Getting your first home
Buying your first home is one of the most exciting things you’ll do. To make sure you enjoy the experience, we have compiled our top tips to help you get the home of your dreams!
Every penny counts!
To get a mortgage for your first home, you’ll need a minimum deposit of 5%. However, the more you save, the better your mortgage rate will be. A 10% deposit is therefore advisable, as you’ll be able to get a far more favourable rate.
Don’t forget to also budget for your; Stamp Duty Land Tax, valuation, legal and moving fees! See our associated costs with buying a home guide for further information on how much you can expect to pay.
Consider government initiatives
If you are struggling to raise a large enough deposit, there are a number of Government initiatives which could help you to get on the property ladder:
- Help to Buy: There are two parts to the scheme, Shared Ownership and Equity Loan. Shared Ownership enables you to buy a share (between 25% and 75%) of a new or existing property, whereas an Equity Loan enables you to borrow up to 20% towards the purchase cost, meaning you only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage, to buy your new home.
- Right to Buy: If you have been living in social housing for 3 years or more, you may be eligible to buy your home at a discounted price from your local council.
Do your sums
Getting a mortgage is a big financial commitment, so you need to make sure that you can afford it! As expert mortgage advisers, we can help you assess your personal circumstances and talk you through all of your options, so you can get a good idea of how much you can afford to borrow.
Get a mortgage in principal
In order to make an offer on a property, your estate agent will want to see an Agreement in Principle from your lender, containing an approximate sum of how much they are willing to let you borrow, which we can secure for you completely free of charge and without obligation!
Keep a look out
When viewing property, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to check all the essential details. Luckily, we have compiled a few handy tips to help you with your search!
- Always book viewings for the daytime
- Take your own photos
- Check the condition of the building; cracks in the walls, leaks and any signs of damp
- Look at how busy the road is and how much parking is available
- Take note of how well kept nearby homes are.
Check nearby sold prices
When you’ve found a property you love, compare the asking price against other homes that have recently sold in the local area, using a free online house price tool such as Rightmove or Zoopla’s.
As a first time buyer, you’re in a strong position when it comes to buying property, so it’s certainly worth negotiating down the price – the extra cash would certainly come in handy too!
Getting a single parent mortgage
Managing day to day life as a single parent often involves balancing work and home, getting the kids to school, making their meals and staying on top of the chores, which can be difficult. Getting a mortgage by yourself may also not be easy, but it’s certainly not impossible when you take our advice!
Use your benefits to your advantage
Being a lone parent often means your income is low, which can have a significant impact on the amount mortgage lenders are prepared to let you borrow. You need to demonstrate that you are able to keep up your mortgage repayments and your benefits can help you with this.
Child Benefit, Tax Credits and Maintenance Fees, will all be taken into account by the lender when they calculate the amount they will allow you to borrow – Make sure you keep proof of these payments in a safe place, as the lender will need to see these!
Consider Government initiatives
There are a number of Government initiatives available to help people who are struggling to buy a home get on the property ladder:
Shared Ownership: Part of the Help to Buy scheme and enables you to buy a share (between 25% and 75%) of a new or existing property.
Right to Buy: If you have been living in social housing for more than 3 years, then you could be eligible to buy your home at a discounted price from your local council.
Bank of Mum and Dad
If you are struggling to raise a large enough deposit, a close family member may be able to help you:
Guarantor mortgages: A parent or close family member guarantees either a proportion or the entire mortgage debt and are ultimately liable for any repayments that are missed. Your Guarantor will however need to be able to either cover their mortgage and their agreed share of yours or have the majority of their mortgage paid off, and have a good few years left in employment ahead of them.
Family Springboard mortgages: A more popular option that enables a member of your family to provide 10% of the purchase price as security. If you keep up your repayments, they will receive their money back with interest.
Get specialist advice
As award winning mortgage advisors, we can talk you through all your available options and tell you how much you can afford to borrow at no cost or obligation to you, so get in touch!