Buying your first home is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times if your life but it can also be a daunting experience with so much to think about and do. We've helped thousands of house hunters take a step onto the property ladder over the years so here's some helpful tips to make the move as easy as possible.
Research the area
When looking at houses, you may already have an idea in your head on the size of property you want, kitchen style and even garden layout. But before your search gets any deeper, think about what features you need outside of the home - after all, the location has to be right. Research the local areas you're considering to see what they offer, keeping an eye out for such things as:
- Local shops and supermarkets for the emergency milk run.
- Green spaces for weekend walks, bike rides and summer picnics.
- Restaurants and bars to enjoy
- Good or Outstanding rated schools if you're a growing family.
- Transport links; essential if you're planning to commute to work by train or bus.
Saving up the deposit
Once you've done the math, work out what deposit you will need, so you can start to put a savings plan in place.
A typical deposit can range from five per cent to 25, but if you want a more favourable rate, you want to aim as high as possible. Don't forget, there are government schemes available such as Help to Buy
, that boost the amount you put down and could allow you to purchase the home of your dreams earlier than you thought.
As a first-time-buyer, you'll be happy to hear that you won't need to pay any Stamp Duty charges on your home unless the cost exceeds £500,000. Another win for new home owners!
To learn more about how much you might be able to afford, use our new build home mortgage calculator.
Build a credit score
Checking your credit score before applying for a mortgage is essential, as a low rating can lead to your application being rejected. Paying off outstanding credit card payments or loans and making sure you're on the electoral roll can be a great way of boosting your score, but there are dozens of options for quick fixes
Proving that you can pay your bills on time can also help you secure your deal in principle, so make sure you are armed with bank and bill statements when it comes to your mortgage applications.
Consider the future
When searching for a home remember to 'buy for tomorrow'. If you're a couple now but plan to start a family soon, you will need to think about space for little ones, extra bedrooms or good schools in the area. Thinking ahead could save you money in the long run, too.
There are plenty of more reasons why you might need space in the future, from starting a business at home, to ensuring you have room to host extended family and friends. Before making a quick decision on a home, sit down and think about goals and how they might impact your property choices.
For new builds, a home inspection is a crucial step in the home buying process. Once you have reserved your home, create a list of things to keep an eye out for when you visit the property for the first time, so you have your boxes ticked when you move in.
Have you moved into your first home recently? We'd love to hear about your experience, so share your story with us on Facebook.