilst you can. There is a potential to save a fair amount by paying more when interest rates are low, such that you have less to pay back when interest rates rise. After all, the longer you take to pay back your mortgage, the more interest you wind up paying. Bear in mind that the larger you pay out on your initial deposit, the lower your interest will be when you come to putting out those monthly installments as the total amount you have to pay back will be lower.
- Get off Standard Variable Rate
After your introductory rate, your mortgage provider will likely put you on the (usually expensive) Standard Variable Rate (SVA) if you fail to ask for a special rate. Be vocal with your provider, and make sure you scout out the alternatives that are on offer.
Saving on Utilities
- Switch service providers
If you have a current service provider from previous accommodation, research the market for better deals. Don’t stick with an expensive provider merely out of convenience. The market is always changing, so looking to switch every three years or so is good practice. If you are looking for a provider first-time thorough research is equally necessary, and you should be aware that switching later down the line will likely do your bank account some good in the long-term.
- Save on electricity
Simple tricks such as turning down the heating and using energy-saving light bulbs will make your home more energy efficient and thus cost effective. Ensure that window and floorboard draughts are fixed-up, and that your home is well insulated.
- Save on water
Firstly, make sure there is a fully-functioning boiler in your new place. The maintenance costs of a bad boiler can be astonishing, oftentimes surpassing the cost of replacing one altogether. If your new home has a water meter, the most obvious way to save is to be mindful of your water usage. This is important not only for costs, but for environmental factors also.
Saving on Your Interior
- Buy online
Sourcing your interior features online allows you to very easily and quickly compare the prices of items using the web, and also offers you reviews on the quality of the items you’re interested in. If you prefer to see items in person, look them up before you go instore to evaluate what else is out there and at what price.
- Buy Second-Hand
Marketplaces such as gumtree and eBay are great for finding cheap items to furnish your first home. Ask a seller if you can view their item before buying to ensure that it is in good condition. You can save on delivery costs by picking up items yourself.
- Do your own DIY
If you are up to it, avoid wasting money on hiring in painters and decorators to fix up your place. DIY is far cheaper, and it can also be fun! If you are less confident in this area, see if you can get a friend or family-member to help you with the process. For more specialized jobs, make sure you get multiple quotes before going with a decorating service to be sure as to how much the job should really cost.
A final, and vital way to make sure you don’t overspend during your first move is to budget efficiently. Keep track of your spending by keeping and logging receipts and payments so that you can easily visualize how much money is leaving your account and where it is ending up. Whether you log this on a spreadsheet, in an expenses diary, or in an app, budgeting can save you from losing track of your earnings. Be aware of the potential hidden costs that accompany home-ownership.
By researching the mortgage deals that are on offer; staying vigilant with your energy usage; avoiding impulse-buying and keeping organized with your spending; you have the potentiality to save plenty of money on your first move.
Even if you are a seasoned pro and looking for development finance for your fifth project, a lot of these good tips apply and can help you save money and get the best rates for all your utilities.