Tips for first-time buyers

First-time buyers are typically daunted by the task ahead of them. In recent years, it’s been tough for first-time buyers with house prices rapidly rising and the more recent spike in interest rates and mortgage rates.

Posted: November 24, 2023

Tips for first-time buyers

However, the most recent Halifax House Price Index revealed some good news: there’s been a significant fall in the house price to income ratio, with it going from 5.8 to 5.1. It is important to be mindful of mortgage rates and predicted trends and to remain balanced in your endeavours to buy that all important first home. So, as a first-time buyer, what do you need to know?

Read on to discover our top tips for first-time buyers rooted in our decades of experience.

1. How to finance your purchase

Before you start your property hunt, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your budget and financing options. Begin by assessing your savings and any financial assistance you may receive. Calculate how much you can comfortably afford as a deposit and be prepared for additional costs like legal fees, stamp duty, and moving expenses. Exploring mortgage options and getting pre-approved can help you establish a realistic budget. There are lots of useful calculators you can use. The Money Saving Expert calculators are a good starting point. Likewise, we are happy to introduce you to our trusted recommended local brokers to give you an objective assessment of your situation.

2. Property types and locations

Consider your lifestyle, needs, job location and long-term goals when choosing the type of property and location. Think about factors like commute times, local amenities, schools, and future property value.

3. Think laterally to get on the ladder

Taking the first step onto the property ladder can be challenging, but there are various schemes and initiatives designed to assist first-time buyers in England. Look into schemes like Help to Buy or Shared Ownership, which can provide financial support or make homeownership more accessible.

4. Is the bank of Mum and Dad a good idea?

Many first-time buyers turn to their parents or family members for financial help. While this can be a valuable resource, it’s essential to approach this arrangement with clarity and transparency. Clearly define expectations, whether it’s a gift or a loan, and ensure both parties are comfortable with the terms.

5. Budget for contingencies

Budgeting is a cornerstone of successful homeownership. Create a detailed budget that accounts for all expenses, including mortgage repayments, utilities, insurance, and maintenance costs. Factor in contingencies for unexpected repairs or fluctuations in interest rates (which appear to be stabilising at the time of writing but could increase in response to any number of factors). A well-prepared budget will help you manage your finances effectively and prevent any surprises down the road.

6. Do your research

Knowledge is power in the property market. Research potential areas and properties thoroughly. Engage with professionals, such as your local David Burr office, who can provide valuable guidance and insights.

7. Stay realistic and patient

While it’s natural to be excited about your first home, it’s essential to maintain a sense of realism and patience. The property market is competitive, and finding the right home may take time. Be prepared for potential setbacks or delays and remain adaptable in your search. You’ll get there!

We’re here to help

As a first-time buyer, you’re embarking on an exciting adventure, but it’s not without its challenges. Everything is new to you and so it can feel even more daunting. We’re your local experts and here to make it easier. Just get in touch and our experts can answer your questions.