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A guide for all First Time Buyers

  03 May 2016

Buying your first home is very exciting, but it is hugely important, which means that many first time buyers are nervous or scared about buying their first home. This is why it is good to receive as much support as possible and this guide aims to provide information and confidence to all first time buyers.

Save for a deposit

Before you start looking for houses, you should be looking to start saving for a deposit. This isn’t always possible but the more money you have available as a deposit, the more affordable your mortgage will be. In general, lenders are looking for buyers to provide between 5% and 20% of the cost of the home (at least), but the more you can provide, the more mortgages you’ll have to choose from and what you can choose from should be more affordable.

Even if you aren’t planning on looking for a home soon, if you are looking to own your own home day, the sooner you start saving, the better it will be for you. There are government backed schemes that can boost your deposit savings, so look into what is available for you.

Consider up-front costs and monthly costs

When it comes to applying for a mortgage, you’ll find that the lender will scrutinise your ability to pay off the mortgage. This means you need to be thorough when it comes to your income and outgoings. First of all, when applying for a mortgage and buying a home, there are many additional or one-off fees to take care of, so be sure you know what you need to pay.

Fees and charges can include:

  • Solicitor fees
  • Survey costs
  • Mortgage arrangement fees
  • Valuation fees
  • Stamp duty costs
  • The cost of physically moving
  • Insurance costs

These can impact on your budget and reduce your deposit or the amount of money you can afford to pay on your mortgage. Also, if you opt for a variable rate mortgage, you need to make sure you have the flexibility to pay any increased amount.

Finding the right mortgage

When it comes to finding the right mortgage, you can go directly to a bank or building society, but many buyers find it better to initially deal with a broker or Independent Financial Adviser. This can provide you with a wider range of options and if you are unsure of what your options are, working with an adviser who has access to the full market can help you find the best deal.

When it comes to finding the ideal mortgage, you can choose between a fixed rate mortgage and a variable rate mortgage. A fixed rate mortgage provides you with monthly payments that are fixed for a set period of time. This provides many buyers with comfort and confidence about the money they need to pay. If you are concerned about fluctuating interest rates and would rather know what you are definitely paying each month, opt for a fixed rate mortgage.

However, a fixed rate mortgage is likely to start off at a slightly higher rate. There is also the fact that the interest rate can fall, but if you have a fixed rate mortgage, you don’t benefit from any drop in interest rate. If you have expectations that the interest rate will remain level or is likely to drop, you can save money by opting for a variable rate mortgage.

Some of the variable rate mortgages you can choose from include:

  • Capped Rate Mortgages
  • Discount Rate
  • Offset Mortgages
  • Standard Variable Rate
  • Tracker Mortgages

Finding the right property

Once you are confident that you have a mortgage in place or that you have received pre-approval, you can look for a property knowing what your budget is. If you have a specific property in mind, this can be a simple process but if you are open as to where you buy or what sort of property you will buy, dealing with an experienced estate agent is likely to make the process simpler and more effective.


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