Top Tips Before Getting On The Property Ladder

It’s hard to believe its been more than 8 years since we bought our first home together because it still feels like yesterday. We were really lucky to have a relatively smooth process and from our initial viewing to picking up the keys took just 6 weeks. Buying your first property can be one of the most exciting times in your life – but also one of the most stressful. Buying a home is likely the biggest investment many of us will make, and it’s important that you are able to afford both your mortgage payments and any upkeep that your home may require.

The current market is a difficult place for first-time buyers and it might seem impossible to get your foot in the door and purchase your first home. I know I definitely look back on previous generations with a little bit of envy.

Here are some tips to increase your chances of being able to secure a home in the least stressful way possible.

Investigate credit score and work towards paying off existing debt

As part of mortgage appointments, lenders will always be looking at debt to income-ratio to determine if monthly repayments can be met.  A great way to increase chances of getting a mortgage – but also to get a better interest rate, is to increase credit score and pay off any pre-existing debt, such as credit cars or car leases. Don’t worry about student loan debts from university as these won’t be taken into consideration. Other easy ways to improve credit score include ensuring all payments are made on time, and making sure that you to be on the electoral roll.

Speak to a mortgage advisor to determine what you can afford

Our mortgage advisor was invaluable in determining how much we could borrow and therefore the price range of properties that we could consider. If you have a lot of outgoings, this will additionally impact the amount you can borrow up to, and an advisor may even recommend trying to save for another six months before buying – to save paying high rates of interest on a larger loan. It is always best to speak to an independent advisor instead of a bank, as they have access to a larger panel of lenders.

Look into new build homes that support the government help to buy scheme

Before Pete and I got together, he bought a house that had yet to be built on a new build plot outside Ely in Cambridgeshire where he was working at the time. Would you consider buying a new build home? There are big advantages in that your house is ready to move straight into, in the style and taste that you like, and you don’t need to begin renovating before moving – which can be expensive and time-consuming. You could also make use of an equity loan from the government’s help to buy scheme to help towards the costs of buying your first home.

Establish a savings plan to reach your deposit goal

We are not the best at setting aside savings unless we have a specific goal in mind but when we do we get mega competitive with each other. Establishing a plan and putting money aside each month is a great way to meet your savings goals. This could be as little as £100 a month, but saving as much as you can afford will go a long way to securing your home quicker. Make use of a help to buy ISA, which can give you a further 25% of additional money on top of the balance in the account, when you put this towards buying a home.

I hope these tips have been helpful and good luck with this exciting step!

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