Having a baby brings much anticipation and joy. But it can also be stressful too as you start to think about juggling your mortgage with all the new expenses a family can bring – not to mention a reduction in income when your partner goes on maternity leave. There are, however, a number of ways to manage this and keep your finances on track.
Top tips to managing your budget when you start a family
- Plan ahead – make sure you understand your employer’s maternity leave policy and what you are entitled to in terms of government benefits.
- Watch your savings – if you have savings, ensure you adequately manage them by adding to your account wherever you can, rather than ‘dipping in’. If you have to dip in then pay yourself a set amount via a direct transfer each month. This way, you won’t be tempted to pull out more and more on an ad hoc basis which can quickly eat into your savings nest egg.
- Keep a tight rein on debt – avoid running up credit cards and personal loan debts. Use the direct transfer method to keep it under control.
- See if you qualify – your bank may offer a ‘repayment holiday’ for up to 12 months if you’ve had your mortgage with them for some time or have extenuating circumstances. Contact them to see if you’re eligible.
These are just some of the ways you can manage your mortgage repayments as you welcome a new family member. For more, speak to one of our mortgage brokers here at Professional Partners. We can offer you lots of great advice from helping you forecast your budget to innovative tools to assist with repayments.
You’re ready to upgrade to a new home but you’ve hit a substantial brick wall. What do you do first – buy your new property or sell your current home? There are many variables and scenarios to consider in this situation but overall, our opinion is you go for the ‘buy first and then sell’ option. Here’s why:
Finding a new house is no easy task. When upgrading it can take months, or even up to a year, to find a suitable property. If you sell first, you may find out yourself out in the cold – literally! – for a long period as you hunt for the right property.
Price is another consideration too. The higher up the property market you go (i.e. the more expensive the property) the less supply available. Limited supply means a higher demand for these properties so often the one you have your eye on sells for a much heftier price than expected. If you sell first and end up underestimating the purchase price upgrade, how will you cover the shortfall? And where will you live in the meantime?
Only take this option if ….
Our recommendation therefore is to always buy first and then sell. But this all depends one big factor – are you a strong enough financial position to afford this option without putting an added burden on your situation? To work this out, you need to understand your cash flow and bridging options but most importantly, seek bank approval. Will they allow you to buy first without a sale contract on your existing property?
An extra tip: when doing your sums be conservative in the expected sale price of your current property. You don’t want to end up with a shortfall due to lower-than-budgeted-for sale price.
We’re here to help
Still unsure about the ‘ins and outs’ of whether to buy first and then sell? Connect with us today so one of our experienced brokers can run you through the options to help you make your decision.