Help for first time buyers trying to get on the property ladder

Help for first time buyers trying to get on the property ladder

09 February 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Many potential first time buyers have had to put their dreams of becoming homeowners on hold since the credit crisis made it much more difficult to secure a mortgage, but all is not lost, says Unbiased.co.uk.

The professional advice website has compiled some top tips and advice from a range of media mortgage advisers to overcome the obstacles and help would-be homeowners to find the right home and the right first time buyer mortgage.

The housing slump has put various obstacles between potential first time buyers and their new homes, such as bigger deposits, and tighter lending criteria, so to find the best deals available, Karen Barrett, chief executive of Unbiased.co.uk urges hopefuls to use a whole of market mortgage adviser.

According to Melanie Bien, from Savills Private Finance, first time buyers should get an 'agreement in principle' from a mortgage lender before they start looking for a home, which will prevent them being disappointed if they find the ideal home but cannot get the funding, and will mean fewer broken property chains. "Property chains are breaking far too frequently when a buyer has to pull out of a transaction because they can't get the necessary finance," she warned.

James Carter, from Independent James, urges first time buyers to make sure they choose a house that they want as a home, not just an investment, because in the current climate there is no guarantee of a rise in house prices. He commented: "If the recession has taught us anything it's that those least affected by the crisis are those who are happy in their homes and able to live there for a number of years without concern."

Ray Boulger, spokesperson for mortgage advisers John Charcol, says that planning ahead is crucial for first time buyers, such as getting their credit report in order, and protecting it by paying bills on time and not bouncing cheques, as this could affect their chances of success in getting a mortgage.

Building up as big a deposit as possible will considerably increase a first time buyer's chances of getting the best mortgage deal, according to Mark Osland, from Formula Limited. He said that "even if you have a sufficient deposit to get a mortgage, you will find that the interest rate would probably be lower if it were bigger."

Dan Clayden, of Clayden Associates, reminds first time buyers to "set a budget and stick to it", taking into account all the costs associated with buying a home, including legal fees, surveyors, stamp duty, and mortgage insurance. These costs should all be factored in to your budget as part of your mortgage costs," he said.

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