Signs that your flatting days are over

Your food’s missing from the fridge again and someone you don’t know appears to be eating it in your lounge. Your landlord’s just increased the rent and it’s becoming obvious that the draughty, cold bedroom you pay top dollar for each week isn’t doing it for you anymore...

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Is it time to save up to buy your own house? Perhaps. Here are some signs to be sure…

Your rent is the same (or nearly) as a mortgage

Why pay someone else’s mortgage when you can spend the same and pay your own? That way, any gains in your property’s value are yours - not your landlord’s.

Research how much weekly payments would be if you bought a property within or just under your budget - you might be pleasantly surprised.

Yes, you’ll also have to pay rates, and maintenance for your house, but at least you’ve made it onto the property ladder.

You and your partner want to start a family

If anything, tentative plans of starting a family will give you extra motivation to find your own nest to raise your darling offspring without worrying they’ll damage someone else’s house.

There are other good reasons for buying before you breed. First, it’s easier to convince the bank to lend you money if you’re both on full-time incomes. If one of you stops working or reduces your hours after a baby arrives, this could be more difficult. Though you also need to work out whether you’re going to be able to cover the mortgage payments on one income - you won’t want the stress of missing payments on top of dealing with new parenthood.

On the other hand, waiting until you’re down to one income may mean you qualify for the Government’s HomeStart grant. Speak to a mortgage broker to find out what the smartest move would be in your situation.

You have a great job - and your flatmates are idiots

If you find that the party-mad flatmates you once loved to be around are now doing your head in, that’s a clear sign you’re ready to move on.

Start saving the money you’d generally spend on flat parties, and get onto the property ladder while you can. Even if you intend to depart on the big Kiwi OE at some point, you can always rent your house out and have somewhere to truly come home to.

Your property market is a moving target

During your years of renting, you’ve managed to put aside quite the bundle of cash with the idea of buying quite a flash house “one day”.

That day has arrived, but what you get might not be the mansion you envisioned.

In an active property market you can keep saving forever and never have enough to afford what you truly want. So start by buying what you can afford now, build your equity rather than pay someone’s rent, and move up the property ladder step by step, until you hit your dream home.