So today I would like to discuss first time buyers and my top five tips.
Tip 1 - Get yourself prepared.
First of all, get yourself prepared and see a mortgage broker early on in the process. They'll be able to talk you through how much you can borrow, realistic budgets and can look at your monthly payments, making sure it's affordable to you. They will be able to talk you through any first-time buyer schemes which may be available to you and they will be able to get you an Agreement (Mortgage) in Principle certificate. An agreement in principle is issued after you've had a credit and affordability check done, and you'll need this to put an offer forward with estate agents. Your broker will also be able to talk to you about solicitors so that you are prepared to choose which one you're going to use once you have an offer accepted. This will make the process a lot quicker once you have an offer accepted on a property. Your broker will also go through the whole home buying process in detail with you so that you understand exactly what's going to happen when, what money you have to have prepared and when you need to have it by.
Tip 2 - Make a budget plan.
Make sure you complete a thorough budget plan. This, again, might be with your broker, but you can even start by doing one at home by yourself. Make sure that you fully understand exactly what you going to have to pay for. All the bills, council tax, gas, electric, water, etc all need to be taken into account to make sure that you have a comfortable monthly payment for your mortgage. Ask other people what they pay to get a general idea of the amounts which may be involved so that you get an idea of affordability.
Tip 3 - Prepare your mortgage deposit.
Your mortgage deposit will be scrutinised by the lender to check exactly where it's come from. If it is all from your savings then make sure it's all in the bank and that you've got bank statements to prove where that money has come from. This may also be money from a gift, for example, from parents or other family members so ensure the money is in their account and that they too have bank statements to show this. If you have cash savings or gifts you will also need to prove where this has come from so be aware of putting cash lump sums in the bank as you will still need to prove where that money has come from. These details will be checked by both your solicitor and the lender so be prepared.
Tip 4 - Start getting your documents ready.
Once you've had an offer accepted, your broker is going to ask you for several documents, things like ID, payslips, bank statements, etc so make sure you've got them all ready. Many of these things are available online now, so are quite easily and readily to hand, but sometimes they're not. If they aren't then make sure you request them and have them ready to go so that you can start your mortgage application as quickly as you possibly can, after the offer is accepted.
Tip 5 - Start looking at houses.
Don't just choose the first one that you see! Have a look at plenty, start to understand exactly what you like and don't like in a house. Register with local estate agents, tell them what you want and what you're looking for, so that when the right property does come along, you'll be one of the first to know. You can make an offer, put it forward and be at the front of the queue.
So these are my top five tips for first-time buyers. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our first-time buyer services, please contact us or book an appointment via the link.