Straightforward advice to help you get on the property ladder
Buying your very first home is one of very few milestones that can leave you feeling delighted and daunted at the same time. It’s one of the most important purchase decisions you will ever make, financially and emotionally. Here at Charles Derby Mortgage Bureau, our friendly team can guide your through the complete process, supporting you in your search for the right mortgage, whilst also helping you seal the deal.
We know that wandering into your local building society or bank can be unnerving, but rather than speaking to one lender and coming away disheartened, we can prise open the portal to the complete mortgage market, unlocking thousands of mortgage products. Having helped many first time buyers secure their dreams homes, we know just how important it is to ensure you’re equipped with straightforward advice to make the right decision for your future. Mortgages are complex, and as they say, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. You may well get a mortgage from your bank, but is it the right deal for you? If ever you need whole of market advice, the first time is the right time, and that’s where we can help.
Tailored support to help ensure mortgages run smoothly
We take the time to get to know you, ensuring we have a strong understanding on the home you’re looking to buy and the type of mortgage you’d like to secure. Our highly trained team has over 50+ years’ experience in sourcing and securing exclusive first time buyer (FTB) deals through the Quilter Financial Planning network including family assisted products which rely on the support of "Bank of Mum & Dad" which can mean that in certain instances no deposit is required. From time to time we also have access to some great exclusive products which might be from a well-known high street lender but not available to the public directly. So, whilst you may be contemplating talking to your own bank or building society, you might just want to get in touch and ask what we have available? It might just be what you are looking for. So, whether you’re in the process of saving a deposit, scouring the web for a new home or contemplating your chances of acquiring a mortgage, we’ve included 12 top tips to choosing your dream home below.
Top tips for buying your first home
Find out how much you can borrow
Before you start looking for houses, be sure you know how much you can borrow and how much you can afford to borrow. Put yourself in a strong buying position and ask a Charles Derby Mortgage Bureau adviser to arrange an approval in principle for the loan amount you can afford, ready to show the estate agent/vendor when you are bidding on that first dream home.
Decide how much you can afford to pay
Ensure that you are realistic when working out exactly how much you can afford to spend on your new house. You should ensure the intended mortgage is affordable (by doing a budget calculation). Even a newly built house will require some sort of furnishings, whereas older properties may require extensive work, such as re-flooring, tiling or renewing the wiring. Make sure that you factor in all these likely expenses, in addition to the purchase price, and other fees such as conveyancing and stamp duty.
Have you considered Help to Buy?
The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme was announced in the March 2013 budget and has been in place ever since. It’s designed to help individuals struggling to save a deposit for their first home or climb the property ladder as they have limited equity. With a HTB equity loan, the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your new build home. You will need at least a 5% deposit with a 75% mortgage to make up the remaining amount. The main advantage is that you will not be charged any loan fees on the Government’s 20% loan for the first 5 years of owning your home. Ultimately, this scheme helps people who do not have a large deposit to secure more competitive rates of interest, compared to standard mortgages.
Speak to other homebuyers
When buying for the first time, there may be a number of details in the houses you are looking at, which you may not pick up. Always take an experienced homebuyer, such as one of your parents, or a home-owning friend, when looking at property. If this is difficult to arrange, then make sure you at least get some assistance once you have selected a property you like and are arranging a second viewing.
Budget for bills and general maintenance
If you have been used to living at home with your parents, remember to budget for expenses such as council tax, gas and electricity bills, boiler servicing, and other home repairs.
Check council tax bands
Make sure you know what the likely council tax charge will be in your new property. The selling agent should be able to tell you what tax band the house you are interested in buying is in, and how the charges are levied by your local authority.
Remember catchment areas can impact on re-sale value
Even if you do not have children, remember that property in the catchment area of good local schools will always be much easier to sell on. However, this may also be reflected in a higher purchase price.
Consider travel implications
Always consider how your transport arrangements will change in your new house. If you have a car, your insurance premium may increase dramatically if you move from a town with relatively low crime into a city centre with higher crime rates or if you move from your parents' house with a locked garage to a smaller terraced house with on-street parking.
Research accessibility to public transport services
Consider the availability of public transport services, making sure you find out local bus routes, the frequency of train services from your nearest station, and, if you are moving a long distance, the range of flights available from your local airport. Even if you drive everywhere, this information will be useful for anyone coming to visit you who do not drive.
Create a checklist of local amenities
Write down a list of local amenities that are important to you. This may include shops, restaurants, pubs, sports centres, parks, and cinemas. If you enjoy activities such as walking, or cycling, the neighbourhood you plan to move in to may be very different to the one your parents are living in, and may not have the same access to parks and other recreational facilities. Before making any final decision about where to move to, take a stroll or bike ride around the local area, and note down where the key facilities are.
Broadband speed is another critical consideration
If you are a heavy internet user, check to see that broadband or other high speed internet is available in the street you are moving into. The selling agent should be able to tell you this. You might also want to check mobile signal strength to the area. For many people, especially homeworkers, good mobile communications are vital.
Consider commute times
Try, where possible, to find somewhere to live that is close to your main place of work. Commuting can be one of the biggest household expenses, and as you are likely to be spending much more time on domestic chores and/or DIY, living somewhere which minimises your commuting distance will be very important. If property is more expensive nearer to your place of work, make sure you weigh up this additional expense, when compared to the costs and time of commuting. You may wish to ask colleagues in your workplace to see if there are possibilities to lift share with anyone from the area.
Helping your children buy their first home? You’ll be surprised at what is achievable. Click here to find out more by visiting our Later Life Lending page
With in-depth knowledge on the market and 50+ years’ experience, Charles Derby Mortgage Bureau is one of very few mortgage brokers able to provide face-to-face service nationwide, so if you’re eager to book an appointment or wish to find out how you can get on the property ladder, call us today on 0330 094 5476 or send us a message and we’ll be back in touch to discuss your needs in further detail.