A recent article on the BBC News website states that for the first time since 1995, according to Halifax research, most mortgages now go to first-time buyers.
Despite the lack of new homes being built, and the task of finding a deposit, the article notes that there has been an overall increase in first-time buyers in the UK from 192,300 in 2008 to 372,000 in 2018. There are still challenges for first-time buyers, not least the sheer cost of the process. House prices have jumped in the same period by 39% – from £153,030 in 2008 to £212,473 in 2018, so now more than ever before it is essential to get the right advice, particularly if you are approaching this task for the first time.
So what are the important things to think about if you are considering buying a property for the first time?
1. Save as much money as you can
This goes without saying. The greater your deposit, the better. According to the Halifax, the average deposit for house buyers in the UK in 2018 is £33,127, up from £19,364 a decade ago. This is an undeniably large sum so it is essential that you start saving as soon as possible.
2. Do your preparation
The more preparation you do and the more information and contacts you have before you start, the most chance you have of a smooth process with the best outcome. Make sure you know the right areas for your budget and the type of property you’re looking for – but it’s not just about finding the right home. You need to know and to contact the local estate agents and to find and engage a solicitor. Give yourself as much chance as possible to find the property that suits you and to have the right teams of people supporting you.
3. Have your paperwork ready to go
Make sure you have everything you need for the mortgage process and for the solicitor. This blogpost lists all the paperwork you might need for the process. Some of these pieces of documentation may take a little time to collate, so it is worth getting ahead of it – for example. a mortgage lender will usually ask for you most recent payslips and three to six months’ worth of bank statements – so ensure you have access to these. This documentation is crucial – so having someone on hand to guide you through the process is highly recommended. And with this in mind:
Before doing any of this, the first thing you need to do is…
4. Speak to a mortgage broker
Buying a property for the first time can be a daunting process, but with more and more people taking that first step it is important to get the right advice from experts. A good mortgage broker such as Exe Mortgages will have access to the whole of the mortgage market and the experience in finding the most suitable deals for first-time buyers. This blogpost gives a handy step-by-step guide to the general process – but it doesn’t beat speaking directly with an adviser.
Exe Mortgages can support you at every step of your journey from calculating your budget, researching the whole of the market to find the more suitable mortgage for you to offering recommendations for the most suitable solicitors to act on your behalf. If you’re thinking of taking that first step onto the property ladder, get in touch to find out what we can offer.