Not many young people will be in a position to buy a property when they first leave home.

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1 $ Section 7 89 Not many young people will be in a position to buy a property when they first leave home. However, it may be of use to learn a little about how the process works. We asked a group of people aged who had recently moved into their own homes whether they would have benefited from learning about being a first time buyer at school or college. They all said they wished they had been able to find out more at a younger age and this would have made them more confident when going through the whole process. This section won t go into the finer details of buying a property; it will simply look at some common terms and the main steps involved. 7.1 First things to consider - Pros v Cons What are the pros and cons of buying a home compared to renting or living at home with mum and dad? Pros (good things about buying your own home) Cons (bad things about buying your own home) Suggested answers: Pros: Investing in an asset, security (no threat of eviction unless unable to keep up with mortgage repayments), and freedom to choose how the property looks Cons: Can be very stressful, can be lengthy process, expensive (solicitors fees, surveys etc), committed to re-paying the mortgage unless you sell the property, responsible for all repairs (repairs are landlords responsibility if renting)

2 90 Section What can I afford? Mari (25 years old) was renting with a friend in a three-bedroom property in Swansea. She was paying 250 a month rent and 160 bills on top. Not too bad for a nice, quiet part of the city. She wanted to buy her own house and settle in the city where she d grown up. Before looking at any properties, she thought carefully about what she could afford. She had 10,000 savings and her parents were also able to give her 10,000 so she had a 20,000 deposit 1. Mari took home about 1,300 2 a month. She went to see a mortgage advisor, who explained the different options to her. If Mari was looking at properties worth 115,000 and was able to put down 20,000, she was looking at a mortgage 3 of 95,000. The mortgage advisor explained the different types of mortgages 4 so Mari could get an idea of how much she would be repaying each month. With a repayment mortgage of around 95,000 over 25 years 5, Mari would be re-paying on average a month, depending on the type of interest rate she chose 6. Mari also did some research on how much, on average insurance, utility bills 7, Council Tax 8, telephone, broadband, TV licence etc would cost. She calculated that these bills would come to around 250 a month. 1 If you have savings you won t need to borrow as much money and your monthly repayments will be lower. Some lenders will insist that you have a deposit but others may be willing to lend you 100% of the value of the house. 2 Gross income is the amount of money you earn every month. For example, a 20,000 a year salary equals 1,666 gross income per month. Take home pay (net income) is the amount you earn every month minus tax, National Insurance contribution, student loan repayments, pension, trade union membership etc. The amount of deductions varies from person to person and can also depend on the amount you earn. If you are thinking about buying a home, you must look at your net income to see if you can afford the monthly repayments. 3 A mortgage is a type of loan taken out to buy a property. It is different from other types of loans because it is larger and borrowed for a longer period. If you don t repay the lender each month, they can repossess your home and sell it on to get the money back. Lenders can be high street banks and building societies or specialist mortgage lenders who cater for self-employed or people with bad credit. 4 The two main types of mortgage are repayment and interest-only. Repayment mortgages are the simplest, least risky types because you pay part of the actual amount borrowed as well as some of the interest. For more information on interest-only and other types of mortgage go to cliconline.co.uk/default.asp?conid= Mortgages are usually taken out for 25 years although with the sharp increase in house prices over the last ten years, the length of repayments can also be extended to 30 and 40 years. 6 There are loads of different interest rates that apply to mortgages. The type of interest rate you choose will decide how much you repay each month. For more information on interest rates go to the link above. 7 Utility bills are water, gas and electricity. 8 A tax paid to the Council. The amount to be paid depends on where you live and how big your house is.

