Climbing the Property Ladder

11 October 2021

If you are a first-time buyer, discussing climbing the property ladder may seem premature, especially if you are struggling to take the first step. However, forward thinking is key in property and once you’ve secured your first home, it is a good idea to think about how and when you’ll climb the property ladder in the future.

So, what is the property ladder?

The property ladder is a metaphorical image of the steps of property ownership in the UK.

Traditionally, the rungs of the property ladder were:

What Does Climbing the Property Ladder Mean?

Climbing the property ladder is the process of buying and selling homes over a period of time in order to take the next step. 

1. First-Time Buyer

First-time buyers tend to purchase a small flat as their first home. While living there, they begin paying down their mortgage to build up more equity alongside any capital growth. 

2. Second Steppers

Second-steppers are home owners who currently have their first home (usually a flat) but now want to move to a small house with more rooms and some outside space. They may wish to move in with a partner and start a family in the future.

3. Third Steppers

As a second stepper’s family grows, they may look for their ‘forever home’ – a larger family house that is close to schools, has more outside space and more bedrooms. This tends to be the home a family will stay in either until their children fly the nest or they retire. 

4. The Downsizers

Once your children leave home and retirement age approaches, many third-steppers may choose to downsize to a smaller home. This often comes with the benefit of releasing equity built up in their ‘forever home’ which can boost their pension.

How Do You Get on the Property Ladder?

Purchasing your first home is not only a massive financial commitment, but the process can be extremely daunting. 

UK property prices grew by 5.8% between September 2020 and September 2021, this has resulted in the prospect of buying looking unatonable for many first-time buyers.  According to research, the average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is now 31.

However, if you wish to get on the property ladder sooner, there are some steps you can take:

Moving Up the Property Ladder

Purchasing your first home is a huge step, but once you have taken the leap, it’s time to think about moving up the property ladder. 

Here’s what to consider as you move up the property ladder: 

1. Save more for your first home

Saving more for the deposit of your first home makes it easier to move up the property ladder in the future. 

Putting off your first purchase for longer while you save for a larger deposit means:

Most first-time buyers aim to save a deposit of 10% or 5% (if using a government buying scheme). However, by spending time saving a deposit that is 15% or 20%, you could find yourself in a much stronger position when you come to buy your second home.

2. Don’t be blinded by aspiration

Property programmes and images of glamorous homes can contribute to an unrealistic view of what may be achievable for a first-time buyer. However, there is no harm in setting a goal to work hard for to buy your dream home!

3. Be prepared to compromise

It’s highly unlikely you’ll find a property that ticks all the boxes first time round. Being prepare to compromise on location, size and finish is hugely important when stepping on to the first rung of the property ladder. 

4. Don’t be reluctant about a ‘project’

By buying a property in need of refurbishment, you may be able to save money on purchase price, then eventually add more value through doing it up.

Renovations can be daunting, especially if you’re inexperienced, but never rule one out completely as the financial benefits could enable you to climb the ladder faster.

5. Make sacrifices

Moving up the property ladder will require sacrifices – whatever rung you’re on. If you’re purchasing your first home, you may need to sacrifice certain luxuries or work longer hours so you can save the deposit you require. 

6. Experience

By going through the process of buying properties, you will build up crucial experience that you can use later as you continue to climb the ladder. 

Property transactions don’t always run smoothly, so use your experience of difficult times to build resilience as you move forward. You will also build confidence in negotiating and considering costs. 

7. Consider additional costs

Buying as well as selling will involve additional costs, so make sure to factor these into your budget to start with. 

When selling your first property, you’ll need to have it valued by an estate agent. This will then indicate how much equity you have in your home, this equity can then be used as a deposit for your second property, as well as other costs like:

8. Be patient if you are in a chain

A benefit of being a first-time buyer is that you have no buyers beneath you in your chain. This can make the buying process of your first home run more smoothly. However, when you come to sell and move to the next rung on the ladder, you may end up in a longer chain, with more risk of collapse. 

To avoid a long sales chain, consider selling your property before buying your next one – perhaps renting for a few months while you search. 

9. Get financial advice and the correct mortgage

Depending on where you are on the property ladder and your current financial circumstances, you may want to seek independent financial advice. 

Getting the right mortgage for you is always key in any property purchase, but as you move up the ladder, you may have a family to take into consideration.

Running through your financial situation with a financial advisor and mortgage broker will give you a better understanding of your circumstances and help you secure a mortgage that works best for you in the future.

10. Think one step ahead

As a first- time buyer, think about whether the property you’re considering buying will enable you to step on to the second rung in the years to come. Will it grow in value? Will it be in demand?

