First time buyers’ guide: Everything you need to know when buying your first home


The number of first time buyers getting on to the property ladder increased from 192,300 in 2008 to 372,000 in 2018. So, more people are now able to buy that essential first home. If you’re keen to be one of the positive statistics this year this is everything you need to know about becoming a first time buyer in 2019.


What financial help can you get?

The government’s Help to Buy scheme has supported more than 150,000 people in getting onto the property ladder. There are a number of different options that could help you to buy your first home, including the Help to Buy ISA, which offers a government bonus of 25% on top of whatever you save. The Help to Buy equity loan scheme provides a government loan of 20% of the purchase price if you have a 5% deposit. This means you’ll only need a 75% mortgage, which can make it easier to be approved.


How much can you pay for your home?

Mortgages can be complex and will depend on a number of factors, such as your age, income, whether you’re buying with someone else and what kind of credit history you have. The size of mortgage you’re eligible for will determine how much you can pay for your first home – a mortgage advisor may be useful to identify what’s available to you and what kind of deal you can get.


How much deposit do you have?

If you’re not using the Help to Buy scheme then you will usually need a deposit of at least 20% of the purchase price. The bigger the deposit you can bring to the table, the better the deal you will get on mortgage rates.


Can you afford to buy?

It’s not just a case of meeting regular monthly mortgage payments but also being able to cover the cost of moving. For example you’ll also need to pay for:

  • Legal fees
  • The cost of a survey
  • Fees for searches and the Land Registry
  • Moving costs (e.g. removals van, storage etc)
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) (if the property is worth more than £300,000)


Shopping around is essential

Buying a home is a big purchase so it’s crucial to do your homework. Find a good local agent who understands what you’re looking for in a new home. Sign up for email alerts from property sites and browse online. Book in as many viewings as you can at potential properties so you can get a good idea of what’s available and what you can afford.


Make an offer quickly

If you find somewhere you love it’s always a good idea to move fast. Unless you’re buying from a developer it will be essential to establish whether the seller is part of a chain, as this can cause delays when it comes to completing.


Instruct a solicitor or conveyancer

If the purchase is likely to be straightforward then a conveyancer will be cheaper – complex purchases always require a solicitor. Once you’ve instructed a solicitor or Conveyancer, they will be able to guide you through the process of getting the keys to your first home.

If you’re a first time buyer looking for your first home we can help. Contact us to find out more about your options.