3 $ Section What would I sacrifice? We saw Mari s situation in activity 7.2. She had worked out roughly how much it would cost to buy a house worth 115,000 with a deposit of 20,000. Here is a list of how much Mari currently spends each month on average. Rent 250 Bills 160 Food 200 Car insurance 40 Petrol 100 Clothes 200 Going out 150 Holidays, visiting friends 50 Total 1,150 Here is how much she could be spending each month if she bought a house: Mortgage repayment Bills 250 Food 200 Car insurance 40 Petrol 100 Clothes 200 Going out 150 Holidays, visiting friends 50 Total 1,490-1,590 Remember! Mari takes home 1,300 a month. Can you suggest some areas where she could cut back on her spending in order to make buying a house a realistic and affordable option? Suggested answers: food bill could be reduced considerably by going to more budget supermarkets and by looking for 2 for 1, buy one get one free offers. Sign up for a supermarket store card. If the car is used for travel to work, look at options such as car sharing, public transport or even walking if appropriate! Cut down on clothes shopping and wait for the sales. Maybe stay in and have friends round for an evening rather than go out. Cut back on the holidays and trips away. Save up for one big holiday a year. She could look for a cheaper house and consider renting out a room Which sacrifices would you be prepared to make if you were looking to buy a house but not sure whether you could afford to?

4 92 Section Getting a mortgage Once you have decided that you can afford to buy a house, you can go to a mortgage lender to get an agreement in principle. The mortgage lender will decide if you qualify for a mortgage and will look at your earnings and your deposit to see how much they are willing to lend. Once you have this agreement in principle, you can start looking for properties. As a rule, mortgage lenders will lend three to four times your salary e.g. if you earn 25,000 a year you can borrow 75, ,000. If you are buying with someone else, you can normally borrow between two and a half and three and a half times your combined salaries. For example Person A earns 25,000 a year and Person B earns 15,000. The amount that can be borrowed is 100, ,000. Some mortgage lenders will even be prepared to lend more, sometimes as high as five times the salary but these mortgages may carry high interest rates and other conditions. If you have a bank account with one bank, this doesn t stop you from applying for a mortgage with another bank. However, some banks may have special deals for people who already have an account with them. It s worth shopping around for the best deals. You can also go to a mortgage broker or an agent that can look at the whole market and advise you on the best options. 7.5 Where to look for properties: local Estate Agents, local house builders, classified adverts in local newspapers, on the Internet Try answering the following questions: 1 Usually an advert for a property for sale will have a picture and a short description as well as a value in sterling. What is this value called? a) recommended retail price b) sale price c) asking price 2 An appointment to see a property is called: a) seeing b) look around c) inspection d) viewing True or false? 3 You must stick to just one estate agent. 4 If you go to view a property, you aren t allowed to ask any questions e.g. when the kitchen or bathroom was installed. 5 Only the people interested in buying the property are allowed to go and see it. 6 If you are still interested in a property you can make an appointment to see it again. 7 You have to make an offer if you would like to buy a property. 8 You have to offer at least the asking price for a property.

5 Section 7 93 Answers to 7.5: 1 c) Asking price. When a person decides to put a property on the market or for sale an estate agent will normally value the property. The asking price will depend on a number of factors: where the property is situated, how many bedrooms, is there a garage, parking space, garden, new or old bathroom, kitchen? 2 d) An appointment to see a property is a viewing. Once you have seen an advert for a property or properties you like, you can ask the Estate Agent for more details (specifications).these will provide more information on the size of each room in the property as well as features such as double-glazing, central heating and those listed above. 3 False. You can look at properties with as many Estate Agents as you like. You are not tied to any particular Estate Agent. 4 False. In fact, you should make a list before viewing a property of all the questions you would like to ask. Normally the Estate Agent will show you around but sometimes the owner prefers to do so. This should not put you off asking some awkward questions. If you eventually buy the house, you have a right to know certain things! If you ask questions it will also give you an idea of how much work you will need to do on the property if you buy it. The mortgage lender will normally carry out a survey of the property before lending the money. This is not very in-depth so you may consider paying for a more detailed survey to be carried out. 5 False. You can take along friends or family members to a viewing. Getting a second opinion from someone who knows you is a good idea. 6 True. Arrange to go and see the property at a different time of day or on the weekend to get a fuller picture. 7 True. It s not like going to a shop, deciding you like something and then taking it to the till. If you decide you like a property you must put an offer to the seller (normally via the Estate Agent). 8 False. You can make an offer lower than the asking price and it depends how desperate the seller is to sell on whether he/she will accept. 7.6 The Legal Process Once an offer has been accepted you must contact your solicitor to tell them to start the legal process (this is called conveyancing). There will be a charge for this so make sure you can afford it. Contracts will be exchanged and you will be required to pay a deposit at this stage. After the exchange of contracts, a completion date is agreed and this will be the date you get the keys to your new home.

