6 Top Tips to Help First Time Buyers Get on The Property Ladder

Are you looking to buy your first home but not sure where to start? Here are six great tips to help you get onto the property ladder.

Piggy bank

1. Start saving as soon as you can

The English Housing Survey for 2017-18 shows that the typical deposit for a first home has fallen by nearly £4,000, but it still stands at nearly £45,000 which means it’s unsurprising that FTBs see saving for their first home as out of their reach.

However, if you start putting a set sum of money into your savings account every month from early on, this will help you work towards your savings goal.

It’s also worth exploring products that will help you save. For example, if you save into a Lifetime ISA, or Help to Buy ISA, the Government will add a 25 per cent bonus to your savings.

We have another guide that you can read if you want to know more about the Help to Buy Scheme.

2. Work out your budget and speak to a mortgage adviser

A mortgage adviser will look at your income, any debts you have, and your deposit, to make an assessment on how much you can borrow.

It’s important to do this at the start of your house hunt, so your search is realistic. You should also be able to get a mortgage offer in principle, which shows sellers that your finances are already in place and that you’re an attractive buyer.

3. Research, research, research

There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a property or an area that’s simply out of your budget.

You should always ensure that you have thoroughly researched which areas you can afford to buy in, and consider the type of property you're looking for before you start your search.

4. Have your paperwork ready to go

Once you have an offer accepted, you’ll need to submit various bits of paperwork to get the process moving.

Make sure you’ve got copies of your ID and utility bills with your name on, as you’ll need to share them with your estate agent.

You should also be ready to start the mortgage process and instruct a solicitor. Depending on how long it’s been since you had your mortgage in principle agreed, you may need to resubmit paperwork, such as recent payslips and bank statements, to your mortgage adviser.

5. Be patient

House purchases rarely stick to the expected time frames. It might take you several months to find your ideal property, and then the transaction can take a while as well. It’s probably one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s important not to rush it

6. Work with a professional estate agent 

When you start your house search, make sure you approach a NAEA Propertymark estate agent. Those agents will ensure you’re making a realistic offer, and make sure they’re only showing you properties which suit your criteria and budget.

Find out why you should always check if the estate agent is Propertymark Protected.

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