Buying property is a massive step in any guy’s life. It’s one of the most exciting changes you can make. When you buy a property, you’re getting yourself onto the first rung of the housing ladder, escaping the cycle of rent payments, and making yourself a home you can alter and live in as you wish. For many young men, buying property can feel like a distant dream, with the more immediate stresses of bills taking priority and emptying your bank account. Yet if you never try, you’ll never succeed – if you start saving now, that ability to buy a place might creep up on you sooner than you think. Of course, for such a major undertaking, there are always ways you can make the process easier and save yourself at least a little bit of your hard-earned cash. Below are some top tips to help you navigate the housing market as savvy as you can.
Save Little and Early
Saving is hard. Everyone’s always telling you to save, but the reality of it can feel overwhelming. After all, there are still daily bills to pay, and you can’t be expected to live as a hermit for ten years just to save money. Guys need social lives too! It’s easy to look at the price of an average deposit and dismiss saving towards it as an impossible task. However, the best way to save is when you don’t even realize you’re doing it. This is where new technology can help hugely. Apps such as Chip automatically take small amounts from your bank account every week, using clever algorithms to work out exactly how much you can afford to save depending on your current spending and earning habits. Other options like Moneybox use a ‘round-up’ method which takes the remaining pennies from any transaction on your bank card – so if you spend $3.99, it will round it to $4 and automatically save that extra $0.01. So you can sit back, let the apps do their work, and check back every now and then to gasp at how much you’ve managed to put away without even noticing.
Yes, we’d all love that house in the center of town with the home gym and swimming pool, or the mansion with great views (and also a swimming pool). Unfortunately, only a tiny number of us will get to live that dream. For the rest of us, the housing market is all about compromise. Draw up a list of every feature you want in your property, then narrow it down to one or two key elements – the ones you really couldn’t live without. Then give yourself a stern talking to about how everything else is up for grabs. If you want a house, but location is non-negotiable and you’re looking in big cities anywhere in the world – from New York to Singapore – then that house will almost certainly turn into a flat. There are some great HDB for sale, and if you give flats a chance you’ll realize how wonderful they can be, especially if they give you that prime location.
If you’re handy with tools in any way, renovation could be a perfect way to enter the housing market. When a property needs work to make it desirable for living, it will often be vastly reduced in price. You can snap somewhere like this up, then work to your own schedule to turn it into the place of your dreams. This is a great option if you have a bit of time on your hands, and you want to transfer the immediate bulk amount of a higher deposit into the spread-out costs of renovations. Of course, this will be made much cheaper if you’re able to do some of the work yourself – but you can also hire contractors in one at a time for various jobs, still managing to spread out costs. The drawback to this option is the patience required – it can be years in between buying your property and being able to live in it – but the rewards are potentially huge.
So you’ve made the step and bought your property – amazing! Except now you have a mortgage to pay, as well as all the bills and upkeep that come with owning your own place. If you have a spare room, it’s a great idea to consider renting it out. Even if you offer a mates rate to get a friend living with you, it can take a huge burden off your mortgage and help you meet those monthly costs without breaking a sweat.