There’s often a lot of focus placed on first home buyers and how they can get a foot into the property market, and rightly so. Saving a substantial deposit and buying your first home is no small feat.
For ‘Second-steppers’, those who already own a home and are looking to upsize or upgrade, taking that next step can be just as daunting. Most people assume that once you own a property, it’s easy enough to keep moving up the property ladder. That’s not always the case, but there are a few strategies that can help you climb a little quicker.
Use the equity in your home
As a second-stepper, you’re already in a much healthier financial position as you don’t have to work nearly as hard to build up a deposit when considering buying your next home. If your current home has risen in value thanks to rising property prices in your area, you may already have enough equity to cover your deposit. What’s more, having already established a good borrowing record, securing finance for your next home is that much easier.
If you don’t have enough equity in your existing home, you’ll need to boost this with savings which means you may have to put your moving plans on hold until you’ve built up a sizeable savings fund or you’ve paid a little more into your existing mortgage.
Look for a deal
One way to get keep moving up the property ladder is to look for a deal – a property that may need a little work but will ultimately bring in the bucks if you spend a little time and effort on it.
You could try buying on the outskirts of a desirable area where properties may be more affordable but likely to increase in value over time, or buy “the worst house in the best street” and renovate or refresh to bring it up to standard. Sometimes just modernising a kitchen or bathroom, a decent paint job or a garden clear out can improve value and help build equity, so try to look beyond the imperfections.
Refinance your home loan
If you are thinking about moving up the property ladder, it’s a good time to review your existing home loan and think about refinancing. You should also compare your existing home loan with any new deals on the market as there could be an opportunity for improvement.
Working with a professional mortgage broker from the start can help set you up with the right home loan to maximise your investment.