Your Property Journey

First Time Buyer

It’s clearly an exciting time as years of savings have gone into now realising the joy of homeownership and the search and purchase can be exciting, exhilarating and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

While this purchase is clearly important given it’s going to be your main base for a number of years, it will also help transition you to the next step on the property ladder.

Accordingly, we need to be thinking of the resale potential of the property: what might prohibit any upside in the market? What could a future buyer be wary of?

For a first time purchase, we typically find buyers are looking for a home in the most desirable, central location possible to their lifestyle and work commitments.

For some buyers in recent years schemes like ‘Help to Buy’ and shared ownership have presented themselves as options in the market, and our advisers can assist in considering their merits for you.

In previous years, buyers may have purchased this property with a view that they would keep it over the long term and rent it out when it was coming to the next stage on their property journey.

Essentially, changes to the buy to let financing regulations brought to the fore in recent years have made this strategy potentially more difficult given the amount of deposit you typically need to retain in the property and increased ongoing taxation on the buy to let sector has made it less feasible.

It is good to have a clear vision in place how this purchase fits into your long-term property progression, and our advisers are best placed to give you this context.

First Time Buyer

Aspects to consider

  • If purchasing an apartment will it be leasehold/share of freehold legal tenure?
  • The number of years remaining on the lease, and impact on resale ability?
  • How easy would it be to sell the property in a few years as you look to upsize?

Second Stepper

The transition from first-time buyer to second stepper is one where buyers are generally looking to progress to a more substantial property.

This purchase is usually aided by an increase in their take-home pay over the period of owning their first-time purchase and the reduction of their current mortgage after a period of repayment.

Potentially, too, buyers are making this second step transition with a partner so benefit from dual affordability on mortgage criteria.

Interestingly, we quite often find buyers at this point having a real contemplate over what is important to them in terms of location, as it could now be a case of putting down roots in a spot that they see themselves becoming established in.

At this stage of your property journey, you may have more flexible time on your hands and additional capital that enables you to take on more of a project and you could bear in mind this aspect to your search criteria.

Alternatively, there could well be a situation where an already well-developed property represents better value and this purchase would be a better overall fit for you.

Our analysis will help you determine the above factors and what represents the best value for you as you progress through your property journey.

Second Stepper

Aspects to consider

  • Is space or location more important to you?
  • Is this property one you can grow into?
  • Does this property have a potential development uplift that you can realise?
  • Is a developed property a more viable option all things considered?

Forever Home

This is where things start to get very serious! Where do you see your forever? What is aligning in your world and where do you see the centre of that world being for possibly over 20 years.

This will be your anchor for family life, an arena for play, a habitat you feel safe in, one where you entertain in and where you feel energised as you wake every day - what are all the key ingredients that you need to go into this formula?

Clearly, as with all steps on your property journey, the location needs to be clearly thought through and the practicalities of the space you need now, the near future and the long-term future.

If you are thinking in terms of children: schools, activities and family downtime. What lifestyle for the grown-ups too? Where can you walk to? Is this a home you would class as a forever home?

There is also the availability question, these homes just don’t come to the market in any great supply: you are asking someone to relinquish their forever, and accordingly, there is only a limited supply of any such homes at any one time.

There is clearly a large amount of foresight you need to draw on to ensure the forever home gives you everything you would want and more, and most buyers look in particular at our proactive partner service to guide them over the longer term on this life-defining purchase.

Forever Home

Aspects to consider

  • Who is needing to be accommodated in the family?
  • Are you willing to pay a premium for the right family home?
  • How much can you sacrifice location wise for the right size of property?
  • Would you be able to consider a development project to create the right home?

Downsizer

From our experience this can actually be the most difficult move to make, and like at all stages of the property journey there is plenty to contemplate.

As you trade up in the property market you typically get a lot more space for every trade you do; clearly, as you come down the other side you are experiencing the opposite.

How is life forming around you now? Where are your family and friends based? What is becoming important to you in terms of interests, passions and ambitions still to achieve? All this and more needs to be contemplated and processed to help you realise the move.

The localised area can be important to: where can you walk to on a day to day basis? Are there local conveniences you can easily reach if needed?

If it’s a case you need to get your car out every time you want to go somewhere, your day to day enjoyment of the property is likely to be compromised.

Lateral space might not be so important at the outset of this move, but looking a few years into the future, do you want to be moving again or can you adapt and make the homework for you for years to come.

Downsizer

Aspects to consider

  • Future years – what adaptations can you make?
  • What type of home are you looking to create?
  • Does this home provide an easy base for day to day living?
  • If moving to an apartment or assisted living scheme have you done a full financial projection of the financial obligations of owning such a property?

Pied-de-Terre

The flexibility and increased popularity of home working in modern times has meant that individuals have wider scope in choosing the base area for their family home.

At the same time, access to a central office location is still quite often needed. Accordingly, a Pied-de -Terre makes sense to accommodate the two lifestyle needs.

The framework of purchase needs careful consideration as a rushed judgement in a busy lifestyle can have unattended consequences and means the purchase becomes a liability not an asset in your life.

What’s the localised area like? Parking needs? Day to day travel to the office when in the Pied-de-Terre? Will the family visit at times – what type of space will you need?

When it comes to negotiating, you benefit from not being too emotionally involved in the purchase. This gives greater clarity to your negotiation proceedings given the search is based around practicalities, not a particular emotional pull.

You want to make sure you are buying a property that becomes an asset to your life, not one that with various charges associated with its management company or onerous lease obligations becomes a liability.

Done right, this purchase can really help complement your lifestyle needs as a family and from an investment perspective ensure you also have a viable foothold in a highly sought-after area.

Pied-de-Terre

Aspects to consider

  • If driving to your Pied De Terre, are the parking arrangements suitable?
  • Is this well located for your day to day needs when in the City?
  • What are the leasehold/share of freehold structure and implications for ownership/re-sale?

Investor

You need a firm understanding of why you want to invest in property. What is deemed a good return on your investment? We look at buy to let from the perspective it is the only investment that someone else is actually going to service for you.

This, to us, is the reason for its enduring popularity no matter how much the taxation and financial entry restrictions of the sector have increased in recent years.

Some investors look for the maximum annual rental yield, and some look for the key ingredients that could comprise a good bet for long term capital growth.
There are pitfalls that investors have come across and like all investments, the potential upside of return may be offset by risk factors and external constraints. A risk v reward element could be standard housing v city centre flats v HMO category.

When embarking to find buy to let property the other main consideration is, of course, area. You may know an area and be knowledgeable over the specifics of it, or this area might be priced out of your investment budget.

At this point, you may then consider other areas and the degree of involvement you can have in the ongoing management of the property. There will be property management options, and your ability to delegate should minimise your time involvement, opening up potential new areas for consideration.

Investor

Aspects to consider

  • Is the main focus annual return or capital growth?
  • Can you buy in the location of your choice?
  • Are you going to be directly involved in the management or be able to delegate?