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.

Saturday, 12th November 2016, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:16 pm

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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