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Homebuyers More 'Careful' About Debt

Aug 18, 2007
First-time buyers are becoming increasingly prudent over the costs of buying a home, it has been suggested.

According to Paul Holmes, chief executive of Firstrung, those looking to take their initial steps on the housing ladder are evermore aware of the various financial pressures related to the process. However, as they now have less choice over the type and location of the first home due to rising expenses, first-time buyers are forgoing splashing out on some "incidental" areas such as valuation fees and redecorating.

He commented: "I think because they are older, it's more likely that they're slightly more cynical and a lot more careful about the amount of debt when they move in. Their mortgage is a big enough debt as it is, so I think incidental costs are perhaps changing things dramatically and are way, way beyond their reach at the minute".

Mr Holmes added that getting onto the property market "has never been as expensive in the history of mankind as it is now". With house costs reported to have doubled over the last five years, with the average home now standing at about 200,000 pounds, he reported that consumers looking to purchase a home face a situation which is "very, very tight at the minute". He added that as some of the best rates on secured loans for first-time buyers are around the six per cent barrier on an introductory basis, they are no longer finding the property buying process pleasurable.

However, once they have bought their first property, Mr Holmes warned that pressure on young buyers' finances is due to increase not only because of mortgage responsibilities but as a result of the cost of carrying out repairs. Although making secured loan repayments was highlighted as their "main focus", homeowners were said to also be aware that maintenance will take up a proportion of their spending. The chief executive reported that in an attempt to keep the cost of purchasing a home down, many consumers avoid having a full survey carried out and instead opt for a home buyer's report. In turn this was purported to cause them to discover various elements of their property that need fixing such as rotten windows and damp, which can run up bills for hundreds of pounds.

"They'll know what the mortgage payment is, but then all the other odds and sods start hitting them and they suddenly realize [that] actually it is all racking up to be a bit expensive," he commented. Consequently, Mr Holmes advised consumers to allow for some financial 'breathing space' when counting the cost of maintenance. It was suggested that first-time buyers should add an extra 20 per cent to the total amount of money they would set aside for emergency expenditure and prepare for repair costs to be about a fifth above their original projections.

In June, Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist for Global Insight, reported that prospective borrowers are to struggle even more to afford property as they find themselves "squeezed" out of the market. He suggested that in the current climate of rising interest rates and house prices, both first-time buyers and existing homeowners alike are to develop difficulties in making secured loan repayments.
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Mark Dawson writes for the the Loan Arrangers where you can apply online for low rate loans, you can also compare loans online, bad credit loans applications welcome.
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