How to get on the property ladder as a first time buyer

For anyone wondering how to get on the property ladder, when the UK Chancellor, Philip Hammond, scrapped stamp duty for first-time buyers in the Autumn budget last year, it opened up a whole host of new possibilities.

The potential saving of up to £5,000 on properties of up to £300,000 meant that more people could see buying a property for the first time as a viable option.

As estate agents in Leicester we’ve been pleased to help many individuals, couples and families find their first property.

So, if you’re one of those who is looking to buy your first home, but is daunted by the whole process, the best piece of advice we can give is that it pays to be prepared and know what your options are.

Bearing that in mind, here are some tips on how to get on the property ladder as a first-time buyer:

Work out your budget

This includes setting a goal for future savings. Start by working out what you have, how much you can afford to borrow and what deposit you’ll need to get a mortgage.

Review your spending to see where any cutbacks can be made to help you get the money together that you need in the shortest time.

Set a realistic goal for yourself on when you hope to have saved enough money for a deposit by.

In addition to getting together your house viewing checklist, planning is also key to getting the right deposit and a mortgage that you can realistically afford.

Check your credit score

The credit score is an important factor for mortgage companies when deciding the size and type of mortgage you will be eligible for. Ask yourself: can your credit score be improved in any way?

Remember, the better your credit rating, the better the chance of getting a mortgage and even a choice of mortgages that will enable you to pick the one with the best rate of interest.

Pay off any outstanding debts and ensure all bills are paid on time, from phone bills to utilities. Being sensible about money and paying bills when they’re due is a great way to prepare for becoming a first-time buyer in future years.

Take time to find the right mortgage

There are a huge variety of mortgages available out there, so look around and discover the one that will be right for you – for example a tracker, variable or fixed rate. The more you can research the options available, the better the chance of finding the very best mortgage for you.

Can family members help?

You may be lucky enough to have relatives who might help you get on the property ladder for the first time through financial gifts or loans.

Other options which can improve your chances of getting on the property ladder can also involve the mortgage company taking into account the income of your parents or a family member to increase borrowing power.

Research the area, keep your eye on the market and be flexible with your dream location

If you want to be in a certain area, watch the market and be aware of what houses are going for and how quickly they sell.

If it’s a bit out of your price range there, then be flexible and ask yourself what are the house prices like nearby? Could that compromise be the one that gets you your dream home?

To find out more about buying your first property in Leicester, or to investigate your buying options, get in touch with our house buying experts today.