If you are looking at getting a mortgage then you are on the edge of making a big decision. Taking out a mortgage is a big commitment as you will have a loan that is likely to last 25 years. This means that you have to think about how you will cope with it immediately as well as in the future.
Coping in the short term
When you first get a mortgage, you may find that the payments make up a huge part of your outgoings. If you have been renting before and the amount that you will be paying out is about the same, then it is easy to think that you will be able to cope with a mortgage. Hopefully this will be the case but it is important to be cautious. Owning a home comes with more expenses than renting, even if the actual amount you are paying out in mortgage repayments is less than you were paying in rent. You will need to pay out for maintaining the property, servicing the boiler, keeping it decorated and repaired and updating it where necessary. You will also need to have life insurance and buildings insurance which you may not have had already. Hopefully you will not have big expenses when you first move in, but it is always possible. One way to check is to pay for a good survey on the property, which will identify any major problems that will need fixing right away.
It is also wise to make sure that you are careful with your spending so that you can save some money each month. By doing this, you can build up a fund which will help you if you need to pay out for any repairs, decorating or updating. It can be easy to think that insurance will cover costs of damage, but it does not cover everything and making lots of claims can lead to your premium being increased significantly and therefore making your costs of being a homeowner greater still.
Coping after 10 years
After ten years of owning a home, it is likely that you might have a family or be planning one. This means that you could have a big increase in your outgoings and possibly a reduction in your incomings as well. Hopefully your salaries will have gone up, so that the mortgage repayments are more easily manageable, but this may not be the case. It is wise to think about whether it is worth switching lenders in order to save money. If you think that you may find it harder as your children grow older, then think about whether a flexible mortgage might be worth investigating, where you can overpay when you have the money but pay less when you do not. It could help you if you do find it harder to cope in later years.
The house may also be ready for redecoration and possibly even some more major updating and repair and so you will also need to think about how you will cope with the cost of this. Some people might decide to borrow extra money against the mortgage as the value of the home may have gone up enough to do this. However, repayments will go up a result and you will need to think about whether you think that you will be able to afford this and how risky taking on a higher mortgage will be.
This may also be a time when you consider moving. You may feel that you want a bigger home and so you will need to think about whether you can afford this. Consider how much your mortgage repayments, as well as your other expenses will go up and whether this is something that you feel that you could cope with.
Coping after 20 years
After twenty years you should hopefully find that your household income has gone up enough so that the mortgage repayments are easier to manage. However, if you have a growing family this could be very welcome as you may have a lot of expenses going out. However, it could be that both parents can now work and children may even be bringing in a wage as well, which could really help. It may be a good time to think about paying the mortgage off early as there may just be a small balance left to repay and you may be able to make larger repayments or even have a lump sum saved up to pay it.