Home Wasn't Built In A Day: How To Stretch Your Budget With Your First Home

First-time homeownership is no easy goal for modern buyers. With average deposits sitting at around 15% and stringent affordability checks standard along the way, it can often seem impossible. Despite that, 41% of twenty-five to thirty-four-year-olds manage to invest against the odds. And, a surprising percentage of them do so with funds to spare. After all, you don’t have to be a genius to work out that home buying is about more than the initial outlay. Even seemingly ready-to-go newbuilds come with financial needs and setbacks, and first-time buyers need to be ready for that, generally with a savings pot that exceeds the £10,000 mark. The problem is, as you’ll know if you’re attempting to tackle your first home right now, even having £10,000 in the bank doesn’t guarantee you’ll get everything done. In fact, homeownership is so rife with financial setbacks in those early days that you might want to go as far as considering these essential budget-stretching pointers from day one.

Put pride to the side
Paying for everything from furniture to home updates can become a point of pride. You’ve come this far, after all, and you want to prove that you can do every last thing yourself. But, it’s time to face facts - there’s no room for pride where your first home is concerned. What’s more, you’ve already proven yourself by buying a property at this age. So, put pride aside and let people help you. It may be that loved ones have spare furniture to pass along. They may even be able to bag you a bargain with that friend who does building work. Let people in, and you should find that you can stretch your budget further than you thought possible.

Know what needs taking care of first
It also pays to prioritise expenses in terms of importance. After all, your budget is unlikely to cover everything in one hit. Instead, make sure your money covers those necessities by prioritising each task. In other words, highlight key areas, such as window replacements, installment of security doors, and even immediate repair concerns such as broken or missing roof tiles. Only after you’ve ticked these items off the to-do list should you return to your budget as it stands and start at last to spend on less important investments, such as that beautiful new bed frame you’ve been eyeing for months. 

Remember that home wasn’t built in a day
Perhaps most importantly, you must remember that home wasn’t built in a day. Despite your best efforts to stretch budgets as they stand, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get your new home how you want it within the next few months, or even your first year of living there. And, that’s okay! You can simply refocus your efforts on saving, or buy things as and when you’re able. This more patient approach will save you from feeling the pressure and could be the key to keeping you sane in your first year or more of homeownership.