STUART McGINLEY: Back on the road to being a homeowner

I’ve talked before about how I loathe excessive charges from letting agents and how as tenants you sometimes feel ripped off when charged fees for them seemingly doing very little.

One of those fees that annoys me is the ‘tenancy extension’, we must pay £60 just for them to send us a letter asking us if we want to extend our tenancy for another year, what a rip off!

However, the opportunity has finally come for me to get on the property ladder as the landlady where I live wants to sell, and she has offered us a private sale. We’ve agreed a price and so now the journey to find the right mortgage has begun. I squandered the chance to buy a property 20 years ago and instead decided to invest in a pension scheme, not one of my best moves really! The house I was going to buy, was a three-bedroom semi for just £57,000, but I bottled it at the last minute and pulled out... within three years, the price had more than doubled!

I am keen to buy a property now as I feel it’s now or never as I am already 44 and do want to retire before I am 80(!) and I worked out I’ve spent over 23,000 in the past two and a half years on rent, money that I’ll never see again.

That said, it’s very scary taking out such a big financial commitment, especially with so many products available, with different fees and rates etc... and uncertainty over the economy. I want to be sure I am getting the best deal and people have recommended seeing a mortgage broker, this was very good advice. They are doing all the hard work in finding a deal that’s affordable and right for me and I feel much more confident buying.

So, my journey to becoming a homeowner has started again, I hope I manage to sign this time without getting the jitters. I’ll keep in mind all those outrageous letting agent’s fees and how at least I will never have to pay £60 again for them to send me a letter in the post. Perhaps, I should charge them the same fee for giving them notice to end the agreement!

:: More mutterings on Twitter @stumcginley

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