A first time buyer guide to buying your first home in the New Year
After a challenging couple of years, it has become clear that having space to call your own has never been more important. As we bid farewell to 2021, it’s likely that people are looking to the future with many dreaming of finally buying a home to call their own.
If your New Year’s resolution is to get on the property ladder, we’ve taken a look at some of the ways you can make it happen!
What are your housing options?
With property prices on the increase, many potential purchasers are feeling priced out of the market in their local area – but there are alternatives routes to home ownership that could work for you!
Shared Ownership is a part-buy part-rent scheme which allows you to purchase a share of a property, with a deposit on the percentage you’re purchasing, rather than the full market value. On the other hand, Help to Buy sees the government provide an equity loan towards a new build home with the buyer only needing to raise a 5% deposit, with a mortgage making up the rest.
Can you afford to buy a home?
Whether you’re buying a new home on the open market or through schemes such as Shared Ownership or Help to Buy, you will likely need to take out a mortgage. You can make sure you’re as prepared as possible by getting your finances in order, looking into your spending habits, and using online tools such as our mortgage calculator to see what might be affordable to you.
As well as raising the required deposit and getting a mortgage, there are other costs that budding buyers will need to factor in when buying their new home such as legal fees, valuation fees and moving costs. It’s therefore crucial to do that research before starting the process and preparing your finances accordingly!
We would also recommend speaking with your financial adviser who will be able to assess your finances and discuss the options best suited to your circumstances.
What type of home do you want?
Buying your first home is likely to be the biggest decision you ever make, and will therefore require a lot of research. On top of comparing house prices, looking into different areas, and choosing a scheme type that works for you, you’ll also need to decide which type of property suits your needs best.
Do you want a new build apartment in a wider development which offers warranties and on-site amenities, or do you prefer the character of an older property in a community which already exists?
On Share to Buy, you can view thousands of Shared Ownership and Help to Buy listings all across the country to help you narrow down your search. You can use filters such as number of bedrooms, search radius and accessibility to hone in on your ideal abode, and can even register to receive alerts when new properties that fit your criteria are announced by email.
What services are available to first time buyers?
Buying your first home can be incredibly daunting, but there are lots of companies and firms offering services to help you on your way!
You may wish to work with a mortgage adviser who can look into your finances and make an assessment on how much you may be able to borrow. They will also be able to provide you with a mortgage offer in principle which proves to sellers that you can afford what’s on the table.
For the legal aspects of buying a home, you will need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer; we would suggest doing lots of research, including checking out reviews from other buyers and getting quotes from multiple companies as the costs can vary greatly between firms. If you choose to buy through Shared Ownership, we would also recommend using a specialist firm who have experience with the scheme.
How can you prepare to buy your first home?
There’s a number of things you can do to get started on your home-buying journey. As well as researching the different options and types of properties that are available, you may also want to view case studies and testimonials from other buyers who purchased through schemes such as Shared Ownership and Help to Buy.
If you’re hoping to get on the ladder as quickly as possible, one of the best ways to speed up the process is to make sure all of your paperwork is ready to go. Generally, lenders will require a number of supporting documents to accompany your mortgage application, including copies of your ID, proof of address and bank statements.