It doesn’t matter what age you are, how far you’ve come in life, or what your situation is at the minute. Stepping onto the property ladder is one of the most exciting things that you can do. Some people are fortunate enough to do it from a young age.

Others have to wait a lot longer. But the longer you wait, the more rewarding it is. You’ll most likely have more life experience with managing money, be more prepared to go it alone, and have more motivation to have your own place.

So, if you’re thinking of stepping onto the property ladder, we’ve got a guide to help you through it. There are few ways you can do it, and you can even progress further up the property ladder if you’re already on it. If you’re intrigued with what to do, then have a read of the tips we’ve got below for you.

The first steps

One of the first steps you need to consider is whether you’re ready to buy, or whether renting is the best option for you. A lot of people will advise you against renting. It is much harder to save the deposit for a mortgage when the time comes, and you’re not properly on the property ladder, to begin with. To be on the property ladder you should really be looking to buy your own home. But we realize this just isn’t feasible for a lot of people. The economy in a lot of countries is pretty unstable.

Mortgage rates are constantly changing, so it is important to try and get a fixed rate one. Flexible ones might offer better deals, but you’re more protected with a fixed rate mortgage. Renting is also the better option if you’re a bit skeptical about moving out into your own home and getting something as serious as a mortgage. If you’re doing it with a partner, you might underestimate how hard actually living with someone is.

Renting will allow you to test the waters a little bit, and get a feel for that independence that you’ve never had. So, once you’ve decided whether you’re going down the route of buying or renting, it is time to think about the style of property you actually want. There’s a lot of options out there for you, condos, apartments, and houses and three of the most popular.

All of them come in different price ranges, and all of them have their benefits. If you know you’re moving out to settle for good, then a house might be the best option for you. If you know it’s just the first step in your property journey, then a smaller, cheaper apartment might be the better option. Then all you need to do is find a trust realtor to take you through the process.

What to look for

There are a few things you need to look for when buying a house. The first is the area that it is situated in. The last thing you want to be doing is buying a property in an area that has nothing to do when you’re going to be looking for things to do. If you are looking for something a bit more out in the sticks, there will be plenty of opportunities available to you. You also need to look at the condition of the house itself.

If you’re buying a new build you will be protected for a certain amount of time if things with the building go wrong. With new builds, they usually do have a few little nagging problems. A tap might not work, you might have a leak, or the electrical wiring might be faulty. It is hard to check for these things before actually buying the house, but at least with a new build you know you are protected somewhat. With an older property, you’ve lost the protection, but you can usually get a lot more for your money.

You should be checking for any signs of rot or damp within the home. The two main places you’ll find this are in the bathroom or the kitchen. Check for any sunken ceilings or cracks in the wall which could show signs of poor structure of the home. You also want to check for signs of neglect. If the previous owners were smokers and smoked within the home, you’ll usually be able to see evidence in the form of black marks or yellowing on white paint.

Progressing up the ladder

Once you’re on the property ladder, you’ll no doubt want to progress. Even though you may adore the home you’re currently in, the prospect of a better home will always be on your mind. Homeowners seem to be the worst for still checking out listings on real estate websites to see what they could have. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there’s always something better out there, and if you can go for it you might as well.

You’re best off using a mortgage calculator to make sure you’re not going to be putting yourself at a loss. The mortgage you currently have will most likely be transferred over to your new home, but if it is bigger, you may find yourself spending more money than you actually intended on doing.

Finally, you could think about real estate investment as an exciting option. It is a great area to get into, and there’s a lot of money to be made from it if you play your cards right. Just make sure you have the money, and you get plenty of advice in advance on this one.

What to watch out for

There are two things you need to watch out for. The first is making sure you’re getting a good deal. But a good realtor can usually help you with this. Don’t be conned into paying more, especially if it is your first time on the property ladder and you’re a bit naive. Always check prices of houses within the surrounding area to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Finally, make sure getting a good rate for your mortgage. The more money you have for a downpayment, the better off you’re going to be.