We all know how difficult it can be taking that first step on the ladder, but what about the second step? In many cases, getting onto the next rung can be just as challenging, with new barriers and additional financial implications to consider – but happily, confidence among this cohort appears to be on the rise.
A new survey from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks shows that 40% of first-time homeowners are now planning to take their second step on the property ladder, an increase of 14% from this time last year. Among those planning to move, a third say it's because of necessity as they've outgrown their current home, while 24% are focused on moving up the property ladder.
But what about those who aren't thinking about making the move just yet? Unsurprisingly, affordability is cited as the main concern for 30% of respondents, while 29% said they were worried about finding their dream home and 18% were concerned about taking on a larger mortgage.
It's easy to assume that the next step will be far easier than the first, but as the figures suggest, that's not always the case. "Second steppers often have more factors to consider than first-time buyers," said Steve Fletcher, head of Customer Banking Networks for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks. "These include having enough room for a growing family or being close to a specific school."
Aside from the more practical considerations involved in moving up the ladder, affordability is another key factor, so what can you do to make sure you're ready to make the leap?
Well, making sure you've got a suitable savings pot is a must! You may not have the initial deposit to worry about, but there are still plenty of costs you'll need to consider, from legal fees and valuation costs to something as simple as a removal van. And if you want to buy a bigger home without worrying about a huge mortgage, you'll probably want to save an extra sum that you can put towards the purchase.
Speaking of mortgages, you may want to look for one that comes with incentives such as free valuation or legal fees – such incentive packages are becoming increasingly prevalent as a way to stand out from the competition, so check out our mortgage best buys to see if you can take advantage.
Happily, one aspect of affordability that (hopefully) won't be too much of a concern is the mortgage rate. Averages are still among the lowest ever recorded, with fixed rates in particular being at record lows, so chances are, you'll be able to enjoy a lower rate than when you became a first-time buyer. Depending on the size of home you upgrade to, you may even be able to reduce your monthly repayments! It's an exciting thought, so if you're thinking of taking the plunge and moving up the ladder, now could be a great time to do so.
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