Introduction

It was more years ago than I care to admit that I bought my first home, yet I remember the roller-coaster of competing emotions like it was yesterday: the excitement at picking up the keys mixed with fear that I was taking on a humungous debt and doubts about whether I’d made the right decisions along the way.

Since then the housing market has changed a great deal. Not only are properties far more expensive, but first-time buyers also face much tougher lending criteria, making it even harder for them to get their feet on the first rung of property ladder.

A good broker is worth their weight in gold, helping first-time buyers make the right decisions, not ones they will live to regret.

I’m delighted to write the introduction to this guide, the more access to good quality information first-time buyers have, the better.

Are you ready to buy

Are you ready to buy?

Renting? Buying? Living in the woods? What is the right answer?

The perception is that everyone wants to buy a home. But for some people, now might not be the right time, or the financial commitment too great.

There are pros and cons with both buying and renting, which you should consider carefully before you commit to buying your first home.

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Freehold & leasehold

Freehold & leasehold: What's the difference?

It's easy to get carried away by the excitement of buying your first home. But, knowing the difference is important. 

There are two main ways of owning a property in England and Wales, Freehold and Leasehold. As a rule of thumb, houses are freehold and flats are leasehold. But, as with all rules of thumb there are exceptions and an ever increasing number of newly built houses are bought on a leasehold basis. 

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Mortgages.

Mortgages

One small word, but your future rests on being able to get one and then the right deal.

Mortgages are quite simple in theory.

You borrow a sum of money from a bank or building society, and repay it over an agreed period, at an agreed interest rate.

We explain the mortgage process, how much you can borrow, the types of mortgages and which you should choose. 

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Parental help

Parental help

The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, has helped many people to buy their first home. The ‘Bank of Gran and Grandad’ is becoming a more common option too, with 1 in 10 first-time buyers receiving help from their grandparents. There are several ways families can help.

We explain the best way for your parents to help.

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Top tips for getting a mortgage

Top tips for getting a mortgage

There are things you can do to improve your chances of getting a mortgage such as keeping your credit record clean, registering on the electoral roll and paying rent on time 

Buying a home is a dream which can only become a reality if you get accepted for a mortgage.

Here are our top tips to make that happen.

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Help from the Government

Help from the Government

A helping hand can make all the difference when it comes to buying a home, and not everybody can rely on family members. Since 1980, the Government has offered a way for people to get onto the property ladder with Right to Buy, and since the Help to Buy scheme was introduced in 2013, various other initiatives have been added.

In this section we explain the different schemes available and how you can access them.

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Getting ready to move

Getting ready to move

Finding and purchasing a house is only the first part in the journey of a first-time buyer. The next challenge comes when you move in. Preparing to move into your home comes with its own challenges, with insurance a top priority.

You need insurance to protect your first home and everything in it even before you move in.

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