You're Not Too Old And It's Not Too Late To Buy A Home In Your 40's
As some of you might know, last year I made a little dream of mine come true when I bought a little seaside home. It's nothing grand, but I love it, and it's my little escape from the world. Don't get me wrong. Life isn't one big holiday. I'm fortunate enough to be able to work from home, so I take my work with me.
It's not the first property I've bought. I bought my first home with my then fiancè when I was in my 20's. We then went on to upsize to home I'm in now - which I stayed in after we separated and divorced.
Obviously the property market has changed over the years, so has people's lifestyle. More people are getting onto the property ladder later on in life, and the fact is that while it can be incredibly demotivating to get into your late 30s and not be a homeowner, the reality is that you don't need to give up. It's about understanding what it really takes to buy a home when you are in your 40s.
Nail Down Your Needs and Set a Budget for This
It's one of the biggest financial investments people will make in their lifetime, but also one of the best. While a lot of people may start to think about the issues associated with owning a home, they may ask themselves what insurance do I need when I buy a house? But at the very outset, you've got to determine your needs and set a realistic budget alongside them. But, more importantly, you've got to stick to it. You need to really understand your particular needs you think you may want but aren't actually necessary. In other words, separate what you want from what you need and remember that you may need to compromise.
Do You Need to Move?
The fact is that when you are in your 40s, you've set up a life, and you may be a little set in your ways. Family and friends may be around you and you may not want to move far, but the fact is that the market will very much dictate your budget. You want to take into account the distance between the places you go to the most, but if you can maybe compromise and look slightly further afield, even 5 miles further out of your desired location, you could very well spot a bargain. And in order to achieve this, you may need to make a few little sacrifices, for example, learning to drive or commuting a tiny bit further. But the reality is if you are already doing this, what is an extra few miles?
Are You Happy to Get a Doer-Upper?
So many people don't have the time to focus on doing up a property, and if you don't have much of a deposit, the reality is that you may need to pick a doer-upper. With both houses I bought in the past, they were we thought 'done up'. It's only when we got in that we realised things needing doing. Nothing major, but in terms of decor. One job leads to another one, and before you know it you've ripped the place apart and redone everything, so I swore I wouldn't dismiss a property needing work again. When I looked at my seaside place I viewed three on the same day - and, you've guessed it, I bought then that didn't need work. You need to think about whether the work a property needs is reflected in the price before you make a decision. Also remember that a doer-upper is the perfect opportunity to put your stamp on the place if its at the right price and in a liveable state. If you buy a property that's brand new and everything is already in place, remember, it might not necessarily feel like your home, even though you live in it.
Think About the Long Term
Today many people in their 40s are now getting onto the property ladder for the first time. Being in your 40s means you probably know more about what you want not only in a property, but in life, and chances are you may well have rented and experienced the pros and cons of moving home.
The reality is however that owning your own home may mean that you have a shorter mortgage term, which can mean more expensive monthly payments, but it's still completely feasible. Make sure you speak to an independent mortgage advisor to ensure you're getting the best deal.
So many people are in the same boat, and you may think that you are the exception to the rule. But as you begin your life through your 40s and beyond, your home is certainly one of the biggest expenses, but with a little tenacity and belief, you will get there.