Getting on the property ladder is an exciting time. It’s the time to fly the nest, move in with a partner or friend, and/or start a new and exciting life. Moving into your first home is a real-life moment that you’ll never forget.
The moving boxes, the packing up of your room, and then that first night in your own home with a takeaway and a bottle of something cheap… they’re all magical life moments.
Getting there isn’t always a fairy tale though. A first-time buyer can often feel like everything is against them. With no home to sell, and all this talk of mortgages, down payments, insurance, fees, and more it can be a daunting time. That’s when you start to question why no one taught you any of this stuff in school!
We specialise in first time mortgages because we believe that your magical moment of getting the keys to your own home shouldn’t be more stressful than it already is. At Mortgage Search Go we have the skills and experience to help you move into your first home, and we love to help our clients achieve their goal.
What’s unique about a first-time buyer? And what does that mean when applying for a mortgage?
A first-time buyer will usually need to borrow a higher ratio against the value of the property, mainly because they have a small amount of savings and no property to put towards the new home.
This will often mean putting down a deposit of just 5% or 10% of the purchase price compared to a previous home-mover. Also, because first-time buyers don’t have a mortgage track record and may have moved home a few times in the three years running up to the application, this is more challenging than a regular mortgage as the risk is higher to the lender.
Homeowners tend to be more settled and have more going for them in the way of credit history and assets, as well as a longer employment history.
One thing that makes a good difference it for first-time buyers to be registered on the electoral roll, but failing that, proof of residency at each address can be used.
Do first-time buyers find it easier to get a mortgage or not?
If a first-time buyer gets their paperwork in order then there’s no reason why they should find it any more difficult than a home-mover or re-mortgagor. There are – as with all mortgages – factors that need to be considered and things that need to be done in order to get a successful application.
A few things that a first-time buyer should look to get in place are:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of residency
- A good deposit
- Proof of income
- Bank statements going back as far as possible.
- Typically, 3 months.
- A credit report is also a useful document to have available up front to help get the mortgage placed right the first time.
A budget planner will also be completed so that we can ensure that there is sufficient spare income after outgoings. Being able to pay the mortgage is one thing, but one area many first-time buyers neglect to consider are the utility and shopping bills that come hand-in-hand with a new home.
Generally speaking, first-time buyers borrow a higher percentage of the purchase price/value, which doesn't leave the lender much margin for error so it's important to make sure all the paperwork is in order and as accurate as possible.
With all this in place, a lender can see how much a buyer can afford to borrow, and they can then look at the risk to them versus the capital and value of the home the buyer is trying to mortgage.
Are there specific mortgage products for first time buyers?
Yes, absolutely. Due to the unique nature of a first-time buyer, some lenders have specific products to help them get on to the housing ladder. Much like other areas of mortgages, it pays to go for the right products. Typically, first-time buyer mortgages could have lower arrangement fees, or a cashback payable at completion, to assist with legal fees.
Although it might seem like a first-time buyer is more of a risk, they often have much longer to pay off the mortgage than someone much older and this can go in their favour with applying for a longer-term mortgage.
What’s the First Time Buyer mortgage buyer scheme?
A first-time buyer is defined as an individual or individuals who have never owned an interest in a residential property in the United Kingdom or anywhere else in the world and who intends to occupy the property as their main residence.
- If you’re a first-time buyer in England or Northern Ireland, you will pay no Stamp Duty on properties worth up to £300,000.
- In Wales, for a normal purchase, Land Transaction Tax (LTT) is exempt on the first £180,000 for first-time buyers.
- In Scotland, Stamp Duty is now called Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).
- First time buyers are exempt on purchases up to £175,000.
These rates often change so it pays to check with us before you apply.
How much can I borrow as a first-time buyer?
As mentioned above, this all depends on your circumstances but the world is not against you by any means.
Check out our first-time mortgage calculator here and find out how much you could potentially borrow.
Here are some useful online resources to check out:
Need help getting on the property ladder as a first-time buyer? Contact Mortgage Search Go now and we’ll have a chat about it and help you get your paperwork and finances in order.