Tips for First Time Buyers

One of the biggest (and hardest earned) decisions you’ll make is buying your first property.

If you’re nearing that point in your life, there are some measures you can take to ease the stress of being a first time buyer.

Here are some tips to help make your transition from prospective buyer to homeowner a little smoother.

Check your credit

If possible, avoid taking out any new credit loans at least a year before you try to purchase your first home.

To secure the best mortgage rates, a record of no missed payments and no recent loans will help.

Another way to support your credit rating is to make sure you’re on the electoral register.

And if you have an existing card that you use regularly, pay the balance required every month, on time and in full.

Research Government schemes

Support is available from central and local Government for first time buyers, with options in recent years including help-to-buy and lifetime ISA’s.

There are also shared ownership schemes, where you part purchase a property and pay rent on the remainder.

Do your homework on which options are available to you, both financially and locally.

Help closer to home

For many first time buyers, help from friends and family is an option – and not just in terms of money lending.

Relatives can contribute towards a deposit – but your parents may be able to help you onto the property ladder without you borrowing.

If they act as guarantor when you apply for a mortgage, their financial security may enable a potentially better deal for you.

And if you can’t afford to buy on your own, a purchase with a friend or family member you trust can reduce stress (and deposit saving time).

How much can you borrow?

How much a lender will give you towards a mortgage (and the rate at which you’ll pay back) depends on numerous factors.

These include earnings, the amount you’ve saved as a deposit and your age, among others.

Use an online calculator to get an indication of how much you can afford to borrow before speaking to an advisor.

Find a solicitor

Some lenders only deal with certain solicitors (and vice versa), so if you have a particular one in mind, check in advance who they work with.

Ask your solicitor for a detailed breakdown of the legal costs associated with moving.

Additional fees and spending on necessities like surveys quickly mount up, so ensure you’ve budgeted sufficiently.

Search for a home

After all that hard work and stress comes the most enjoyable part – searching for your dream first home.

Online is a good starting point, making use of the filters to narrow your selection down to the most suitable properties.

As first time buyers it’s likely you’ll have to sacrifice some of your wants to meet some of your needs.

Decide on your deal breakers and select an agent with local experience and knowledge of trends who can help you get closest to what you want.

Ready to buy your first place?

Buying a first home is an exciting (but lengthy) process – so be sure to get any paperwork completed promptly on your side.

If you’re ready to start searching for your dream property and you’d like any advice from a member of our helpful team, please get in touch.

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