A growing number of first-time buyers are shrugging off uncertainty surrounding Brexit and following their dreams, to owning their own home. Help to Buy schemes, stamp duty exemptions and cheap mortgage deals are giving new buyers the boost they need to get on that all-important property ladder. In November, there were 36,200 new first-time buyer mortgages completed marking 5.8% increase from the same point a year earlier UK, according to UK finance. The first-time buyer market is finally booming, with £6 billion lending providers to first time buyers in November alone.
The average loan taken out by first-time buyers in November was £142,000, up from £138,000 in November 2017 and the average first-time buyer is 30 years old with a household income of £42,000. The recent research into the market shows first-time buyer demand and actively has held up surprisingly well, with aspiring buyers clearly not losing the ambition to purchase their own home, despite the Brexit uncertainty. So it could actually be the best time for potential homeowners to make their move, given the strong appetite to lend in this part of the market and there is some very attractive pricing available, with very low interest rates.
These figures show Brexit uncertainty hasn’t prevented first-time buyers from grasping the opportunity to step foot on the housing ladder. The reality is that there are good deals to be had and many first-time buyers are taking advantage of government schemes such as Help to Buy. Introduced in 2013, Help to Buy programs allow first time home buyers to qualify for mortgage loans by making down payments as small as 5%.
Check out our top tips below, so you can join hundreds of first-time buyers jumping on the property ladder this year.
1. Save long and hard for that deposit If you’re planning to buy a home, you’ll need to save for a deposit. – Open a Help to Buy ISA. As long as you‘re over the age of 16 and have a National Insurance number, you can take advantage of a tax-free savings account aimed specifically at buying your first home. The government will even give you a 25% bonus once you’ve made the purchase .
– Take advantage of stamp duty exception. Being a first-time buyer means the government will wave your tax for purchasing. As long as your property costs less than £300,000, you can save a significant amount. Don’t forget though, you’ll still need to pay solicitors, surveyors and financial advisors.
2. Seek professional financial help advice Buying a property can be very daunting for a first time buyer. It can become quite confusing, so it is highly recommended that you seek expert advice to help you through the process.
– Work out what you can afford to buy. Mortgage advisors are able to tell you how much you can borrow and therefore how much you’ll be able to spend. If you don’t find this out before viewing, you could be looking at properties out of your budget.
– Show vendors and estate agents that you’re ready to buy. If you’ve already understood your options, you’ll appear much more convincing to those selling and lending to you. That means you’ll be much more likely to close a deal when you find the right place for you. – Get certainty from your mortgage lender. Having all your finances set out by an advisor before you approach a lender will better your chance of them offering you a firm mortgage offer.
3. Decide on your monthly mortgage payments Your current situation will determine how much you can afford to pay on your mortgage.
– If your already renting, you will be used to paying out every month. It’s likely that your mortgage payments will be cheaper than what you’re currently paying. As an added bonus though, your payments will help you call the property your own.
– If your living with family, the costs might come as a shock. Its important to make sure you’ll have funds to manage a new monthly expenditure before you go ahead with your purchase.
4. View lots of properties There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing your property. Having an idea of what your after will make your search more efficient.
– Decide what kind of home you would like. Whether it’s having a garden, or driveway, then you need to decide what priorities must be met. Be clear on whats most important to you, so you can shortlist properties accordingly and not waste any time.
– Prepare to be flexible. Its normal to change your preferences once you start visiting properties. Keep an open mind and don’t be deterred if you fall for a place that isnt quite what you were expecting.
– Thinking about renovating. For some, redecorating a property is a chance to make to a home. But you not have the funds or time to do this. Keep in mind the work that will need doing when you view.
5. Make an offer You’ve set priorities, sought financial advice and found your ideal home. Now its time to make an offer.
– Don’t be afraid to haggle. It’s nearly always the case that the price agreed is different from the price advertised. Negotiate with your estate agent and vendor so that you get the best deal possible.