This guide was last updated 8 November 2022
Buying a first home should be exciting and enjoyable but so many of us are reluctant to even start the process. A common reason for this is simply that, well, it feels daunting…
Thanks to the jargon so often used in the industry and because so many of us don’t fully understand the processes involved, it can make the whole thing feel like a lot of effort!
In this article, we will break this all down for you and show you that actually, it’s not as bad as you think! If you have any questions that we have not covered below, please feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation chat! You can also download our other first-time buyer’s guides.
So, let’s get stuck in…
A deposit is the amount you need to be added to the mortgage loan to make up the full purchase price of a property. As mortgages currently go up to a maximum of 95% of the purchase price, that means the minimum deposit you will need is 5% of the full purchase price. Here is our handy guide on saving for your first house deposit.
This sounds a bit obvious but there is actually quite a strict definition. To qualify as a first-time buyer you must:
There are various schemes available to first-time buyers.
Lifetime ISA – To save money and get the government to add to it you may be eligible for a Lifetime ISA that has a 25% bonus for first-time buyers.
Help To Buy – The government-backed Help To Buy Scheme is available to first-time buyers only and can help with a deposit of up to 20% outside of London or 40% inside London. You will still have to put a 5% deposit in as normal however and they are available only on new build properties that are part of the scheme. There are some private companies offering schemes similar to Help To Buy on second-hand properties but their use is fairly limited at present.
Shared Ownership and Shared Equity – Housing associations offer shared equity and shared ownership schemes whereby you purchase part of a property (often less than 50%, including your 5% deposit), and the housing association either continue to own the remaining percentage share or they charge rent on the remaining amount they provided to purchase the property. Both these schemes have been around for a long time but you should read the terms and conditions carefully before signing so you fully understand what you are signing up to and how it will affect you in the future. For more on shared equity and shared ownership see our guide.
Many first time buyers ask this question. You don’t need a solicitor to buy a car so why do you need one to buy a house or a flat? The reason is that nearly all first-time buyers need a mortgage and the lender requires a legally qualified individual to check the title deeds. This is to make sure that there are no onerous clauses in them that could cause the lender – and you – problems in the future.
This is doubly important when buying a leasehold property (usually flats) as there will be a lease agreement together with the title deeds. The solicitor will act on both your behalf and the lender and should explain all the legal aspects of property ownership, specifically regarding the property you are buying. The process is called conveyancing and it is really important you get a good conveyancer/solicitor to help you as first-time buyers since this will be the first time for you.
There are three types of valuation:
Buying a property can be a slow process for a number of reasons.
Overall a purchase usually takes up to six months from agreeing a price to getting the keys and moving in. It can be quicker though, especially if there is a short chain involved.
When buying a property you will hear all sorts of words and phrases you won’t know or understand. It is really important you ask your lender, solicitor, estate agent, or professional mortgage broker what they mean so you feel engaged throughout. The two phrases you will hear a lot about are ‘exchange of contracts’ and ‘completion.’
At this stage, you can take a sigh of relief and get excited about your new home! Many people will celebrate this with a drink or two but more often than not, it will be a takeaway before the unpacking starts.
Luckily, Coreco’s mortgage brokers are here to support you through every stage of the home buying process. There to explain exactly what’s going on, what is required of you, ensure you get the best possible deals and results, and doing all of the talking and chasing, your first time home buying experience can be even more simple.
So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and start your next chapter today!
To speak to one of our experienced advisers call 0207 220 5110 or arrange a call using the form below.
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