For most people, buying a home is the biggest single investment they ever make. It’s an exciting time, but there is a lot to think about. So you’ll need to take time to look at the costs.
It’s a good idea to do this as early as possible, before you get too far into the Right to Buy process. You are responsible for how you finance buying your home – your landlord can’t arrange this for you. See our information about mortgages for more help or contact one of our Right to Buy advisers who can offer you support and talk you through the potential costs and options available.
Think about the future, when your circumstances may change. Bear in mind that house prices and interest rates could go down in future as well as up.
Look at all the costs, not just mortgage repayments. You’ll have additional costs and responsibilities you may not have as a tenant, such as repairs and maintenance. Don’t forget general living costs when working out what you can afford (food, bills etc).
If you buy a flat, you’ll probably be a leaseholder, and will have to contribute to the maintenance of the building and surrounding area.
Don’t forget to think about the one-off costs too – such as stamp duty, a survey and solicitor’s fees. You might find our checklist useful in comparing costs as a homeowner and a tenant to help you work out your individual costs if you buy, and other things to think about.
Other things to consider
- You won’t be eligible for housing benefit if you become a homeowner.
- You may want income protection or life insurance in case anything happens to you while you’re paying back your loan or mortgage (some lenders require this).
- Your home could be at risk if you fail to keep up with your mortgage or loan payments.
- Even if you don’t need a mortgage yourself, check whether lenders are willing to give loans or mortgages on the type of house or flat you are buying. If you want to sell in the future, people interested in buying your property might need a mortgage.
- Always check costs upfront before signing anything.
- Remember the value of your home can go down as well as up.
- Interest rates can also go up as well as down.
We’re here to help
The government works with a number of organisations who provide free and unbiased advice and can point you in the right direction – check them out on our useful contacts page.
The government’s Right to Buy Agent service also offers free and impartial advice on Right to Buy and, if you decide home ownership is the right choice for you, our advisers can help you through the process of buying your home.
This website contains a number of practical tools to help you work out whether buying is right for you. You can start with the handy Right to Buy calculator which will help you work out the discount you could receive.
You can also download our free Right to Buy guide (GOV.UK) which sets out the main information you need to get you started and things to think about.