Our top tips for first-time buyers
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1. Save for a house deposit as soon as you can
The English Housing Survey shows that the typical house deposit for a first home is falling year on year but still stands at £25,000 on average. It’s unsurprising that first-time buyers see saving for a home to be out of their reach but starting to save early on will help towards your savings goal.
The survey shows that the average age of first-time buyers is 33, so if you're lucky enough to still be in your twenties, it's well worth planning ahead if you can. It’s also worth exploring products that will help you save, such as a Lifetime ISA and look into first-time buyer schemes too.
Take a look at all the first-time schemes available and how they differ depending on where in the UK you are planning on buying your home.
2. Speak to a mortgage adviser
A mortgage adviser will look at your income to help work out your budget based on any debts you have and make an assessment on how much you can borrow. You can also get an idea from mortgage calculators online, the mortgage term for the majority of first-time buyers is 20–30+ years.
It’s important to do this at the start of your house hunt so that your search is realistic. You should also be able to get a mortgage offer in principle, which shows sellers that your finances are already in place making you an attractive buyer.
3. Research which areas you can afford to buy a house in
There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a property or an area that’s simply out of your budget. You should always ensure that you have thoroughly researched which areas you can afford to buy in, and consider the type of property you're looking for before you start your search.
4. Have your paperwork ready to go
Once you have an offer accepted you’ll need to submit various bits of paperwork to get the process moving. Make sure you’ve got copies of your ID and utility bills with your name on, you’ll need to share these with your estate agent.
You should also be ready to start the mortgage process and instruct a solicitor. Depending on how long it’s been since you had your mortgage in principle agreed, you may need to resubmit paperwork such as payslips and bank statements to your mortgage adviser.
Something as significant as a property transaction will always take a bit of time, but there are ways to speed up the process. Download and complete our questionnaire which has been proven to help.
5. Be patient when buying a house
House purchases rarely stick to the expected time frames. It might take you several months to find your ideal property, and then the transaction can take a while as well. It’s probably one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in your lifetime so it’s important not to rush it.
Are you Propertymark Protected?
Look for a Propertymark Protected agency when you start your house search. By using one of our members you are guaranteed to be consulting with a regulated, professional agent who will give you up-to-date advice and guidance.