Things to Know When You are Buying Your First Home

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There are a few things in life that are both terrifying and exciting simultaneously and buying your first home is right up there as one of them! As leading estate agents East London first-time buyers come through our doors daily and being able to help them secure their first property is an honour. It is essential to understand the process of buying a home, and this is hard if you haven’t done it before, so here is our advice for first-time buyers to know exactly what is coming your way.

The basics

Most first-time homeowners will also be looking for a mortgage to help finance the move, so bear in mind that you need around 10% of the property price saved as a deposit to secure the finance. You will find many online calculators to help you determine how much you can borrow, focusing your search on affordable homes. A mortgage company will look at your credit score, so do what you can to give this a boost and be sure that this significant financial commitment is your best option right now.

Finding a mortgage to suit your needs

Different lenders will offer different interest rates, so shop around, and a mortgage broker is probably your best option. They have access to many products, and usually, you do not pay them until a successful mortgage has been signed, so it is in their interest to help you wherever possible. You will need to get a mortgage agreed in principle for the estate agent to put any offers into the vendor – proof that you can afford to purchase at the price you suggest.

Fees to pay

Depending on how much you can borrow, you can add costs to the mortgage, but if things are tight and you want to save all your mortgage allowance for the property, you also need savings to cover the costs. Yes, this is on top of the deposit; buying a house is expensive but very worth it once you get the keys. You need to pay your solicitor, and we call these conveyancing fees anywhere between £500-£1500. Land registry and stamp duty also need to be factored in, there are calculators online to help you work out stamp duty, and the land registry charge is between £90-£140.

A survey, your mortgage fee and broker fee also need to be taken into account, a valuation fee, indemnity insurance, removal costs, buildings insurance (usually a mandatory part of the mortgage agreement along with life insurance), and so the list goes on. It’s easy to see why these are often added to the mortgage; it means you have a little less to shop with but don’t have to fund all of these fees upfront. However, once you have the money in place, you are good to go and can look for your dream first home, which we are delighted to help you with and will set you up with viewings at all potential properties.