As a first-time buyer, the property market is new to you and you are understandably bound to have many questions and want plenty of advice. 

So we at Homeward Legal, with our extensive experience in helping first-time buyers to navigate the property market, have created a guide of top tips for buying your first property.

Save as much as you can

We are sure you don't need us to spell this one out, but without a doubt, one of the top tips for first-time buyers is to save as much as you can. The cost of property has risen over the years, mortgage rates have increased and with the cost of living crisis, buying a first-time property is all the more difficult

Therefore, saving as much as you can help you take that first step onto the property ladder so that you can cover your deposit and legal fees. A deposit is the largest cost you face as a first-time buyer.  The larger the deposit you can save the better mortgage offer you will receive.

Save as quickly as you can

Seeing as you will require as much as you can for a deposit for your first-time property, it makes sense to start saving as early and as quickly as you can. Average deposits for a house are around £45,000 so to save quickly, starting early is a real benefit.

Find the best savings account available

Getting a good savings account will assist you in saving for a deposit for your first-time property. Usually, for first-time buyers, this is about 10% of the value of the property they are buying. However, the larger you can make it, the less you need to borrow. So a good savings account will add interest and help you save more quicker.

Build your credit score

It is essential to have a good credit score as a first-time buyer to enable you to get a mortgage to buy a property. There is no minimum credit score necessary but if you have a high score you will likely get a better mortgage deal. You should start building this early on and can boost it if need be. Make sure you pay debts on time and close credit cards you have stopped using. 

If you plan for your first-time home early on, check your credit score early too as you may later be able to rectify any credit mistakes you made. Checking your credit score is easy with companies such as Experian and ClearScore. A high credit score tells mortgage lenders you are more likely to be able to repay your mortgage payments and a low credit score means you are a risk and may fall behind.

Be sure of what you can afford

Whilst it is exciting being a first-time buyer, you need to be realistic too and aim for a first-time property you can afford. If you take out a mortgage, you will likely revise 4.5 times your usual salary or if applying with another person, both your salaries combined. Therefore, you should look at properties in this price range.

Ask for quotations and take advice

As a first-time buyer it is wise to get advice. A mortgage advisor can give you this as well as help you to understand how much you may be able to borrow. Online mortgage calculators can give you quotations about how much mortgage you may be able to get and you can also look to get a mortgage offer in principle.

Get help from family

As a first-time buyer, you may find you need help from your family. Help from family doesn't necessarily mean a cash injection but can include them allowing you to take account of their income or assets as well as their savings for you to be able to be more likely to borrow. 

You may even consider buying with your friends or family if you can't afford to be a first-time buyer alone, but if so, be sure to sort out the finer details such as how to divide the property.

Take time to find the right property

With the expense that goes into being a first-time buyer, you want to find the right property for your money so it is worth taking time to look for your ideal home. There are many websites you can look for your first-time property on such as Rightmove or Zoopla. You may find it helpful to write a list of the important things for you in a first-time home such as:

  • the number of bedrooms
  • whether you need to be near local parks and shops
  • if a garden is important
  • schools nearby
  • public transport links

Get your paperwork sorted

Buying property involves a lot of paperwork so it's wise to have this sorted at the outset to avoid any delays once you have an offer and also for the mortgage process. For example, you will need to have sorted:

  • copies of ID
  • copies of utility bills containing your name
  • three to six month's worth of bank statements
  • proof of income
  • proof of deposit

Apply for a mortgage early

In addition to getting quotations and mortgage advice, you may be able to apply for your mortgage early. If your mortgage application is rejected, you may not be able to apply for another for a further three months, This is due to the effect of submitting borrowing applications close together in terms of how you may be viewed as in financial difficulties. If you apply early on and are rejected you have given yourself ample time to allow for these three months.

Perhaps use a mortgage advisor

Using a mortgage advisor or broker can help you to understand what mortgages are on offer for you. This is particularly useful for those who are self-employed or do not have regular earnings of a set amount. They can look at your financial situation and advise what is on offer and which suits you best.

Don't forget the additional fees

When buying a property, there are many additional fees on top of the deposit and mortgage to consider. For example:

  • conveyancing fees
  • land registry fee
  • stamp duty
  • mortgage fee
  • identity insurance
  • valuation fees
  • survey fees
  • home Insurance
  • fixtures and fittings

If the property is a leasehold, you will also need to think about additional fees such as ground rent and service charges.

Looking to buy your first home?

If you are thinking of buying your first home in the UK, it can be an exciting yet slightly nerve-wracking time. It is important to you that you get the process right and this is where Homeward Legal can help. Our solicitors have extensive experience in the property market so are best suited to assist when buying a first home. Our solicitors are all regulated for legal advice and conveyancing.

The property market is not always the easiest market to get to grips with and as a first-time buyer, it can be particularly tough as everything is new for you. At Homeward Legal we understand you may struggle with the process of buying your first home so we want to ensure the experience is easy, stress-free, low cost and above all fun! We take all the worries from you. 

Contact Homeward Legal today at . Or you can send us a quick and easy message here.

Contact us for help with your conveyancing needs

Whatever your conveyancing needs, at Homeward Legal we can assist. Our mission is to make conveyancing a fast and simple possession with minimal costs.  We pride ourselves on having competent and helpful property solicitors throughout England and Wales who make your conveyancing process smooth and stress-free.

Let Homeward Legal help you with all your conveyancing needs. Call us today on or send us a message here. We can also give you a fast online quote here so you can see our low-cost rates.

Last updated 08.11.23

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