How to help your children onto the property ladder

In this month's edition, we help you navigate the potential pitfalls and provide some guidance on how to help your children get onto the property ladder. 

There's also news on the new surge in property supply over the UK, top tips on how to see your home this Autumn and a look at why buyers are taking longer to make their decision when it comes to buying a home. 

How to help your children onto the property ladder

Most parents will tell you that you never stop worrying about your children, even after they’ve long flown the nest. Given how difficult it can be to get started on the property ladder for most people in their 20s or 30s, the Bank of Mum and Dad are increasingly getting involved to give their children the best possible chance of buying that important first home. But with the average deposit for a house in Britain currently standing at a dizzying &51,000, parents need to simultaneously make sure that they protect themselves financially before committing their own futures for the sake of their offspring. With that in mind, here are our top tips for helping your kids to get onto the property ladder:

Bring your children back home (briefly!)
It can be very difficult to save up enough cash for that first home when living in a rented property, purely because the cost of living in Britain can be difficult to manage even if you’re a couple who are both in full-time work. One easy way to help your child and their partner to save some money is to welcome them home for a period. Of course, we can’t help you draw up a washing-up rota, but taking away big costs such as rent, bills and even food expenditure will instantly help them start putting away the money required to get them started.
Gifting or lending them the money
If you’re able to, the benefits of gifting or lending your children money can be huge, as a large sum of money could mean the difference between being able to secure deals with lower interest rates.

However, this option can be potentially difficult to navigate on a personal level, and comes with a strong recommendation of confirming your agreement with your children and their partner prior to any money changing hands. Make sure you confirm that you’re either gifting or lending them the money beforehand, and if it’s the latter, then set up a repayment plan for your own piece of mind.

A Declaration of Trust document is a good way of confirming this, and it can clearly state who owns what part of the property in the event that your child separates from their partner and the home is sold.

Buy the home with your child
If you’re concerned about the long-term implications of giving your child a lump sum, or are unable to make that sort of financial commitment, then a joint mortgage is a good way of sharing the responsibility. In this case, you and your child are both liable for paying for the loan made to purchase your home, and you can come up with a financial plan for repayment that suits you.

Remortgage your own home
This is another option open to you in order to provide you with a lump sum of cash, which can be a huge help when it comes to putting down that all-important deposit. Again, it’s one that comes with strings attached, given that you will have an increased number of payments to consider, including arrangement fees and interest on a higher mortgage rate.

Whichever route you choose when trying to help your children get onto the property ladder, gaining independent financial advice is strongly advised to make sure that you’re making the correct decision for everyone. Helping your children to buy their first home is an important, personal experience, and one that deserves to be as stress-free as possible.

New surge in property supply through the United Kingdom

Property is always in high demand and consistently outpaces supply, this has been especially true of the past two years with market activity taking a fall due to reluctant homeowners.

While the summer may not have been as lively as some had hoped, new research that looked into activity during September has shown substantial growth in sellers coming to the market.

The property supply index from House Simple looked into the number of new properties being listed by estate agents in 100 major UK towns and cities.

The latest index showed that across the UK, not only did the number of new properties listed for sale rise by 18.1% in the month of September, but when compared to the same month in 2017 it was up by 6.2%.

These figures are a welcome sign and it appears that now the summer holidays are out of the way, many homeowners seem to have turned their focus to finding a new home.

When taking a closer look at some of the figures, it was found that London saw the largest rise in new sellers with an increase in 45.5% during the month of September, reaching a 3 year peak.

Other areas throughout the country that saw considerable rises were Cambridge (36.2%), Salisbury (34.1%), Salford (33.8%), Winchester (32.5%) and Poole (31.7%) all recording growth of over 30% within the month and suggesting that market activity is greater towards the South.
There were some areas that saw a fall in supply such as Lichfield, where supply fell by 37.1% along with Lancaster and Loughborough, where supply dropped by 31.6% and 29.1% respectively.

