First Time Buying  

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Getting your foot on the property ladder

Buying your first home is a huge milestone. After all, it’s probably the biggest and most important purchase you’ll ever make. First-time buying is daunting and more than a little stressful, but follow our advice and you can make your foray into the property market the exciting experience it should be.

Choosing the Right Mortgage: Your Starting Point

Finding the right mortgage is just as important as finding the right property as you’ll be living with both for a long time. You need to find out how much in principle; you’ll be able to borrow before you start house-hunting. Here are a few pointers to set you on your way:

  • 100% mortgages are a thing of the past for first-time buyers so save up for as much of a deposit as you can.
  • Use a mortgage calculator to determine what you can reasonably afford to buy with the deposit you have.
  • There’s a vast array of mortgage options available so it pays to shop around.
  • Make sure you can afford the repayments comfortably,comfortably; bearing in mind that interest rates can go up as well as down.
  • Protect your mortgage against redundancy.
  • Always secure a mortgage agreement in principle before you start house-hunting
  • Getting a mortgage quote online is a quick and convenient way of finding out how much you’ll be able to borrow.

Beware of Hidden Costs

Remember the purchase price of your first property won’t be your only cost. There are other costs, and you need to budget for:

  • Solicitor’s fees
  • Stamp duty
  • Moving costs
  • VAT
  • Building and contents insurance
  • Management service charges, if applicable
  • Furnishings

IFinding your First Home: The Exciting Part

Start by drawing up a list of your requirements. Location is usually key but there are a whole load of other factors to consider. Do you want a flat, a house, or a maisonette? Think about the number of bedrooms you need. Is a large kitchen or a garden important to you? Also consider proximity to public transport links, work and schools. Do be flexible though. You might not fulfil everything on your wish list, but you’ll soon realise what’s really important to you once you start viewing properties.

Finally – be realistic. Chances are your first home won’t be that pipe dream mansion and most first-time buyers have to make some compromises. And don’t lose heart. Remember it’s not called the property ladder for nothing! You get on the first rung and climb your way up over time.

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Top Tip


Don’t be afraid to negotiate on price. First-time buyers have a great deal of bargaining power and are an attractive prospect to property sellers. You won’t have a chain, and many sellers are prepared to accept an offer below the asking price in exchange for a quick sale.


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