First-time buyers happy with mortgages but costs bite elsewhere

Ryan Fowler

October 14, 2019

buyer demand

First-time buyers are overwhelmingly happy with their mortgages with just 4% claiming to be unhappy, the Aldermore First-Time Buyer Index has found.

However Aldermore’s index revealed that the first year of home ownership can be extremely costly, often leaving new buyers struggling to make ends meet.

Over half (57%) of respondents said they spent more during the purchasing process than they intended.

Due to this, one in four (23%) have admitted they ended up living in an empty house for months after moving in and over one in 10 (13%) said it took years to afford to furnish and decorate it the way they wanted.

Many first-time buyers who before buying lived with parents or were in accommodation where bills were included in the rent may find the costs of regular household bills a surprise.

According to the index, adding up average cost of council tax, ground rent, home insurance and monthly utility bills (gas, electricity, internet etc.) can total over £6,200 annually.

Despite the complexity of the current system, home ownership remains something that most people aspire to achieve.

Half (50%) of those looking to buy their first home said it is their dream to get on the property ladder. For many, it is a signifier of adulthood (81%) and it means they are no longer wasting money on rent (76%).

Having bought, 40% said they felt a sense of pride while 37% feel they have made a step forward in life. Only 4% of first-time buyers said they were unhappy with their mortgage.

Damian Thompson, director of mortgages at Aldermore, said: “Becoming a home owner is a wonderful step forward in a person’s life, but it is clear the first year of home ownership can bring with it some financial challenges and responsibilities some may not have fully anticipated.

“It is unlikely that many new home owners will feel their house is a home on day one. It can take time and money to do repairs and decorate the house the way they would like it to be.

“New home owners should try to continue a regular savings routine, seek advice, and ensure they look to have some money put aside for those unexpected repairs and life events that happen from time to time.”

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