There are many things to consider when buying your first home and many things which are overlooked. Prospective house buyers work hard, save hard and take mortgage advice to see how they can invest in their first property.
A mortgage is, as you will find out during your mortgage advice consultation, the one biggest expense that your wages have to cover. After all, keeping a roof over your head is number one priority. But it doesn't stop there.
Of course, there are all the utility bills to cover as well as car or travel expenses, holidays, clothing etc but many people see these as extras that they'll worry about later, if they consider it at all.
However, recent studies declare that dramatic rises in these bills will see the average family a staggering 800 pounds a year worse off. That's the equivalent of two extra month's mortgage payments to find. This brings the disposable income of most people down to the lowest it has been in many years and that spells bad news for many other industries.
Despite salary increases the cost of living has increased and the two do not match up, leaving a deficit every month and causing more and more people to have their homes repossessed. The biggest rise in costs has been that on fuel and the government are coming under extreme pressure to do something about the tax imposed on fuel.
We all need fuel to get to work to pay our mortgages but increasingly it seems we are going to work to pay to get to work! Fuel prices rose eight times the rate of inflation. Many wage rises will below inflation rates. It doesn't take much to see where this is heading.
Gas and electric prices have risen 13 percent and grocery bills have jumped by 11 percent, with bread at a 28 percent rise due to a problem with wheat production the world over. Mortgage payments have increased by 9 percent due to interest rates and car insurance and water bills are up 6 percent.
It makes no sense that tax on non-essentials like cigarettes and alcohol has risen only one percent.
Despite good mortgage advice being available, it seems many people are disregarding the extra living expenses just to get on the mortgage ladder. This means that many more will be living off their credit cards and thus bringing another huge stress on themselves.
It has been estimated that we will now work 70 days every year just to pay the interest on credit cards and loans. The amount now owing on personal loans has increased this year to 9.8 pounds billion and on credit cards we owe a massive 54.9 pounds billion. It is clear we are not managing our debt at all.
To try to counter balance this problem, the government have this week announced plans to make long term mortgages readily available. Is this the way to go? If the cost of living is not tackled in the UK, surely a long term mortgage with increased bills will just bring about more stressed people in debt. Maybe mortgage advice should be tailored to take into account all living expenses, these themselves varying depending on what part of the country you live in.
At the other end of the scale, it seems there are a generation of children today being raised where no-one in their family has ever worked for a living, relying instead on benefits. These children are not being taught to have aspirations, or to better themselves, or to provide their own roof.
It seems there is a distinct lack of balance in our country. We have people working themselves silly just to keep their heads above water, and failing fast, and at the other end of the spectrum there are families who no longer seem to care that they have nothing to call their own or to pass on to their children.
The government are seriously needing to address these problems with proper mortgage advice and better managed finances without putting such huge pressures on the people that are actually trying to look after themselves.