Many first-time homebuyers throughout the UK may feel like the prospect of purchasing their own property is a lifetime away. After all, research has shown a quarter of British people over the age of 50 still have grown-up children living at home. In addition, the property markets in some areas of the country appear to be heavily against buyers.
Needless to say, buying a home virtually anywhere in the country can be a costly and time-consuming process, but we’ve come up with some golden nuggets of advice to help aspiring homeowners get to where they want to be.
Start Saving NOW!
There are many expenses involved in buying a property – the most significant being the deposit, as this affects the mortgage rate you’ll receive. It is never too early to save! There are plenty of cash ISAs and saving accounts that first-time buyers would benefit from – Moneyfacts.co.uk has a comparative table to help you find the best rate. Set up a regular direct debit to a tax-free cash ISA shortly after pay-day and start accumulating interest.
Consider Whether You Can Afford Monthly Mortgage Repayments
At the point of application, mortgage lenders will need to see evidence of incomings and essential outgoings in order to decide whether you can afford repayments. There’s a chance interest rates may rise in the future, so it’s important to establish whether you’d be left struggling to keep up with your repayments if that were the case. Having a permanent full-time job, rather than a part-time or fixed-term contract, will work in your favour.
Be Realistic About All Costs And Fees Involved In A Property Purchase
Aside from your deposit and monthly mortgage repayments, you must make sure you’re prepared financially for other expenses, such as Stamp Duty, survey fees, valuations, legal fees, electronic transfer fees, removal costs, furnishing and decorating expenses and building insurance. Moneyadviceservice.co.uk has a helpful table explaining some of the major upfront costs (as well as mortgage costs, ongoing costs and leaseholders’ costs) to give a better idea of what to expect.
Improve Your Credit History
In order to secure a loan, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a good credit record. If you’ve been late repaying debts in the past, this may reflect negatively on you. Laura Barrett, at credit reference agency Equifax, told Thisismoney.co.uk: ‘We recommend homebuyers review their credit report before they apply for a mortgage. They should also ensure they are registered on the electoral roll, cancel any credit cards they don’t use and avoid multiple applications for credit.’
All set and just need to find a property that you want to make your first home? Have a browse through our sales properties and let us know if you see anything you like!