There are some great estate agents out there, but you’re not restricted to only using an agency when looking for your next home. If you’re interested in trying something different, check out our alternative ways to buy a house.
How You Buy:
1. At Auction
Currently, around 1.3% of houses sold in the UK are done so at auction and, although representing a small proportion of the property market, there could be bargains to be had.
Learn more about the process of buying a house at auction and how the conveyancing process may differ than the with the traditional route, read our post ‘How to Buy a House at Auction: Conveyancing Differences’.
2. Using Right-to-Buy
If you currently live in a council or housing association property and dream of owning your own home, then this may be easier than you think. Right-to-Buy is a government scheme which allows tenants to purchase their homes at a discounted rate.
The discount you receive greatly depends on how long you have lived in the property and where in the country you live. For example, the maximum discount you can receive in Wales is £8,000 and you must be a secured tenant of a local authority. Whereas in England, discounts are tens of thousands of pounds more.
Should you be interested in the Welsh Right-to-Buy scheme, act quickly. The scheme will be abolished by 2019 as there is shortage of housing stock.
3. Using Help-to-Buy
With a Help-to-Buy equity loan you can purchase a new-build property with as little as a 5% deposit. The government will then lend you up to 20% of the cost, allowing you to reduce the size of the mortgage you require and minimise monthly repayments.
Learn more about the scheme and how it works here, or take a look at our interactive piece ‘Help-to-Buy Statistics: 5,000 Homes Were Bought in Wales Using Help to Buy’.
4. Through Shared Ownership
Shared ownership is a housing association scheme which allows first time buyers to purchase a share of a home and pay a small monthly rent on the remaining portion. If and when you can afford it, you can then purchase a larger share of the home.
This scheme gives priority to local authority or housing association tenants, but is open to all first time buyers, and is available for new build properties only.
5. Build Your Own
Of course, who says you have to buy a pre-existing property? You could purchase a plot of land, gain planning permission and build your own dream home.
Who You Buy With:
6. With a Friend or Partner
Cohabiting is increasingly common, however the number of people purchasing a property with friends is also on the rise. After all, two wages are better than one.
Buying a house with friends can boost your budget and provide you with more opportunities, however we would always recommend signing a declaration of trust or cohabitation agreement which outlines your rights and responsibilities.
Read more: What Needs to be Included in a Declaration of Trust?
7. With Your Mum and Dad
If you’re lucky enough to have generous parents or other family members, then this could provide you with a leg up on the property ladder.
This is generally done in one of a few set ways: your parents could become your guarantors and offer their property/assets as collateral for your loan, or you may decide to opt for a family deposit mortgage where their savings are offset against your mortgage to lower monthly repayments.
Lastly, of course, is the alternative of your parents purchasing the property as an investment. Many young people choose this option and pay a form of rent which gradually buys a portion of the house.
Are You Struggling to Get onto the Property Ladder?
If you’ve found saving for your first home difficult and are now considering alternative ways to buy a house, you may be interested in our recent research ‘Historic House Prices: Research Shows Your Parents Definitely Had it Easier’.
For further information on purchasing a property, speak to one of our friendly residential conveyancing solicitors or read a few of our related posts below.