First time buyer mortgage
Buying your first property is an exciting step – and a big one too.
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As a first time buyer, buying your first home is a really exciting time – but it’s a daunting one too. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all, that’s also completely normal. There’s so much to think about and decide. At Clever Mortgages we’re here to help. Your dedicated adviser will talk you through every step, to make sure that you get the right mortgage to match your specific needs and help with the whole mortgage process.
Our useful guide on everything you need to know about first time buyer mortgages if you’re eager to buy your first home. We look at:
- How to begin looking for a mortgage
- How to get a decision in principle
- How to find out about council tax brackets, surveys, and mortgage types
- Different rates discussed
- See how much you could potentially borrow and how much a mortgage will cost
Mortgage application process
4 simple steps for applying for a mortgage. See more about the mortgage application process here
Let us know a few details about the mortgage you require
A mortgage specialist will call
One of our brokers will call and get a few more details of your requirements
We search for your perfect mortgage
We will search the market for the best rates for your circumstances
A Decision in Principle is made
We will secure a DIP with a lender, if you approve we move forward with a full application.
Whatever your mortgage goal, there will be something for you
We're on a mission to save you money on your mortgage
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We specialise in helping people find a mortgage and remortgage.
We require your details only once and we’ll know the best lenders for your circumstance and give you the best rates.
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There are many ways to contact us
Enquire online – our simple online form takes just a few minutes.
Give us a Call – our qualified advisers will assess what you are looking and do all the hard work for you searching the market – 0800 197 0504.
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FAQ for first time buyers
A standard mortgage for a first time buyer is made up of two parts:
- Capital – the money you borrow
- Interest – the charge made by the lender on the money you owe
Repayment mortgage: you pay back the capital and the interest together in one monthly payment. Over the duration of the mortgage your balance will get smaller and your mortgage will be paid in full by the end of the term – usually 25 years but can be up to 40 years. This is the most common type of mortgage.
Interest only: you start paying back the interest on your mortgage on a monthly basis. At the end of the mortgage term you need to repay the whole of the capital in one lump payment. If you choose this kind of mortgage the lender will need to know how you intend to pay off the capital at the end. It could be that you are paying in regularly to savings and investments or it could include a pension payout. These are not very common anymore but could help in certain circumstances.
Part repayment and part interest only – this option is a mix of both, so at the end of the term you’ll have paid off some, but not all of the capital and you’ll still need to find a way of repaying the remaining balance.
You can apply for a residential mortgage if you are:
- aged 18 or over
- receiving a regular income
This depends on several factors, including:
- Your income
- Your credit rating
- How much you spend each month
- Whether you have a deposit and if so, how much
- How much deposit you have, minimum 5%, 10% preferred
- There are schemes available to help you buy your first home
Lenders want to be certain you can afford a mortgage, so they’ll look at how much you earn, how much you spend, and consider the added cost of running a home. This helps them work out how much you could potentially afford for a monthly mortgage repayment.
The lender you borrowed from will secure the mortgage against the property you buy, until you have repaid it in full (plus interest).
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With a first time buyer mortgage, or any mortgage for that matter, the basic rule of thumb is to put down as much as you can toward the purchase price. Deposits are viewed as a percentage of the property value. The smallest deposit you can expect to find is just 5% of the value, although this is likely to create only a small pool of lenders willing to lend 95% of the purchase price.
The loan to value (LTV) should be as low as possible for you to access the most competitive mortgages. For example, if you can supply 15% of the purchase price as a deposit, lenders will view you as a lower risk candidate for a mortgage. You could think of it as you sharing the risk with the lender, you are putting down your own money and the lender the rest.
As a first time buyer, it’s a good idea to think about the type of mortgage that you want first. You can then look for that specific type rather than searching more generally.
Our advisers can help search the market for a competitive mortgage, based on your personal details, background, and affordability status. They have extensive experience of the marketplace, enabling them to assess the best lenders and mortgages for people in your situation.
Your credit score can be crucial when taking out your first time buyer mortgage. It shows lenders whether in the past, you’ve been able to maintain full payments on time.
As you haven’t previously taken out a mortgage, lenders look at other forms of credit you may have had, such as:
- Car finance
- Personal loans
- Credit cards
- Phone contracts
Repaying any form of credit on time will help boost your credit score. This can make it easier to get approval for a mortgage, especially when you’ve never had one before.
If you’ve not had any loans or credit cards before, you may have a low credit score as there hasn’t been any debts to assess your payment history. We can look at low credit score mortgages for you.
If you have a history of bad credit, you may wish to consider looking at bad credit mortgage options. Our advisers can guide you on that topic and suggest lenders who focus on people with bad credit scores.
Mortgages traditionally run for 25 years, although they can be longer (some up to 40 years) or shorter depending on your situation. However, few first-time buyers stay on the same mortgage deal for the life of the mortgage. It is common to switch deals or even lenders partway through – and sometimes a homeowner will do this more than once.
The mortgage market can be confusing, especially for first-time buyers who have never bought a property before and haven’t ever considered getting a mortgage. Here are six main types of mortgages that you’ll find on the market today.
Your mortgage adviser will help you by making a recommendation on the most appropriate product and expiry period, based on your needs, preferences and requirements.
