1. Your deposit & getting a mortgage
Understanding your finances and what options are available to you is key to buying your first home. So let’s start at the beginning.
Your Deposit. When thinking about saving for a deposit, the first question that comes to mind is how much do I need to save?
Okay, not that much. But typically you will be looking at a minimum 10% deposit. However keep ready below and see some of the options you have available from the UK Government.
In short, the more deposits you have the more you are able to borrow or the more favorable mortgage rates you will get if your deposit % is higher.
Mortgage. So you now have your deposit amount - and you’ve worked hard to get there. Now you want to get the best mortgage rate. There a few ways you can go at this stage:
Find a local mortgage advisor to give you advice on best mortgage deals out there and possible exclusive offers they have with vendors. Ask around people in your network who have bought about anyone they used or do a thorough Google review.
Using new technology - like how HouseScanner is disrupting the way you find a property - there are companies disrupting the Mortgage space. Check out Trussle who are offering completely free advice.
Do it yourself -- it’s not as hard as people make out and you learn throughout the process. Using free tools like CompareTheMarket you see how much you can borrow and find the best rates that lenders publicly have available. Then you call the lender directly, apply online or in branch. FYI I did this, and helped spur on my want to build HouseScanner.
Keeping up to date with government schemes
2. Researching your next home
Before jumping into viewings, set out your criteria in terms of what you are looking for. For most first time buyers this will mean a compromise between requirements in the home and the area.
Understand what matters most to you. List out everything you want and don’t worry, compromising will come later. To start with, list out your priorities (bedrooms, size etc) that will determine your search.
Focus on one area at a time. Narrowing your location radius will help you better understand what options you will have with your search criteria. You’ll soon get a good understanding of the area’s market value and properties that are good value in that area.
3. Planning your viewings!
Now the fun bit… however you can also be exhausting a waste of a lot of time if not managed properly. As mentioned above, focus on one area at a time and plan your day -- we recommend 4-5 viewings in an afternoon/evening. After that you’ll forget!
Go to viewings with your checklist but be prepared to compromise and … yes, inevitably this will have to happen. It’s kind of part of the process but don’t worry you will still be able to get what you want. Once you’ve viewed a couple house you will start to restructure your initial priorities and this will determine those compromises.
4. Making an offer…
You’ve found the property you love - that’s the hard bit done but there are still many hurdles ahead. Don’t get too excited, okay maybe a little.
Want to know to make the perfect first offer and negotiate then checkout our piece here *another content piece here*
Mortgage application process - back to research you did in Step 1 - it’s time to pull the trigger.
5. Offer Accepted
They’ve accepted!!!! Congratulations - now you can celebrate or do a backflip.
First you need to find a property solicitor or conveyancer. To start with, ask your friends & family if they have used someone before and would make an introduction. If you do not have that then do your research locally or you can use our HouseScanner Trusted Partner network.
Getting a property survey should be mandatory, although it continues to shock me how many people opt not to do it. We highly recommend you do for two reasons:
This should identify if the property has issues that NEED to be aware of.
If things are identified, this can then be used to re-negotiate your property
I personally managed to save £22,500 based on information shared in my survey report -- the report cost me £895. I’ll let you do the maths! Those savings went to doing all the home improvement we wanted to do.