Becoming a first-time buyer to buy property in the UK is an exciting milestone but can also be daunting. From understanding the property market to understanding the buying process, there’s a lot to think about. That’s why working with a financial advisor can be incredibly beneficial in this journey.
In this blog post, we’ll provide you with essential tips, including the guidance of a financial advisor, to help you unlock the door to buying your first home in the UK.
Understanding the UK Property Market
Before getting onto the property ladder, it’s crucial to understand the current state of the UK property market. The property market in the UK can be quite dynamic, with house prices varying significantly depending on the region. A mortgage l advisor can provide valuable insights into market trends and help you make informed decisions.
To make the most of their expertise, it’s essential to research the areas you’re interested in and get a sense of the market. Monitor factors such as property price trends, interest rates, mortgage deals, and government schemes that may impact asking price and affordability. By staying informed with the help of a mortgage advisor, you’ll be better equipped to find the right property at the right price.
To make your dream of homeownership a reality, financial preparation is key. Start by creating a detailed budget with the help of a mortgage advisor. They can help you to work out your income, expenses, and savings goals and the importance of maintaining a good credit score.
Saving for a mortgage deposit is often a big challenge for first-time buyers, so a mortgage advisor can provide guidance to help you achieve your savings target while building and maintaining a good credit score.
When it comes to mortgages, a mortgage advisor can help you explore the different options available and help you in seeking pre-approval from lenders. This will give you a clear understanding of how much you can borrow and what your interest rate and monthly repayments might look like. With the help of a mortgage advisor, you can make well-informed decisions about your mortgage.
Don’t forget to factor in additional costs such as legal fees, survey fees, and moving expenses when assessing affordability. A mortgage advisor can help you navigate these costs and ensure you’re financially prepared to move forward with your home-buying journey
Government Schemes, Assistance & Mortgage Deals
The UK government offers various schemes and initiatives to help first-time buyers. A mortgage advisor can help you navigate these schemes and determine if you’re eligible and how they can assist you.
Help To Buy Scheme
The Help to Buy scheme is a government initiative in the UK aimed at helping first-time buyers in buying their own homes. This scheme has provided valuable support to many people who struggle to save a large deposit, making homeownership more accessible.
The Help to Buy scheme allows buyers to get a mortgage with a smaller deposit, as low as 5% of the property’s value. The government then provides an equity loan of up to 20% (40% in London) of the property’s price, interest-free for the first five years. This loan, together with the buyer’s deposit and mortgage, enables them to purchase a new-build property.
The Help to Buy scheme has helped people overcome the hurdle of saving a substantial deposit and has also helped to stimulating the construction of new homes. It has provided aspiring homeowners with a stepping stone into the property market, making their dreams of homeownership a reality.
Shared Ownership Scheme
The Shared Ownership scheme is a government-backed initiative in the UK that aims to help people who can’t afford to buy a property immediately. It offers an alternative route to homeownership by allowing people to buy a share of a property, usually between 25% to 75%, and you pay rent on the remaining share.
This scheme is helpful for first-time buyers and those with low incomes, making this a more affordable route to buying your home. As your financial situation improves over time, you can then increase how much you own of your house, through a process called staircasing.
This allows people to eventually own all of the property if they choose to do so. The Shared Ownership scheme provides a flexible and accessible route to homeownership, and individuals can build equity, and stability whilst enjoying living in their own homes.
The Lifetime ISA (Individual Savings Account) scheme is a government-backed initiative in the UK designed to help first-time buyers save for their first home or for retirement. This scheme allows people aged 18 to 39 years old to save up to £4,000 per year, with the government providing a 25% bonus on the contributions.
This means that for every £4 you saved, an additional £1 is added as a government bonus, up to a maximum bonus of £1,000 per year. The Lifetime ISA offers a tax-efficient way to save, as the contributions are made with pre-tax income, and any growth or withdrawals are tax-free.
The funds saved in a Lifetime ISA can be used to purchase a first home worth up to £450,000 as long as the account has been open for at least 12 months. This scheme is worth paying into and provides a valuable incentive for individuals to save for their first home, allowing them to accelerate their savings and benefit from the government bonus to make homeownership more achievable.
Working With an Estate Agent: Finding the Right Property
Once you know what your budget is then it’s time to start looking for your dream home. A mortgage advisor can work alongside you and a good estate agent, providing you with help with your finances and helping you find properties that meet your needs and budget.
Utilise online listings, local estate agents, and property search websites to explore available properties in your desired areas. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and proximity to transport links, schools, and other essential services. Viewing properties in person is crucial, so schedule visits to get a feel for each property and its surroundings. The expertise of a mortgage advisor and an estate agent can save you time and effort in finding the right property.
The Buying Process
The buying process in the UK involves several steps and a mortgage advisor can help you through each one. Firstly, think about getting a property surveyed to spot any issues or defects with the property.
This will help you make a decision and negotiate repairs or price adjustments if needed. Engage a solicitor or conveyancer, with the help of your mortgage advisor, to handle the legal aspects of the buying your property, including searches and contract preparation.
They will help you through the process, making sure all the legal requirements are met, and protect your interests. It’s important to work with professionals with experience in property buying to avoid potential issues.
Purchase Price: Making an Offer and Negotiating
When you find the perfect property and you want to make an offer—research similar properties in the area to work out what is a fair and realistic offer price. Your mortgage financial advisor and estate agent can help with valuable tips into the mortgage market and help you with your offer.
Be ready for negotiation and think about adding conditions in your offer, such as repairs or fixtures you’d like the seller to address. Carry out the following on the property, such as getting a valuation to help you decide. With the help of a mortgage advisor, you can make confident offers and negotiate effectively.
Completing the Purchase
Once your offer is accepted, you’re one step closer to owning your first home. The completion process includes exchanging contracts, paying the deposit, and finalising the paperwork.
Your mortgage broker, solicitor, or conveyancer, will help you through these final stages and for a smooth transition to homeownership. It’s important to budget for additional costs such as stamp duty (stamp duty calculator), which is a tax on property purchases above a certain value, and solicitor fees.
Your solicitor with the help of your mortgage advisor, will give you a breakdown of these costs and help you know what the fees will be. Stay in regular contact with your solicitor and estate agent to stay informed about other costs and the progress of the transaction.
Moving In and Settling Down
Now the buying of your property has finished, it’s time to move into your new home and start settling down. Sort out your gas, electricity, and water to be connected before your move-in date. Update your address with with your bank, local council, mortgage lenders, insurance providers, and other important services.
It’s crucial to protect your investment by securing home insurance. Your mortgage advisor can provide recommendations and help you find suitable coverage. Home insurance covers unforeseen events such as fire, theft, or damage, giving you peace of mind as a homeowner.
Take The Next Step In Buying Your First Home Today!
Becoming a first-time buyer in the UK is an exciting journey. By understanding the property market, sorting out your finances with the help of a mortgage advisor, looking at government schemes and the buying process, you can unlock the door to your first home.
Research and planning are essential to buy a house now, so take the first step, have a look at the market value of a suitable property and your options with the help of one of our expert mortgage advisors at Montgomery Financial, and make your dream of homeownership a reality. Happy house hunting!