We understand how stressful things can be as a first-time buyer.
However, buying your first home is one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life! Today, we want to share a few of our top tips for first-time buyers looking to start the process to buying a house.
We’ve put together a first-time buyer checklist to help you navigate the process and find the best options available to you!
1 – Establish a Budget
One of the most important things to consider before diving into the world of home buying is what your budget will be. This is a crucial step that will make it much easier to save for a deposit, as you’ll have a solid goal in mind.
You’ll need to take into account your income, existing debts and any monthly expenses to determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a home.
Remember also to consider additional expenses such as property taxes, insurance and maintenance expenses. These all add up, it’s really important to understand your true budget to enable you to find a property that works well for you and your situation.
2 – Save for a Deposit
Saving for a deposit is the most difficult part of the house-buying process because it takes so long to save.
If you haven’t already opened a savings account to save money in, we strongly
advise you do that first before applying for a mortgage. Another thing which may help is if you go out often and eat meals or go for a drink, you can avoid doing those things and stay in and save the money you would have spent and take it from your bank account to put it into your savings account.
Another tip for saving is going through your direct debits and subscriptions to see if you can cancel things you don’t use or need, such as Amazon Prime or Netflix etc.!
Depending on the cost of your desired property, having a good deposit will enable you to access more favourable mortgage rates, giving you greater flexibility and choice when it comes to looking for one.
We recommend aiming to save at least 5% of the home’s purchase price, to give you the
greatest number of options, you will need 40% of the property value in savings. For the majority, this cannot be done, so a minimum of 5% is required, but the higher the deposit, the lower the rate.
There are many options out there, and our fantastic team of mortgage brokers can help you to find a solution that will work best for you.
3 – Understand Mortgage Options
It’s very important to research the different mortgage options available on the market at the moment. There are many different types of mortgages on the market, and some will be more suitable to your situation than others.
Different mortgages come with their own set of eligibility criteria, deposit requirements and interest rates, so it can be quite tricky to decipher which is actually giving you the best deal.
Because of this, when comparing mortgages, it can be very helpful to speak to a qualified mortgage broker like the ones we have on our team. We’ll walk you through the whole process from start to finish and give you specific guidance on how to get the most suitable mortgage.
4 – Get an Agreement In Principle
An agreement in principle, is a great way to get a competitive edge over other prospective buyers and it is often a requirement by some estate agents before they’ll consider showing you around a property.
Essentially, it’s a document that shows an estate agent you have been approved by a lender to apply for a mortgage once you have found a property. It demonstrates to them that you are a serious buyer.
To get one, you need to supply your mortgage broker/mortgage lender with information about your finances which they will then use to work out how much you’ll likely be able to borrow and obtain the Agreement In Principle for you.
5 – First-Time Buyers – Find Your Dream Home!
Once you have the groundwork completed, it’s time for the truly fun part, finding your dream home!
You might already have somewhere in mind, or you might be starting your search knowing your budget – either way, this is one of the most exciting parts about being a first-time buyer.
Once you’ve found the right home for you, come back to us to apply for your mortgage and we will arrange the whole thing for you from start to finish and hold your hand along the way.
We recommend getting the property inspected (via a Survey or Homebuyers’ report) to check the condition and assess any potential issues with the property.
It’s also good to bear in mind the long-term resale value of any property, even if you are intending to stay there for a long time, just in case!
We hope this checklist has been helpful for you if you’re looking to buy your first home.
If you’re confused about anything we’ve mentioned or want to start the process yourself, get in touch with one of our friendly mortgage brokers today on 01273 738 072 – we can’t wait to help you.