Anorak News | About The Houses

About The Houses

by | 16th, November 2006

YOU have to hand it to Rupert and Mandy. Getting into the property market when the boom was just about to start was a masterstroke.

Rupert and Mandy are so successful at the property game that their dinner parties have turned into property master classes. The only problem is to decide in which of their many splendid homes they should hold court in.

Unhappily, you missed out. Unluckily for you, you had no spare cash in the mid 1990s to buy up undervalued property stock and cheap land.

But now you have some money, you can get a foot on the ladder.

Problem is the bottom rung keeps getting higher. The average cost of property in the UK is £199,184. The average cost of a terraced home – the cheapest type – is £158,493.

According to official government statistics, the average wage in 2005 for men and women, full-time and part-time work was £23,900. The average wage for 22-29 year olds – the period when people are typically looking to buy a home – is £19,030, for women it’s £15,614. Think you can afford a mortgage on that property? You can. But it is not going to be easy.

And then there is the housing stock that is open to you. The golden rule is that location is all. So key is location that you must repeat the word thrice. Location. Location. Location.

And it is valid. Buying property in the Knightsbridge area of London will see you less exposed to fluctuations in the housing market than, say, buying a compact and bijou ex local authority (council) place in Ferndale in the Rhondda Valleys (believed to be the cheapest place to live in the UK). But your £100,000 will only buy you a broom cupboard in London premier district. This might be enough space for Boris Becker to sire a child, but you need more. And in South Wales you can buy a large house.

The key is to buy only what you can afford. But this is not to say you should be humble and go for small and decrepit places.

You should buy the most expensive place you can afford. There’s another rule, and this one says “What is dear today is cheap tomorrow”. Good advice.

Of course it might be cheap tomorrow because the bank has repossessed it and is selling it off at auction. Probably to the likes of Rupert and Mandy.

But don’t worry. Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking you through the buying process. From deciding what you can afford to dealing with agents and solicitors, we’ll provide you with an accessible guide.

But before we do, you must make sure you understand one thing – buying property is about making an investment as much as it is about making a home.

It carries a certain amount of risk. The value of your assets can go up as well as down. You need to make sure you can weather the changes.

If you can’t you could be out of pocket, and out on the street…

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Posted: 16th, November 2006 | In: Money Comment | TrackBack | Permalink