Top tips for first time buyers before searching for a property
Let’s be honest, moving home can be one of the most stressful and expensive experiences in your life but with a lot of preparation and a hint of determination, you’ll be able to make your experience one of the better ones. We have helped thousands of people move over the past 20 years and we thought it would be useful to compile a list of “top tips” for first-time buyers to utilise before searching for a property.
1. Save, save, save!
The more savings you have for a mortgage deposit, the better mortgage rate you get. Typically, most lenders will require you have a deposit of at least 10% of a property’s value but if your deposit is less than 25% then you may have to pay a significantly higher interest rate.
2. Speak with a mortgage advisor
It’s important you have a solid understanding of what value of property you can purchase and what mortgage rates you can get before you even look at a property. By using a mortgage advisor, they will make this process as easy as possible and at the same time provide you with invaluable advice. We have our own independent mortgage advisors, so if you’d like to book a free, no obligation appointment, then please get in touch.
3. Get a ‘Mortgage in Principle’
Once you have found a suitable mortgage lender with mortgage rate that you can afford, you can ask them for a “Mortgage in Principle”. This is essentially confirmation from the mortgage lender that they will consider lending you an amount to purchase a property although the mortgage isn’t yet set in stone as you will still need to make a formal mortgage application. It’s important you have this before you search for a property as in most situations, estate agents won’t accept an offer from a prospective buyer who hasn’t checked they can potentially borrow the money then need to buy the property (i.e. they don’t have a Mortgage in Principle).
4. Building a good credit history
Any mortgage lender will want to check and see if you’re creditworthy, so they will check your credit history and score you appropriately. If you’ve never had any form of credit in the past your score could be too low. If you’re good at handling your money, one way of building up a good credit history could be to take up credit card so long as you clear the whole of the balance at the end of every month when you receive your statement. Use it for your small purchases so you can easily budget to clear the balance and avoid any interest charges. If you don’t clear the balance, miss a repayment or pay it late, this will have the opposite effect and be detrimental to your credit score. We have experienced many occasions where a first-time buyer has been turned down because of the fact they didn’t have a credit score.
5. Speak with friends and family
Remember, most people have been through at least one move in their lives and understand how hard it can be. Reach out to family and friends and ask for advice and listen to their experiences.
6. Understand the fees involved with buying a property
There’s no hiding it, moving home can be extremely expensive. It’s important you understand the fees you’ll need to pay, for example solicitors, home movers, etc. We recently wrote an article on “A guide to the costs when buying a property”, check it out.
7. Register on the electoral roll
You can lose points on your credit score if you’re not on the electoral register, as this confirms your permanent address. So make sure you update your registration every time you move.
We hope this was of some use to you. But don’t forget, we are here to help – if you’re looking to move now, further down the road, or would like advice on anything relating to buying, selling or renting your home then don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01454 316718. Also keep in mind, we have our own independent mortgage advisors who have the ability to search the “whole of market” to get you the best rates.