When selling your second property and moving to a larger family home, think about how it will work for you as your family grows as you get older. Will you have to downsize sooner than planned? 

2021

Climbing the Property Ladder 2021-10-11 Fire Alarm Laws are Changing in Scotland 2021-09-27 Research You Should Conduct Before Buying a Property 2021-09-20 The LIFT Scheme and How You Can Use It To Buy a Home 2021-09-17 The Latest Scottish Government Guidance on Property Viewings 2021-09-10 NORMAL SERVICE BEING RESUMED IN A BUOYANT HOMES MARKET 2021-08-31 Should You Refurbish Your Property? 2021-08-18 Preparing Your Home for a Successful Sale 2021-08-13 Mortgage Interest Rates - What are they? 2021-08-09 Helping You Consider the Right Location for Your Next Move 2021-07-26 Tips For First Time Buyers To Help Get Them on the Property Ladder 2021-07-19 Scotland's First Home Fund is Closed, What Other Schemes Can Help First Time Buyers? 2021-07-12 Retirement Interest Only Mortgages - What You Need To Know 2021-07-07 How the UK Mortgage Market Has Changed Due to Coronavirus 2021-06-30 How To Boost Your Mortgage Deposit 2021-06-21 New Rules For Fire and Smoke Alarms in Homes Across Scotland 2021-06-17 Preparing To Put Your House on the Market in 5 Key Steps 2021-06-14 How Much Mortgage Can I Get For My Salary? 2021-06-09 How Long Does it Take to Buy Your First House or Flat? 2021-06-02 Is Your House Ready to be Sold?: House Selling Checklist 2021-05-31 What is a Mortgage Agreement in Principle? 2021-05-25 All You Need To Know About EPC Registers and Certificates 2021-05-19 Making the Most of House Viewings 2021-05-12 How the Coronavirus Pandemic has Changed the Priorities of Scottish Home Buyers 2021-05-05 Top Tips on Preparing to Buy a House 2021-04-26 What You Need To Know About Overpaying a Mortgage 2021-04-21 Advice on Buying a Property During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2021-04-14 How the UK Mortgage Market Has Changed Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic 2021-04-13 Scotland's First Home Fund: Applications Now Closed 2021-04-09 Scotland's First Home Fund 2021-04-07 Scottish Stamp Duty Holiday: How Did LBTT Change and When Did it End? 2021-04-06 Property Questions Answered 2021-04-02

2020

Perthshire housing market back with a bang 2020-12-10 Digital Guide 2020-05-27

2019

The property market across Scotland - Quarter Two 2019 by SPC Scotland 2019-10-16 LORD PROVOST OPENS NEW-LOOK CENTRE 2019-09-17 The Dundee property market 2019-06-24

2018

Property Repair Seminar 2018-11-20 Free Property Repair Seminar Tuesday 13th November 2018 2018-11-09 The Facts January - September 2018 2018-10-18 Process of buying your property with PSPC 2018-09-11 Land & Buildings Transaction Tax - Help for First Time Buyers 2018-07-19 **Summer** 2018-07-17 A New Look for PSPC 2018-04-18 Followup for Property Repair Seminar 2018-03-26 Property Repair Seminar - Information 2018-03-19 Property Facelift 2018-03-09 Property Repair Seminar - Caring for your Historic Building 2018-03-03 Buyers Event at PSPC 2018-02-24 Moving This Spring? Something Old, Something New 2018-02-07 More on the Help To Buy Buyer's Event 2018-02-06 Help to Buy 2018-01-30 Stats - How was 2017? 2018-01-10

2017

Christmas Opening Hours 2017-12-18 Children's Christmas Colouring In Competition 2017-12-18 Free Valuations 2017-11-22 Countdown to Christmas: never too late to buy or sell! 2017-11-21 Winter Warmer 2017-11-03 Sold 2017-11-01 Three quarter year stats - 2017 2017-10-04 Help to Buy September 2017-09-30 New Digital Guide 2017-09-20 SPC Scotland New Website 2017-09-05 Digital Guide 2017-08-10 Six Month Review 2017-08-02 Reasons to live in Perthshire 2017-08-02 Under Offer 2017-08-01 June stats 2017-07-03 Chunky facts 2017-06-27 May sales 2017-06-02 First Quarter Stats 2017-03-31 Hospital Radio Quiz Night 2017-03-23 Help to Buy Event 2017-03-08 property: Perth top of Scots table with 27% gain, with Dundee close behind 2017-03-08

