For the final article in our series aimed at helping First Time Buyers, we offer the top five tips when looking to buy your first home
A bigger deposit means the best rates
Whilst it is possible to put a minimum of a 5% deposit down on your first house, if you are able to put a larger deposit down, then you really should. By putting down a bigger deposit you will have more products to choose from, giving you a much better chance of getting the cheapest mortgage rates available to you.
Get help for first-time buyers
There are a number of government-backed savings schemes aimed at putting home buyers onto the property ladder, including the Lifetime ISA and the Help to Buy ISA to help first-time buyers save for a deposit. As an example the Lifetime ISA (LISA) can help, boosting savings by up to a maximum of £1000 each year. You may qualify for the government’s Help to Buy scheme which aims to assist first-time buyers. There are several parts to this scheme. The first, known as the ‘equity loan’ part, involves you putting in a 5% deposit, and the government loaning you 20% free of interest for the first five years.
Improve your credit score
When you apply for a mortgage, lenders will look at your credit history to see how you’ve managed any borrowing in the past. They’ll use this information to help decide whether or not to offer you a mortgage so it’s important to ensure everything is up to date and there are no outstanding issues affecting your score. Before applying for a mortgage, look at how you manage your accounts and at ways of improving your credit score such as making payments on time, closing unused accounts and making sure that you are on the electoral register.
Get your mortgage application in early
Having a mortgage in principle in place will make you more attractive to sellers if they are looking for a speedy transaction – and it will save you time and potentially ensure that you are able to get that property that you fall in love with.
Take advice from a mortgage broker
Buying your first home will be your biggest investment, so it makes sense to get the best possible advice to help you get the right mortgage. It’s worth speaking to a whole-of-market mortgage broker such as Asset Harbour, who will be able to look at all the available deals and find a mortgage that suits your circumstances. A broker can be especially useful, with access to such a wide range of lenders, if you have circumstances that could affect your mortgage chances, for example, if you’re self-employed, have a small deposit, or have a history of credit issues.
If you are a First Time Buyer and would like some help with your first mortgage, call Asset Harbour on 01276 986333