New Year Plans


The New Year sends most of us thinking about what we want to achieve in the new year to come, whether to lose weight, get fit or drink less, just a few things banded around my home from the sofa with a bar of chocolate and a gin and tonic in our hands. We're not doing so well but there are plenty out there will achieve your goals.

It's about this time of year as the final decorations are taken down that we look around and start to think about becoming a homeowner, but where do we start and what does it all mean?

Where do we start and what does it all mean

As a home owner and a first time buyer some five years ago, I was in the same place, generally my search started in the pages of looking at the properties that I would never be able to afford, not that I knew what I could afford.

In truth I let my husband do the maths and I spent many months upping the budget but we found our perfect home. We even did a second viewing with a tape measure not that we knew why we had it, what to measure or why. But it made us feel like we knew what we are doing.

Back in June Sean MacMillan, Partner at Aberdein Considine shared his five top tips every first time buyer should read - find out more here.

I suppose the hardest part of being a first time buyer is the money, how do you get the deposit together? Some people are lucky and have the help from family, but that's not always the case.

There are various help to buy schemes including the Help to Buy ISA where you can earn up to 2.53% tax free and the state will add 25% free cash. New build developers also offer help to buy schemes. Check out Miller homes who can also be found in our property information centre. It all depends on what you are looking for.

The other scary money question is the mortgage - David Lauder one of ESPC Mortgages advisers says "Making predictions for the coming year is a difficult task and no one has a crystal ball, however, general indications are that activity in the property market and mortgages should continue to carry on from 2017." Find out more about it here.

While it is a daunting process you can't beat that amazing feeling when you have the keys and the reality of it all hits you. You can now paint the walls whatever colour you want, put up pictures everywhere and have your own beautiful furniture. This is where the hard decisions start and trust me the weekly trips to the DYI store can be a true test of any relationship, five years on and we can't wait for a Sunday trip to our local DIY store.

Don't forget to keep an eye out for the ESPC first time buyers' prize draw, you can win a handy lump sum that gets to your dream property. Enter here.