9 Top Tips for First Time Buyers
Buying your first home can feel pretty scary. It's a huge financial commitment and everywhere you turn there's more legal and financial mumbo-jumbo and jargon than you can shake a stick at!
You have to find a mortgage - where do you even begin??
Then you have to actually choose a house - one that you're probably going to be living in for at least the next few years.... How do you know which house is the right one?
If you're about to buy your first home then congratulations! It's actually a really exciting step and it doesn't have to be scary at all. With these top tips, it can be plain sailing all the way...
1) Start Saving as Soon as You Can
Every time you put money aside for a deposit on your new home, you're actually saving much more than the amount that goes into your piggy bank (people still use those to save, right?)... You see, you're also lowering the eventual mortgage rate you'll be paying, as well as the actual amount you'll need to borrow.
In a nutshell, the more deposit you save, the lower your mortgage rate, the lower the interest you'll pay AND the lesser the amount you'll have to borrow in the first place.
2) Get Clear on What You Can Afford
Don't go into this blind. Take a good luck at your current finances and work out exactly how much you can afford to pay each month. The last thing you want is to be tied into a mortgage that you'll struggle to keep up with.
Create a list of all your monthly income and your monthly expenses. Make sure you include EVERYTHING - even that weekly lottery ticket you buy! This will give you a clear picture of where you are financially and how much you can afford to pay on a mortgage.
3) Check What Support is Available
There are tons of Government schemes out there for first time buyers and you may be able to get some financial support so make sure you do your research before taking the plunge.
A good mortgage adviser will be able to help you with this and make sure you're not missing out on any financial benefits that you may qualify for.
(If you'd like to chat to one of our expert advisers here at BB Mortgages then you can give us a call on 01636 674455 or just pop your details below and we'll give you a call back).
4) Check Your Credit Report
The last thing you need is a nasty surprise when you apply for your mortgage. Make sure you check your credit report in advance to make sure there are no forgotten defaults, unknown problems or even errors that could impact your application.
There are 3 Credit Reference Agencies in the UK so it's best to get a copy of your report from each (you should be able to do this for free).
TransUnion (Previously known as Call Credit)
5) Speak to a Mortgage Broker
Your mortgage will probably be the biggest financial commitment that you make so don't leave it down to chance - make sure you speak to an expert.
A broker should be able to quickly source a relevant product that fits your credit history, offer an extra layer of protection if things go wrong, and carry more clout with lenders to ease acceptance on otherwise unobtainable mortgages.
There are also some lenders that only work with brokers, and some broker-exclusive deals from lenders that are simply not available to individual customers; these are rare, but can be market-leading.
Money Saving Expert
6) Get an Agreement in Principle
This isn't something you have to do but it will help you. An Agreement in Principle isn't a guarantee that you'll get a mortgage but it is something that many agents will ask for before your offer an a house is accepted.
7) List Your Must-Haves BEFORE You Start Viewing Properties
There's an awful lot to think about when you're house hunting so it's wise to make a list of those things that are really important to you before you start looking..
It's amazing how easy it can be to forget these things when you're in the midst of looking around and trying to take everything in at once!
8) Ask the Right Questions
There are certain things which an agent may not think (or want) to tell you so make sure you've prepared some great questions in advance so that you have all the information you need to make a decision.
Not sure what questions to ask? We've got you covered with this handy cheat sheet!
9) Don't be Afraid to Negotiate
It's often worth negotiating on price. Don't forget, as a first time buyer you have no chain behind you and that puts you in a strong position!
Good luck - and happy house hunting!
Before you go...
If you are a first time buyer then don't forget we're here to help! To speak with one of our friendly advisers just give us a call on 01636 674455 or pop your details in the form below and we'll call you.
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