6 94 Section Where would I want to buy a home / Where can I afford to buy a home? We may dream of living in a luxury flat in the trendy part of town or a beautiful old house in the country but we must be realistic! After looking at sections 7.2 and 7.3 and working out roughly how much you could borrow if you earned the national average wage of around 22,000 a year, you will see that this narrows your options considerably. Why not take a look in the local paper to see the types of properties for sale in a particular price range. Choose 3 properties under 120,000 that you would be happy living in. Give reasons for your decisions. Did others in your class choose the same properties? Which property would you choose if you had just won the lottery?! 7.8 Some words of wisdom from people who have been there and got the T-shirt Don t be afraid to ask the mortgage advisor, bank, solicitor etc if you don t understand something Do make sure that buying, rather than renting is the best option for you, especially if you are moving to another area Some of the dos and don ts of buying a home Do find out about mortgage options before speaking to a lender and decide which type of mortgage suits you best Do make sure you have some money left over for solicitor s fees and for buying furniture etc for your new home Don t be put off by jargon. Visit websites such as Clic Online for simple and clear advice and information Don t try and do everything once you have moved in. Decorating, furnishing and unpacking may take weeks if not months! Chill out!

7 95 references References Pages 5-7 courtesy of Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills Personal and Social Education Framework 2008 Photos on pages 10, 11, 12 and top of page 13 courtesy of Housemate for Primary Schools, Shelter and Shelter Cymru, 2002 Photo on bottom of page 13 courtesy of Swansea University Marketing Department, 2007 Photo on top of page 14 courtesy of Swansea College, 2007 Photo on bottom of page 14 courtesy of CREE Photography, 2007 Pages 16 and 17 adapted from Teesside Nightstop s Student Pack Photo on page 19 courtesy of Housemate for Primary Schools, Shelter and Shelter Cymru, 2002 Photos on pages 22 and 23 courtesy of Housemate for Primary Schools, Shelter and Shelter Cymru, 2002 Page 25 courtesy of the Welsh Assembly Government Photo on page 27 courtesy of The Big Issue Cymru, 2007 Pages 34 and 35 courtesy of Bradford Nightstop s HEAT resource Pages 38, 39, 40 adapted from The Right Track Pack, Shelter Cymru, 2007 The truth about asylum on page 45 Information adapted from The Refugee Council s website - refugeecouncil.org.uk. All information correct at time of printing. Understanding how and why people come to work in the UK on page 45 Information adapted from the New York Times, January 16, All information correct at time of printing. Photos on page 46 courtesy of Housemate for Primary Schools, Shelter and Shelter Cymru, 2002 Page 48 courtesy of I m Offski Scottish Council for Single Homeless, 2004 Page 54 courtesy of I m Offski Scottish Council for Single Homeless, 1998

8 96 references Pages 55 and 56 adapted from The Young Book of Wisdom, Calman Trust Page 65 courtesy of I m Offski Scottish Council for Single Homeless, 2004 Page 76 adapted from I m Offski Scottish Council for Single Homeless, 2003 Page 77 adapted from I m Offski Scottish Council for Single Homeless, 2003 and The Right Track Pack, Shelter Cymru, 2007 Page 80 adapted from House about me? Falkirk Council

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