Top tips for buying your first home

6th December 2017

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.

Always negotiate!

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!

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