Some experts would suggest that this sudden surge in supply indicates that homeowners are looking to wrap up a property transaction before Brexit hits, however, CEO of the company that conducted this research – Sam Mitchell – believes this isn’t the case.

“It’s not so much a case of beating the Brexit rush for the door, but more life has to go on. People will always need to move whatever is happening in the housing market and wider economy. And there seems to be more of an acceptance now amongst sellers that they need to price more realistically to attract a buyer. This sensible and measured view is helping to push through more sales which wasn’t the case before the summer," said Mitchell.

Read our top tips to help you sell your home this Autumn

It didn’t take long for Autumn to take hold, did it? It seems like only a few weeks ago, we were enjoying the blazing sunshine and moaning about the heat, but with October in full swing, it’s time to start wondering if it’s time to stir the heating into life and get those jumpers out of hibernation.

Autumn can be a great time to sell your home; the colours and relatively early sunsets can certainly help to offset your property, but there are several things that you can do to help show your home in the best light when you’re trying to find a buyer. Here are our top tips:

Have a tidy, inside and out
It might seem obvious, but de-cluttering and tidying your property before you start viewings, both inside and out can have a huge effect. Remember, you’re trying to show your home off, and attempting to get visitors to envisage themselves living there; making sure the entrance to your home, your living area and any garden space that you might have looks organised and tidy can have a huge effect on that. That means toys, shoes, papers and the like need to be put away.

Bulky items that take up space need to be temporarily removed, too. Remember, buyers want to see how they would fit in your home, and a lack of available space can make that difficult whilst simultaneously making the property seem smaller than it is.

Conduct viewings before it gets dark
It might not always be possible due to your schedule, but when possible, make sure to schedule viewings before it gets dark. With the sun going down earlier and earlier as the year draws to a close, it’s important to take advantage of natural daylight so that your property looks brighter and cleaner. Even if you are busy working during the day, it’s possible to organise a viewing agent who can show your property off for you.

Air your home
With no sunshine in the day to dry your clothes during the day, many of us dry our wet washing indoors at this time of year, meaning more moisture gets into the air around your home. Make sure to open your windows to alleviate this, and get some fresh air around your home.

Don’t be afraid to turn the heating on
You may be hesitant to turn on the heating before the real cold sets in, but making your property nice and warm before each viewing can be a great advantage when trying to get people interested in your home. It’s always nice to return to a warm house, and small touches like that, aswell as lighting a scented candle can help to make people feel relaxed.

Buyers are taking longer to decide when it comes to purchasing a home

Buying a home is arguably the biggest purchase you will ever make so it is understandable that many of us like to take our time on such an important decision.

It’s common knowledge to be as thorough as possible when viewing a home to make sure that it’s right for you, but how long does it take on average for a buyer to make a decision?

New data from eMoov has looked into the average number of viewings and viewing time and discovered that buyers are actually taking 23% longer to make a decision than they were two years ago.

According to research conducted in 2016, it took buyers 53 minutes on average during the viewing process to come to a decision and just over half (53%) came to this decision after an average of two viewings.

In comparison, the same research conducted in 2018 revealed that this process has increased to 65 minutes and 2.4 viewings on average.
There are a number of factors that could play into this, but one of the strongest theories from property experts is that it is Brexit related.
When looking into individual regions it appears that Northern Ireland requires the most time to decide on a home at an average of 78 minutes, which was closely followed by the region of the North West at 77 minutes and East Anglia at 70 minutes.

On the other end of the scale, the region that is the quickest to buy a home is Scotland, only needing 55 minutes to make a decision and the only area taking less than one hour.

In terms of viewings, 56% of buyers only need to view a home twice, 27% required three viewings, 8% needed to see the property four times and 1% even wanted to see a home five times or more. The research also revealed a brave 7% that were happy to submit an offer after just one viewing.

So, what does this mean if you’re selling your home? Well, it appears that buyers are taking their time to scrutinise each property in more detail. While it is common sense to present your home in its best light at all times, it may be worth putting in a little extra work to ensure your home is in tip-top shape.

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