I'd Rather Be a Homeowner, But...

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The vast majority of British renters would rather be homeowners. Figures from Rightmove suggest 96% of UK renters dream of owning their own home, with 70% claiming they ‘will never stop trying' to achieve this dream.

However, 60% of renters find themselves ‘trapped' in rented homes as they cannot afford to buy, and 31% are ‘regressive renters' who have owned a property in the past but have had to move back into rented accommodation.

Moving back to Rented Accommodation

‘Regressive renting' is becoming more common as would-be home owners are forced to go back to rented accommodation due to financial difficulties. If you're looking for a rented home to cut costs, or if you're already in a rented home and you're looking for ways to save money, there are things you can do to make sure you don't overspend.Landlord insurance specialists Cover4LetProperty's independent study shows that 18% find accommodation through friends and family, 14% through letting agents and 12% used web searches.

  • Don't just go to one letting agent, make sure you check the whole market. Search online listings, talk to several letting agents, and use generic notice-board websites like Gumtree.
  • Make a list of everything you want in accommodation ahead of time, and take all this into account along with the rent. Things you might want to check include the washing machine, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, the quality of the shower, and the condition of the windows.
  • Ask the agency about fees before confirming. They might charge you for a credit check, or an administrative fee. If the charges seem excessive, try another agency.
  • Haggle over the rent price. Offer around £40 less than the monthly rent advertised and you should hopefully settle on £20 less.
  • Do an inventory when you move in, and take photographs of any imperfections so you don't get charged for repairs, replacements and renovations when you move out.

Buying a Home

Whether you are looking to buy your first property, or you've owned a home before but had to sell it, the following tips should help you get on that elusive property ladder.

  • When calculating how much you can afford to put down on a house, remember to factor in the costs of moving, booking and arrangement fees, legal fees, along with any new furniture required
  • If you're struggling to afford the deposit, look into the Government's Help to Buy scheme in England or the Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers in Scotland.
  • Make a savings plan to raise the capital and use free money manager Money Dashboard to help you keep your budgeting on track by monitoring your day-to-day spending.
  • You can boost your chances of being approved for a mortgage by using a guarantor. This is usually a family member or close friend, who signs a document legally obligating them to pay rent in your place if you fail to pay up. Ideally you will always pay on time and they will never be bothered.
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