How to get on the property ladder in Leeds in challenging times

A great deal has been written recently about the apparent shift in Britain from a nation of homeowners to a nation of renters. Whilst we accept that more people are renting than ever before, and probably for longer, it will take more than one generation of change to suggest that such a seismic and permanent shift is on the cards. Here are a few tips to get help get you into your first home;

 

Take a leaf from your grandparents book

Start saving early even if it’s only a small amount monthly. This will soon add up as the impact of compound interest takes hold. The Government will even help you: https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa/how-does-it-work/

 

Shared ownership:

Decide whether you would rather own a share of a property or rent. If it’s the former, then this is a distinct possibility both within mixed-tenure new house-builder developments as well as schemes delivered by Housing Associations, many of whom are highly professional and increasingly active. https://www.gov.uk/affordable-home-ownership-schemes/help-to-buy-equity-loan

 

Be flexible about location:

Don’t make the mistake of being too prescriptive about where you live. Dispense any notion of your first home being your forever home and throw yourself instead into the fun and pleasure of making somewhere your own. Ultimately, the vast majority of buyers create a shopping list of ‘must haves’ such as location, drive, garage, number of bedrooms, view, separate kitchen and so on. If you can keep an open mind and cast your net a little wider than you might have planned to, then you are more likely to find what you are looking for.

The forever home comes later.

 

Think walk not bus or car:

If you are prepared to walk to work and to the shops, the flexibility this will afford you will help you to find your first home faster. Use Google earth to look at zones rather than specific areas- map where you work, shop and socialise and go from there.

 

 Do your research:

 Whatever you do, make sure that you do your research on the ground. Abandon your car if you have one and spend some time walking the area. Visit at different times, drift in and out of the local amenities and generally soak up the area. Be prepared to have some vision and get online and see what the council is planning.

 

Hot spot?

Take a look around Holbeck Moor- it’s easily walkable to the city through South Bank, has an amazing green space at its heart and a strong and committed community. It’s cheap too. For now.