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Make it happen: Buying your dream home

mansion

We all have a dream home in our mind: a massive country estate in the Cotswolds, perhaps a chic flat in the heart of London, or maybe a cottage on the Cornish coast. Some of us will live in it from birth, some may never get anywhere near it. However, for a select few everything falls into place and with little luck and a lot of preparation, they finally get the keys.

To examine how much you need to do to finally get the property we need, let’s make a few assumptions. The average cost of a UK home in July 2016 was £216, 750. We don’t want an average home – we want a dream one – so we’ll double that to around £425,000.

apartment
Is a luxury apartment in the heart of London your dream property?

Now let’s take a average couple in their early 30s. According to Halifax, the average age of a first time buyer is 30, or 32 in London. The good news is that there were more first time buyers in 2016 than at any time since 2008 – the dawn of the financial crisis – so we’ll say that they gain their first mortgage for a property costing £205,170, which was the average, having saved or inherited a whopping deposit of £50,000. With an interest rate of 3% they’d be paying £735 a month for 25 years.

However, let’s say that they decided to go for their dream home, straight away, with everything else being equal. Things suddenly become a lot more difficult – the payment leaps to £2,134 a month, and the total payment will be around £640,000 – if they even get accepted for a mortgage at all for this property, which is almost impossible.

So step number one in buying your dream home is therefore to carry out a few calculations, and know at the start what you can afford and what you should aim towards. Ask yourself if it’s really possible or acceptable to mortgage yourself to the hilt, destroy your hopes of holidays or a nice car and a stress-free life. You don’t want to end up defaulting on your mortgage because you pushed yourself too far.

Here’s a better way to make things happen; firstly, try to get a bigger deposit – sell everything, earn as much as you can and cut right back on your outgoings. Get a good job, and cross your fingers that your partner has a good job too. If owning a dream home is your one and only goal, then think carefully about having children – they cost a lot. Be aware that house prices rise too, so plan accordingly. Be realistic, and accept that you might have to make concessions for your dream home.

english cottage
A cottage in the Cornish countryside is the dream home for many

Does the dream home sound a bit of reach so far? Well, how about going for a two, three or even four-move strategy? Buy properties that don’t look like your dream property, do them up and sell them for a profit. You can sell your home cheaply (find out more here), giving you the chance to get a nicer home with every single move. Eventually, buying a property within the region of £350,000-400,00 is definitely possible.

This all makes it seem very possible to get your dream work, but there’s a lot of guesswork involved, and also many variables to include. You might win the lottery. You might get a new job that slices your mortgage very quickly. You might build your own home. There are lots of ways to buy your dream home!