As a first-time buyer, purchasing your first home should be an exciting and rewarding adventure. Yet, many find the experience to be incredibly daunting when trying to understand affordability, the available schemes, mortgage options, and rates. However, with the right preparation and support, it can be smooth and stress-free, turning the process of finding the perfect home into something to enjoy.
To support first-time buyers, we have broken down the initial stages of your journey into seven simple steps:
- Get your finances in order. Before you start looking for a mortgage, it’s important to have a clear idea of your financial situation. This includes your income, expenses, and credit score. Lenders will want to see that you have a stable income and a good credit history.
- Establish your borrowing capacity. An adviser will be able to give you a good idea of how much you can borrow, which will determine the maximum property purchase price you can stretch to. With several government-backed schemes available to first-time buyers, an adviser can also assist in recommending which scheme (if any) best fits your circumstances and desired outcome.
- Obtain a Mortgage in Principle. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a great idea, but it’s also important to make sure you don’t harm your credit score by running multiple searches. Speaking to an expert adviser in the first instance will give you the best chance of success the first time around.
- Do your property research. It’s important to research the area you’re looking to buy in and the type of property you’re interested in. You should also be prepared to compromise, as you may not be able to find everything you are looking for. You may have to make some concessions to find the right property for you, such as location, size, or condition of the property.
- Find a good solicitor. A good solicitor will be able to guide you through the legal process of buying a property and help you with any issues that may arise. They will also take care of most of the legal paperwork and ensure that everything is in order.
- Be prepared for additional costs. Buying a property comes with additional costs, such as stamp duty (first-time buyers purchasing at less than £425,000 are exempt), survey fees, legal fees and moving costs, such as removals and new furniture. Make sure you factor these costs into your budget and have enough money set aside to cover them.
- Have a contingency plan. When it comes to buying and owning a property, it is also important to have a contingency plan in case things don’t go as planned. This means having a savings plan in place, in case you need to make any unexpected purchases or repairs to the property.
By following these tips, first-time buyers can navigate the mortgage process with confidence and ease to make buying your first home less daunting and more exciting.
To understand more about your options as a first-time buyer, you can find our free guide to ‘Unlocking the secrets to buying your first home’ here.
Please note: a mortgage is secured against your home or property. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.