Moving out of your parent’s home is one of life’s great turning points. You have managed to reach a stage where you are earning enough and are self-sufficient enough to make it on your own. You may be looking to rent; you may be looking to get on the property ladder with your first purchase, you may even still be saving up to afford to move out. Whatever your situation, as with any purchase, it’s important to fully comprehend your needs and how best to meet them. Choosing what kind of property you want to move into could be restricted by your budget, but it’s still important to know what’s on offer, as you may be better off in the long run if you saved a little more and stretched your budget to something that will meet your needs more effectively. Below are the main property types you could be looking at on the market and who they might be best for.
Rent or Buy?
The first question you should be asking yourself is whether you want to rent or buy. You may eventually plan to buy, but are happy to rent in the meantime. If you have been living at university, or in boarding school accommodation, you may simply be desperate for your own space. The downside of renting when you plan to buy is that obviously saving for a deposit is more difficult, due to having less expendable income. However, it will offer a steep learning curve that will allow you to budget effectively before you take on the long-term responsibility of a mortgage. Some people are happy to stay at home and take the extra opportunity to save for a deposit and make their first trip outside the nest, their first buy. It all comes down to personal preference and what is important to you. It is advisable, however, not to buy property at too young an age, especially if you have yet to settle into your chosen career yet.
Whether you decide to rent or buy, you will need to budget for all the extra costs that come with that. If you are renting you will usually need a security deposit, which will usually be a month or month and a half’s rent. You will also need to cover estate agent fees and pay a month rent up front in advance. If you are buying, the costs increase significantly. Not only will you need a significant sum of money for a deposit, you will need to pay the solicitor’s fees for all the legal paperwork, and also have a property surveyor inspect the premises to make sure there will be no future issues. Then of course, with both options, you will need to factor in moving costs as well as purchasing furniture. Moving costs can be steeper than you imagine when you factor in boxes and bubble wrapping to protect your valuables, as well as potentially having to hire a moving service instead of renting a van yourself.
Consider this your entry-level property. Perfect if you’re on a budget and only have you to worry about. These are typically open plan and incorporate a kitchenette area, living area, and bed, with a small bathroom attached (usually compromising a standing shower, toilet and sink). Some purpose-built studio flats offer a ‘bedroom’ by providing a balconied second floor, usually with enough room for a bed, small table, and wardrobe. By no means will you be able to have a flat-warming party to invite all your friends round, but it will be a space you can call your own, they are also a lot more affordable should you be looking to become a first-time buyer, though obviously, you may quickly outgrow such a small property.
Apartments can vary from one bedroom through to five or six bedroom penthouses. But typically most people tend to think of apartments being one or two bedrooms. Many will offer a living room with a kitchenette area, though some may have a separate kitchen. But all will have a separate bedroom and potentially even a proper bath. Apartments are usually a little more pricey than studio flats, but you get something that feels a lot more like a home. If you opt for a two bedroom apartment, you could split the costs with a friend to make it even more affordable. A small apartment could even be an ideal first step onto the property ladder; whether you’re living by yourself or sharing with a partner, they offer enough space to live comfortably for a number of years, though you may want to consider moving to a larger property if you are looking to start a family.
This could be considered the cheapest way into a ‘proper house’. With a terrace house, you get two or three floors, and anything from one to four or five bedrooms. Most terrace houses are two or three bedrooms and usually have on-street parking. End-of-terrace properties typically command a premium as they aren’t sandwiched in-between the neighbours, but offer little else other than an extra external wall. On that note, the dividing walls tend to be quite thin between the properties so you may end up knowing a lot more about your neighbours than you originally planned for. If you are looking to rent, this could be a good opportunity to get something a little bigger and maybe even bring a third friend into your private house share. If however, you are looking to buy, these make excellent starter homes and will usually last you a number of years, even if you decide to start a family. Terrace houses are normally situated quite close to the town centre, so should over excellent transport links and access to shops.
Now we start to move more into the suburbs, and so increase the prices. Though an end-of-terrace property is technically semi-detached, a true semi is two properties with a single adjoining wall. Again, you could search around for a two bedroom option, but these properties tend to be more family orientated and so three, four, and five bedroom properties will be the most widely available. If you have a family with two or more children, this is an ideal choice as it has enough rooms to accommodate everyone, a larger bathroom, and quite often a separate dining room as well as kitchen and living room. Seeing as most of these properties are situated in the suburbs, you will usually have a decent sized garden to the front and rear, as well as off-road parking or a garage. Village schools, which many parents prefer to send their children to, are also closer, and you benefit from proximity to open spaces and greenery. Rentals are still possible with these properties, but if you are young and sharing with friends, you may find the local atmosphere is a bit more sedate when compared to properties closer to the city centre.
This is your typical suburban dream home. Traditionally, few people chose to rent properties like these, though with house prices on the rise and mortgages becoming harder to qualify for, many families are in fact renting the larger homes that they need. Some properties have been converted to become professional house shares for those who want to rent a room further away from the busy town centre, but most are fitted out as family homes. Many are four bedrooms, though some have been extended or offer expansive grounds. Realistically the sky’s the limit with a detached home. You may be able to search around and find a smaller one or two bedroom detached property, but these are harder to come across.
For those who are desperate to own their own home but are struggling with funds or to get a large enough mortgage, there are a few outside options which can offer a surprising affordable route into ownership. An increasingly popular choice to buy a houseboat. Though the living area might be small, it should provide enough room for one or two tidy adults. The excellent upside to this property is that you can live anywhere in the country at all, especially if you work from home. There are some locations where you can purchase a permanent mooring and so keep a little bit of continuity to your life if you so wish. You could also consider a lodge, chalet, mobile home, or park home. These are all fairly similar and offer a decent sized one or two bedroom home, at a fraction of the cost for a brick and mortar equivalent. The downside to owning a property like this is that you don’t own the land the property is built on. This means you have to pay the landowner rent to live there and are at risk of having your permission to live there revoked if they are particularly amoral.
Hopefully, this information has helped to present some possibilities to you that you may not have considered with regards to your accommodation. Moving out and living by yourself can be a large and worrying step to make, but knowing more about the options available can help to take the edge of that worry and make the whole process seem more manageable.