Please Note: This Article is 5 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Getting on the property ladder in 2017 is not going to be easy for the average first time buyer and success at that may involve taking on a bit more risk.

Many waiting to buy have resolved themselves to renting for the foreseeable future, or indefinitely, while others wonder if their property ownership dreams will ever become reality. The competition for suitable buys is fierce and with rising prices and stagnant wages, the possibility goes further away with every passing month.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor’s (RICS) latest housing report, the UK housing market picked up for first-time buyers in September, underlining just how keep young people are to get onto the housing ladder.

But given the demand, the increasing cost of houses, and the possibility of rising interest rates, first-time buyers may need to think about using different strategies to get a foothold on the ladder.

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It’s not ideal but taking on more risk and accepting less than ideal circumstances in the short term, with a view to improving when the money becomes available later, may just be the answer for some – short term pain may well be a long term gain.

Buying property which is a bit run-down, perhaps when an old couple pass on, is not a young girl’s dream, but it can make the difference between owning for life or renting for life. Living with the situation may not be pleasant but hey, think about the benefits of ownership and how it will be when you can afford to improve.

Buying in a flood area is another strategy to consider. Given the widespread media coverage of flooding damage and misery caused by recent winter storms, prices reflect this. An Aviva survey has shown that over one-third of young people would consider living in a flood-risk area if it helped them to get on the housing ladder. They may have to work hard at researching the mortgage market, but it can be done, and there are lots of things a house owner can do to combat the effects of flooding.

Buying in less desirable areas is also a possibility. Although crime rates may be higher, and the choice of schools may be limited, for young people as a stepping stone to better things it may be one option.

The classic one is buying a larger house and renting out rooms. Lodgers are a great way to increase your mortgage paying power, so if you can manage to raise the deposit for something a bit bigger, once the rents start coming in mortgage payments should be a synch.

If you are really one for a challenge, how about a refurb project, perhaps even a house with some structural problems, roof, walls foundations etc, which, with a little tech know how and some hard work, can be corrected. These come up at auctions on a regular basis, but detailed research is needed and funds in place.

Aviva UK’s Lindsey Rix, told the Sunday Post:

“Home ownership is still seen by many in the UK as a significant milestone in life, and these findings make it clear that many people are being forced to be flexible about where they buy in order to get a leg up on the housing ladder.”

Another source, a report from the Post Office Money Mortgages section, says that 40 per cent of young people renting have actually given up on ever buying their own house. They cited the struggle to raise a deposit as the main reason for this, though some 16 per cent of today’s tenants said they enjoy the freedom from the worry of being a home owner, and their ability to move easily.

Please Note: This Article is 5 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


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