2016

Welcome Message Guide Issue 1477 8/12/2016 2016-12-07 PSPC Guide Competition 2016-12-07 Competition Time 2016-12-05 Social Media 2016-11-30 Black Friday 10% Voucher Deal 2016-11-25 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1476 17/11/2016 2016-11-17 Winter Warmer 2016-11-17 Thank You 2016-10-31 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1475 27/10/2016 2016-10-26 Help To Buy Event 29th October 2016 2016-10-25 Help to Buy Event 2016-10-25 Stability Remains the Theme 2016-10-06 Help to Buy Event at PSPC 2016-09-30 Need a little help getting on the property ladder?? 2016-09-22 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1473 15/09/2016 2016-09-14 August Sales/Under Offers 2016-09-01 August stats 2016-09-01 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1472 25/08/2016 2016-08-26 Local Market -v- National Trends 2016-08-26 Staff Position 2016-07-22 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1470 14/07/2016 2016-07-13 First Half of 2016 Sees £50M+ Property Sales 2016-07-01 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1469 23/06/2016 2016-06-23 Summer Storage Solutions 2016-06-23 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1468 02/06/2016 2016-06-02 Taxing Times 2016-06-02 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1467 12/05/2016 2016-05-11 A First Time for Everything 2016-05-11 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1466 21/04/2016 2016-04-21 Property Market Spring Forwards 2016-04-21 PSPC Guides 2016-04-14 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1465 30/03/2016 2016-03-30 Blooming Marvellous 2016-03-30 Sounding Out Perthshire's Legal Talent 2016-03-30 ‘Perfect storm’ in property market 2016-03-24 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1464 10/03/2016 2016-03-09 Selling Up? Clear Up! 2016-03-09 Help to Buy and Lift Scheme FREE Mortgage Advice 2016-03-04 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1463 25/02/2016 2016-02-24 Financial Help for Perthshire Househunters 2016-02-24 Under Offers 2016-02-17 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1462 11/02/2016 2016-02-10 Help to Buy = Help you Move! 2016-02-10 Help to Buy Event 2016!! 2016-02-05 Welcome to the latest edition of PSPC's Guide 28/01/2016 2016-01-29 Why PSPC? 2016-01-29 First Guide of 2016 2016-01-13 Moving On Up in 2016 2016-01-13 Stats 2016-01-12

2015

The Last of 2015 2015-12-10 PSPC Festive Opening Hours 2015-11-25 PSPC Festive Opening Hours for Saturdays 2015-11-25 Busy time for PSPC with Under Offers 2015-11-18 Its Never to Late 2015-11-09 Selling the Outside 2015-10-28 Perthshire Property Market 'Turns a Corner' 2015-10-15 Independent Financial Advice 2015-10-12 Turning Over a new leaf this Autumn 2015-10-01 Your most popular questions answered about Title Deeds 2015-10-01 Chairman's Report 2015-09-22 Properties 2015-08-01 Under Offers - July 2015-07-31 Under Offer 2015-07-22 January - June 2015 2015-07-02 Buying to Let 2015-06-12 Storage Problems? 2015-05-20 Sellers Event 2015-04-30 Spring Sales Review 2015-04-16 The Changing Face of Pensions 2015-04-14 Easter Weekend 2015-04-03 Help to Buy Day 2015-03-23 Help to buy Made Easy! 2015-03-17 Money DOES Matter! 2015-03-10 Moving on up in 2015 2015-03-10 Taxing Times 2015-03-10 And Relax.... 2015-03-10 Guidance on Stamp Duty 2015-03-10 Further update to Stamp Duty 2015-02-06 All change again for Stamp Duty 2015-01-05 Moving on up in 2015 2015-01-05

2014

November figures 2014-12-17 Staff Vacancy 2014-10-20 Taxing Times 2014-10-14 Stats 2014-10-14 September Stats 2014-10-02 Pitlochry Highland Games 2014-09-25 Pitlochry Highland Games 2014-09-12 Aberfeldy Show 2014-08-07 Half Year Stats 2014-07-09 Scotland's Housing Market 2014-06-04 Help to Buy 2014-06-03 Monday Bank Holiday 2014-05-23 Help To Buy Event 2014-05-16

©2000 to 2021 Perthshire Solicitors Property Centre and its licensees. All rights reserved. The content on this page is protected by intellectual property laws. Your use of this website is subject to our Terms of Use.

Registered in Scotland No. 204626

Perth Estate Agents | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Cookies

Design: Plexus Media Ltd, Inverness | DJS Creative Marketing Ltd, Dundee | Credits

PSPC