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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Hunt

First time buyer? 5 Top Tips For You!

Getting onto the property ladder for the first time can be a challenge, in fact, it’s never been harder, but, we have put together our top tips to help guide you through the process!

1 Understand what you can afford

  • The bigger the deposit you can afford to put down, the lower the mortgage rate you will be offered. Although you may be able to put down as little as 5% of the purchase price in some cases, the mortgage rate offered would be high, so do your best to get as much together as possible for the deposit.

  • Maybe you have family you can ask for help with this. If you receive money as a gift it would be wise to put this towards your deposit.

  • If the first property you buy is worth less than £300,000 then you won’t have to pay any stamp duty. Take advantage of this as a first-time buyer if you can.

  • Consider and make sure you understand all the fees involved, i.e. solicitors, surveyors, advisors etc.

  • Open a Help to Buy ISA. If you are 16 or over and have a National Insurance number, you can open a tax-free savings account specifically for buying your first home. The Government will even add a 25% bonus to this for you. Check out the Governments latest advice on this.

2 Get the right Financial Advice

  • A good advisor will be able to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow to buy your first home. There’s no point looking at properties that are not within your budget so do this before you start looking.

  • Getting the right advice from day one and even getting a mortgage in principle will show estate agents and property vendors that you are in a position to buy, making you the ideal buyer, and this could speed up the process once an offer has been accepted.

  • Your advisor will be able to gather together all the information required by a lender before they are approached, giving you a much better chance of securing an offer.

3 View as many properties as possible

  • Decide what sort of home you would like to buy before you start looking. An efficient search will save you time and effort. It may sound obvious but make a list of what is an absolute must (location, or a garden, for example) and what is a nice bonus but not a necessity.

  • Think about what work or redecorating you can afford or are prepared to do before you view properties. It should be clear from the estate agents’ particulars how much will be involved so you should be able to decide before booking to view.

  • Try to be flexible. You never know, you may fall in love with a property that on paper does not fit your needs or wants!

4 Get estate agents on side

  • If you can build a good rapport with them, this may get them to think of you when taking on new properties that meet your requirements.

  • Once they know you are a genuine first-time buyer with a mortgage offer already agreed they will know it is worth their while to help you as much as they can.

5 Make an offer

  • As a first-time buyer with nothing to sell, you’re in a strong position to negotiate on price, so have a go!

  • Keep in close contact with your mortgage advisor, in these closing stages, it’ll be imperative that you chat daily to keep on top of everything that is taking place. Here at Hazelwood, we will support you every step of the way, we won’t charge you a penny, and we will even sort all of the paper work for you!

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