Real estate is notoriously expensive in cities. Most people are forced to rent property or move out of the city. But what if you don’t want to do either? Getting on the property ladder in a city may still be possible so long as you’re willing to make some sacrifices. A large house in a trendy area might not be feasible, but there are other options.
Below are just a few tips for affording property ownership in a city.
Consider different types of property
A detached three bed house might be out of your budget, but there may be alternative options that are more affordable. A few examples include:
Condominiums: A condominium is an apartment that you’re able to buy and sell (regular apartments are for rent only). Condominiums are typically much cheaper than houses and are a popular first property for those buying in cities. There are sites like Precondo wherein you can find information on the latest condo developments without visiting multiple sites. You’ll usually have to sacrifice a yard, however, you may still be able to bag a balcony (not all houses in cities have backyards anyway).
Townhouses: You could try looking into townhouses for sale. These are terraced houses that are typically smaller than regular houses but cheaper. They can be a popular option for those buying their first house in a city.
Duplexes: A duplex is a single building containing two houses joined to each other or two condominiums on top of one another. They’re more expensive than terraced property but cheaper than detached housing.
Houseboats: Houseboats are also popular in many cities. Living on the water can often be cheaper than living on land and you may still be able to score as much space as a condo.
Choose your area wisely
Location can of course have a big impact on price too.
While some areas may be very expensive, others could be very cheap. The cheapest areas tend to come with big trade-offs, so be careful – you may have to put up with a lot of local noise, high crime rates, less local amenities or simply ugly surroundings.
Work out what you are prepared to sacrifice. A high crime rate is a sacrifice you may want to avoid, while a lack of local amenities and ugly surroundings may be something you can put up with.
Look into special incentive schemes and mortgages
Cities can sometimes have incentive schemes in place to make property cheaper – particularly for first-time buyers. This could include special low down payment mortgages or the option to have some of your down payment paid when buying certain types of properties (often new builds under a certain value).
You’ll still need to have a stable income and a good credit score before applying for such schemes. A local mortgage broker or advisor may be able to help you to identify such schemes.
There could also be state and federal schemes that you can look into. For instance, if you’re a veteran, you could consider looking into VA loans (these mortgages require no down payment).