A fixed rate mortgage means the interest rate given will stay the same over a fixed period. The length of the fixed rate is set by the lender. Your repayments stay the same each month, regardless of what happens to other mortgage rates.
These mortgages are popular with first-time buyers and people looking to budget with confidence each month. They can also work well for those with a poor credit history.
The downside is that if mortgage rates go down, you could end up paying a higher amount than you would on a variable rate mortgage. Conversely, if rates increase, you could have the advantage of paying less than you would on a variable rate deal.
Be aware that some lenders will penalise you with an ERC (Early Repayment Charge) if you decide to exit the deal before the end of the agreed fixed term. Always assess the possible savings you might make from switching and look at the penalties that you could incur, to see if a cheaper deal still makes sense.
Every lender has their own standard variable rate (SVR). This is their basic mortgage rate. This can go up and down, usually in line with the Bank of England’s rate changes. However, the lender is free to raise or lower this at any time, as its their lending rate.
This means your monthly payments can go up or down, depending on the interest rate at any given time. Some months may see you pay more while you might end up paying less at other times.
A discount mortgage gives you a reduction on the lender’s standard variable rate for a specific time, usually two to three years. Discount mortgages are attractive as they can allow you to make lower repayments. However, as the SVR can still fluctuate, they’re not ideal for people who want to stick to a strict long-term budget.
This is like a variable rate mortgage except that it tracks a pre-agreed interest rate instead of the lender’s SVR. Tracker mortgages are typically linked with the Bank of England’s interest rate, plus a few per cent on top.
This mortgage is linked to your savings and current accounts. The value of your savings is offset against the value of your mortgage. This means you’ll only pay interest on the ‘net’ mortgage balance.
For example, you might have a mortgage worth £200,000 and £50,000 in savings. An offset mortgage would see you paying interest on £150,000 rather than £200,000.
If you don’t keep up with your mortgage payments, your lender has the right to repossess your home to sell it and get their money back. Its therefore important to ensure you have the most affordable mortgage for your circumstances on the right product.
It’s best to get a decision or agreement in principle on a mortgage before you begin looking at properties. Having this agreement can help put you ahead of other potential buyers who may not have one, thereby making you more attractive to someone looking to sell their property.
This also gives you an indication of your maximum borrowing amount, which added to your deposit, tells you the property prices you can look at. There’s nothing worse than finding a dream home to realise you can’t afford to buy it.
You can apply online, and a lender will look at certain aspects of your financial history to see whether they may, in principle, lend you a certain sum for a mortgage. They’ll look at your credit score and history and ask you to supply some other basic financial and personal information to be able to consider you.
This is not official confirmation of a mortgage offer, as the lender does not go into depth when assessing your financial situation. This only occurs when you formally apply for a mortgage.
Most lenders place a limit on how long the decision in principle is valid for, with most opting for around 60 to 90 days. It is possible you could have it extended if required, although this is again down to the lender.
You can make an offer in writing, which can include email, but make sure the estate agent will recognise an offer made this way. Some agents will also take offers made by phone, but make sure they are clear on the amount offered in this case, so there are no misunderstandings.
Making an offer in writing has the advantage of being more formal and clearer to understand. This is also a good opportunity to list other pointers that may make you a more attractive prospect to sell to. For instance, as a first-time buyer, you won’t be waiting on someone to buy your current property, so there’s no chain your end to worry about.
Yes! There is help available to purchase you first house, such as Shared Ownership, Mortgage guarantee scheme to name a few.
When you’ve made an offer on a property and it has been accepted, as part of the mortgage application, the lender will arrange for a basic property valuation for mortgage purposes to be carried out, you may have to pay for this. This tells the lender what they want to know, to ensure it’s a suitable property to lend on.
You may want to arrange your own, more in depth property valuation, the two most popular types are the Homebuyers Report and the more in-depth full structural survey, otherwise known as a Building Survey.
You can ask for quotes from qualified surveyors and choose one who is a member of RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). The sooner you get the survey done, the faster you can move through the buying process. The surveyor should give you an idea of when they’ll complete the survey and report back to you.
Conveyancing covers all the legal aspects of home buying. You’ll need to find a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor to handle all this on your behalf. They’ll take care of searches on the property you intend to buy, and let you know of everything they come back with. They’ll also handle contract paperwork, so they cover all legal aspects of a move from start to finish.
One of the biggest bills you’ll pay as the owner of any property is Council Tax. This can vary from one area to another and depends on the individual property size as well.
It’s easy to find out which bracket a property is in. Visit the official gov.uk website or search for ‘how to find out Council Tax band’ online or click here. You must know a portion of the post code to be able to find the answer. Postcodes are split into two sections – the first with two, three, or four letters and numbers and the second with three. You must have the entire first part of the postcode and the first digit of the second part.
When looking for properties online, you will usually have the road or street address and the first part of the postcode. You can then look that up on Google to find the additional digit(s) you need. You can also use the Royal Mail postcode finder.
Mortgage brokers can help you find the best deals on the market – not just from one lender. With a broker you’ll get:
- Valuable knowledge, through years of experience helping customers to find mortgages
- An improved chance at finding a mortgage, some mortgages are only available through a broker
- Help with the application process, as usually just one application can be used across various lenders
- Advice on how to improve your chances, for instance getting a guarantor or applying for a joint mortgage