Sometimes you can get a little distracted when browsing through the property and mortgage options on the market during the ultimate search for your first home.
If this sounds familiar, it may be time to take a step back from clicking through images of interiors and trying many different mortgage calculators, and begin to plan how you are going to get the keys to that front door.
We spoke to our independent mortgage advisor, Gail Reid, to set out the first steps you need to take to get on the property ladder.
Gail’s first tip is to seek advice as early as possible so that you can begin to plan.
“From your first conversation with a mortgage advisor, you will find out how much you can expect to borrow, details on the costs involved in getting a mortgage and what to expect from the process of buying a property, even down to what to expect on the day you apply for your mortgage,” said Gail.
You can find a lot of information online, however it can be difficult to break it down and find out what exactly this information means for you and what you need to consider in order to move forward.
Simplify the process by going straight to a mortgage advisor who can summarise the best options that suit your current lifestyle.
Gail said: “Saving can be one of the most challenging aspects of preparing to buy your first property and for those struggling to save, I would suggest looking at your bank account each month and making a spreadsheet of everything you spend.
“It may be a difficult read at first, but by tracking what you spend, you will be able to pin point where you can save. This will also help you to set out a realistic timeline of when you will be able to afford a deposit based on how much you can save each month.”
There are different schemes available to support first time buyers getting onto the property ladder such as Help to Buy. This is a shared equity scheme with the Scottish Government with typically a 5% deposit.
This scheme is only available on new build properties up to a value of £200,000 with participating builders, such as Bancon Homes. It gives buying power a boost and could make the interest rate payable lower too, meaning you enjoy low mortgage payments.
Gail added: “When speaking to first time buyers, we get to know their lifestyle and financial situation and use that information to give advice on the best schemes for them if needed and whether they would qualify for Help to Buy.
“It’s all about making a plan and then making smart savings. Getting a Help to Buy ISA is a great option for many first-time buyers where those eligible, will receive a Government bonus on top of their savings – an added help in achieving your deposit goal.”
We offer a Bancon Homes moving in package on selected properties at our Eden development, giving those who have set their heart on a particular property an opportunity to reserve it for £99.
In addition, the moving in package includes the furnishings in a one or two bed villa, which relieves the cost of having to purchase a sofa, bed, flooring and other essentials. Your first home will be ready for you to move in as soon as you are ready.
Once you have a plan in place other challenges first time buyers need to consider are their credit file.
Gail advises: “Many never think about their credit file when purchasing their first home. I would recommend that you get a copy of your file so that you have the best opportunity to rectify any issues while you are at the start of the process. Your mortgage broker will be able to look at your credit history and advise on areas that could be improved before applying for a mortgage.
“There are also other things a first-time buyer can tick off their check list, such as applying to be on the electoral register, giving yourself the best opportunity to be accepted for a mortgage.
“Most first-time buyers think that the process is going to be harder than it is. By giving as much advice and guidance as we can, nine times out of ten, the process is smooth and we’re able to get a mortgage for them or simply put a plan in place for those who do not have enough savings yet.
“One of the main pieces of advice we give is to not be daunted by beginning the mortgage application process. We will be there every step of the way to answer any questions you have and help to support your decision making until you get the keys.”