While being one of the most exciting moments of your life, taking your first steps to getting onto the property ladder can be a very daunting and stressful time. While we are currently facing what feels like a financial crisis with the cost of living up to its highest level in 30 years! It does not make the process any easier for first time buyers. Here at We Buy Any House.co.uk we have created a fool proof guide to make sure that getting on the property ladder is as easy as can be. To qualify as a first-time buyer, you must have never acquired a major interest in a residential property or an equivalent interest in land situated anywhere in the world. Obviously, not everyone qualifies as a first-time buyer. Factors that can affect your chances of becoming a first-time buyer are things like; You previously inherited or were given a property as a gift or if you were added to the title deeds of a property someone else purchased.

1. Get your mortgage application in early

Some vendors have created a stigma around first time buyers not being reliable or serious as such, having your mortgage in principle in place will make you more attractive to sellers if they are looking for a speedy transaction. This will save you time in the long run and make you more proceedable.

2. Speak with a Mortgage Broker

Always take the advice from a mortgage broker! They will help you establish how much you can potentially borrow, and which type of mortgage would suit you. Your adviser will make a mortgage recommendation and, if you’re happy to proceed, will go about securing your DIP (Decision in Principle). Your DIP is a promise from the lender that they’ll grant you a mortgage for that amount, on the condition that the information you’ve given is correct.

3. Work out the true cost of buying

Sadly, It’s not as easy as get a mortgage, grab the keys and move in. Buying a home is almost guaranteed to cost more than you think. On top of saving for your deposit you should always factor in the extra costs. Main extra fees that you will incur are things like Valuation fees, legal fees, removal costs, surveys, home repairs and the cost of furniture.

4. Save a big deposit if you can

Although easier said than done, Remember, the bigger deposit you put down, the more likely you are to land a low interest rate, and can help you get a mortgage if you have bad credit. Rather than saving the minimum which is usually between 10-20% of the property value, some lenders will now accept 5%. While a 95% mortgage sounds great now, At We Buy Any House.co.uk we would advise you to try and save for a little longer to get yourself the lowest interest rates and monthly mortgage payments. It will benefit you most in the future!

5. Take advantage of the schemes!

There are several government schemes can help you buy a home. These include the Lifetime ISA, Help to Buy, Right to Buy and Shared Ownership. You also have Stamp duty exemption; Stamp Duty is the tax paid on residential property purchases. As a first-time buyer, you typically pay less Stamp Duty than everyone else. The amount you will pay ultimately depends on the value of the property you’re purchasing. As a first-time buyer you will have to pay £0 stamp duty tax on a property worth up to £300,000, and you have to pay 5% on a property over £300,000. If you are purchasing a property worth over £500,000 unfortunately you will noy receive any stamp duty exemption.

One of the most popular schemes for first time buyers is the Help to buy ISA. The government will top up any contributions you make by 25%, up to the contribution limit of £12,000. So, for every £200 you save, the government will contribute £50. This means you can earn a maximum of £3,000 from the government if you save the full £12,000.

6. Do not be afraid to negotiate

The current property market is favored towards sellers with rising prices and limited availability, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a bargain. If your prospective home requires extra work which will cost money, you can haggle that off the price. Remember, first-time buyers are attractive to sellers because of the smooth process so you have that to your advantage.

7. Always read the small print and ask questions

You will be given a mountain of paperwork throughout the house buying process and it is important that you give the terms and conditions a good read. Buying a house is a scary and complicated process for anyone, especially if it is your first time. So don’t feel overwhelmed by the jargon and paperwork, if you don’t know, just ask. Mortgage brokers, solicitors and estate agents know a lot so take advantage!

8. Don’t take the maximum they will lend you

Find out how much you can borrow before you start hunting. But don’t just trust what lenders say you can afford to borrow. After all, struggle to repay and some may gleefully give you credit cards to make up the shortfall. Always use a mortgage Calculator to see how much you can borrow and see the reality of monthly repayments, including interest. Only look at properties within your budget and avoid those even a fraction over. If not, you’ll either break your resolve or be disappointed.

9.Boost your credit score

Don’t apply for mortgages before checking your credit files at the main agencies are error-free. Small mistakes can cause rejection. For example, active accounts registered to old/wrong addresses can hurt badly, so whip through your credit files and ensure any active account (even historic and unused) is registered at the correct address. So, on the back of saving your deposit, be building your credit score at the same time. Doing things like getting a credit card and paying off the balance straight away will help boost your credit score.

10. Get the right survey

There are two main types of survey. The first is a homebuyer’s report. This normally costs £300-£400 and is suitable for conventional properties less than 50 years old. For older or quirkier residences, consider a full structural survey. These are super-detailed, covering everything, and can cost up to £1,000, but often they are well worth the expense. It could well give you ammunition to haggle down the price. Sadly, even those buying new builds have to get out their wallets. Snagging surveys pinpoint defects and unfinished bits, so you can push the developer to correct them before completion which is a big must with new builds!

Being a first-time buyer in an unpredictable market can be extremely daunting. However, there is comfort in knowing that there are various platforms, options and mediums to help you successfully become a homeowner. Using our top 10 tips can make buying a property as simple as can be for first time buyers!

This article was written by a quick house sale company We Buy Any Home. If you’re wondering “how can I sell my house fast?”, head to the We Buy Any House website for more information relating to all property related enquiries.

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