First Time Buyer
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What is a First Time Buyer?Anyone who’s buying their first residential property which is intended to be their sole or primary residence is referred to as a First Time Buyer. The process of buying a property is the same for First Time Buyers as any other mortgage applicants and whilst it’s recognised that it can be difficult to get onto the property ladder, there are schemes in place to address common problems experienced by First Time Buyers, for example, struggling to save for a deposit. Obtaining sound mortgage advice and ensuring that you prepare in advance of your mortgage application will make buying a house or flat a much more realistic prospect than is often reported in the media.
What is an Agreement in Principle?An Agreement in Principle is a useful document for First time Buyers, which acts as a provisional mortgage offer, before you go through the official mortgage application process. As well as giving you a good idea of how much you could borrow before you look for a home, it can instill faith in estate agents and vendors that you are a serious potential buyer, when it comes to making an offer on your chosen property.
How much can a First Time Buyer borrow?Your mortgage will be calculated based on your personal affordability and credit score. Typically a lender will offer between three and five times your annual income, which can be influenced by a number of factors, but being a First Time Buyer is not one of them.
How to improve your credit scoreA strong credit score will help you to secure a mortgage and afford you access to more competitive interest rates. If your score is low, here are some simple steps to improve it:
- Ensure you appear on the electoral roll at your current address
- Correct any personal details on all accounts held
- If you have credit accounts, use less than 50% of your available credit
- Make all bill payments in full and on time and clear any debt
- Credit builder credit cards can help if you’ve no score due to never having used credit
How much deposit do I need?The amount of deposit that you need very much depends on the type of mortgage you apply for. A standard residential mortgage usually requires a 10% deposit, but the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme should make it possible to obtain a mortgage with just a 5% deposit. Bear in mind that interest rates generally increase, the lower the deposit requirement.
What help is available for First Time Buyers?
The Mortgage Guarantee SchemeThe Mortgage Guarantee Scheme was designed with First Time Buyers in mind, it allows creditworthy applicants to borrow 95% of the cost of any home under £600,000, it does not have to be a new build property.
Help to Buy Equity LoanWith this scheme, you borrow up to 20% of the cost of a new build property through a government loan, which is used to top up your own 5% deposit. This reduces the Loan to Value ratio of your borrowing, which makes a mortgage more achievable and gives you access to better rates.
The Shared Ownership SchemeThis scheme allows you to buy a percentage of your new home and increase ownership when you can afford to. Ideal for those on a low income, from April 2021 you can purchase a minimum of 10% and up to 75% of the property value. You can also increase ownership in 1% installments. For the portion of the property that you don’t own, you pay rent to the local authority, however, they will foot the bill for all maintenance and repair costs for the first ten years of ownership.
What fees are involved in buying a home?
- Arrangement fees – are charged by most lenders for administrative costs, this varies between lenders and some lenders offer no fee options for key workers
- Valuation fees – are charged for an independent evaluation of your home as part of the mortgage application process
- Stamp Duty – is required on all property sales above £300,000 for First Time Buyers, although the UK Stamp Duty holiday means no fees on any property purchase below £500,000 until the end of June 2021
- Legal fees – will be payable to a solicitor for your conveyancing and property search fees