Richard Carr’s top tips for aspiring first time buyers

Buying your first home can be one of the most daunting decisions to make in ones lifetime. To rent or to buy is one of the key questions for many. The whole process is long and complicated and can seem initially fairly confusing to younger generations with no guidance, but it doesn’t have to be with the help of Fortitudo.

Richard Carr, Chief Executive for property development company Fortitudo, specialises in properties for first time buyers. Richard would like to share his top 5 tips for first time buyers looking to get a foot onto the property ladder.

1. Look into schemes and mortgages with the lowest rates
Over time the government has tried to make home owning more assessable for first time buyers with many different schemes. The Help to Buy scheme is part of most of Richard Carr’s developments, and allows you to purchase properties with a deposit as little as 5%. It aims to make more mortgages accessible for those who cannot afford a large deposit. The Help to Buy ISA pays first time buyers a government bonus, which is interest free for the first 5 years, leaving you enough time to get you on your feet!
Low interest rates with long term fixed rate are hard to come by, that alone is enough to put some people off. Also household circumstances can change, and no one wants to be in a contract that they cannot afford after 5 years. However many banks are starting to realise that this is a problem for many. Recently Virgin Money Mortgages have lowered there interest rates and increased their fixed rate to 10 years, in time many other competing banks will do so too!

2. Know your area
A good location is key, it can make or break your first home, so research needs to be done imperatively. Learn about the job opportunities that could arise, see what schools are in the area, check out the leisure and hospitality facilities. Visit the area at different times of the day; find out how busy your morning commute could be. Test out transport links – how long does it take you to catch a train or a bus? What bus stops are nearby? The number one rule is: never commit to an area unless you could imagine yourself living there.

3. Save your pennies
We all know that buying a home for the first time is a huge financial commitment. Don’t forget that its not just the deposit that you need to save for. Make sure you have thought about all the added extras that come with buying a property; mortgage arrangement fees, solicitor fees, council tax, utility bills and insurance. This might mean tightening the purse away for a little while. Try and cut down of day-day spending and invest into a Monzo card, which can help track your spending and saving. Did you know: the average Brit spends over 2,000 a year in coffee shops!

4. Check your credit report
These days your credit report is more crucial than ever when it comes to being accepted for a mortgage, as lenders will want to see a squeaky clean history of previous borrowing. Clearscore offers a free credit check and tracker and gives you tips and tricks on how to improve your rating, to get the most suited loan to you! 

5. Love move in day
You’ve done your research and saved your money – now is the time to enjoy your new home and make It your own. Packing and moving boxes may feel like a bore, but moving day is a time for celebration! Keeping up spirits with on the day will be sure to get you through. Once the hard work is all over, why not head over to your new neighbours with a glass of bubbly. It’s time to make the most of your very first home.