2. Before you buy
The decision to buy a home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make, and it is a decision that should not be taken lightly.
There are a number of important factors that you should consider before buying your own home. These include:
- affordability - unlike your rent, your mortgage repayment will not include buildings insurance and a free repairs service. If you buy your home you will have to pay these things yourself
- housing benefit entitlement - as an owner-occupier you will not receive any housing benefit to help with your mortgage costs. You may be entitled to income support to help with such cost, however, this is not usually payable for 9 months after you first claim it
- if you are elderly and own your own home, its value may be taken into account in assessing whether you are eligible for financial help with the cost of residential care
- if you are buying a leasehold flat/maisonette, you will have to pay a service charge. Information in respect of these charges will be provided to you as part of your right to buy offer letter