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First Time Buyer Mortgages

Discover your borrowing potential and everything you need to know about getting a mortgage as a first time buyer.

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Finding out how much you can borrow

If you are first time buyer considering getting on the property ladder, a good place for you start is to speak with a mortgage broker to find out how much you can borrow.

As a first time buyer, your mortgage broker will consider your sole or joint income, your outgoings, and your deposit to let you know how much you can borrow on your first mortgage and how much this will cost per month.

Whether you are employed, self employed, a mixture of the two, own your own company or have a complicated income mix then we’ll be able to help with your first mortgage options.

The minimum deposit you will need to put down on your first mortgage is typically 5% of the property value, leaving you with a 95% mortgage. This can be made up from savings, family gifts, government schemes or a combination of these etc.

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Getting a mortgage agreement in principle (AIP)

For a first-time buyer, once you have found out how much you can borrow and ahead of viewing properties, the next step is to get a mortgage agreement in principle.

Getting your first mortgage agreed in principle will give you the confidence and reassurance you need to start viewing properties.

When you’re ready, an agreement in principle is a certificate that your mortgage broker will produce that confirms the maximum amount you can borrow on your first mortgage. This also confirms to the estate agent that you’ve been verified by us and that you can obtain a mortgage to cover the price of the property.

As a first-time buyer, a mortgage agreement in principle will give both the vendor and estate agent peace of mind and will help any offers that you make get accepted and the property taken off the market.

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Our first time buyer mortgage service

Being a mortgage broker that is not tied to any bank or estate agent, we’ll search 1000s of first time buyer mortgage deals on your behalf to find you the best one, saving you both time and money.

Your free, no-obligation first time buyer mortgage consultation will take around 20 mins and is available 7 days a week. We’ll answer all your questions and guide you through the whole process, you can book this online.

Many estate agents can be pushy when it comes to insisting that first time buyers use their in-house mortgages and conveyancing services as it’s easier. This is untrue and they’ll have a restricted number of lenders, also, do you really want your vendor to know what your maximum borrowing is when you’re trying to negotiate on the asking price?

If you’re an older first time buyer, we have lots of mortgage options for clients aged 50+ also.

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First Time Buyer Mortgage FAQs

Do I qualify for a first time buyer mortgage?

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A home buyer who is getting on the property market for the first time, will be classed as a first-time buyer and thus eligible for a first time buyer mortgage deal.

This gets more complicated if you have previously been a homeowner but have been out of the property market for a while, some mortgage lenders may still consider you to be an acceptable applicant for a first time buyer mortgage some won’t.

If you are not a first-time buyer but are living with a partner who does qualify for this type of mortgage, you may be able to jointly apply for a first time buyer mortgage.

Your mortgage broker will guide you through the maze of first time buyer criteria to find you the best deal for you and your personal situation.

What is the help to buy scheme, and do I qualify?

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There are various help to buy schemes available to help first-time buyers on to the property market such as shared ownership mortgages, 95% mortgages, family-gifted deposit options, and government-backed ISAs to help towards your deposit and forces help to buy scheme.

You’ll find our help to buy mortgage page useful if you are looking for options. Remember, these help to buy schemes are changing all the time, our mortgage advice team will help you understand what current options are available.

How does a first time buyer mortgage work?

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Your first time buyer mortgage journey will start by having your deposit, whether this be a gift, equity or your savings ready to put down on a property you have set your heart on.  

The minimum deposit is typically 5% of the property purchase price, though this can be higher if you have poor credit etc.  The rest of the purchase price, 95% in this example will be made up by your first time buyer mortgage which you will repay monthly over the agreed term.  

Typically, your first time buyer repayment mortgage payment will be made up of both interest and capital therefore you’ll see your balance reduce over time.  In very rare situations, an interest-only mortgage may have been recommended, this is where the balance will stay the same throughout the duration of your home.    

As your mortgage broker, we’ll recommend the best deal for you, usually with a fixed rate term of between 2 and 5 years and with a term of up to 35/40 years.  Longer terms are popular with first time buyers nowadays to keep the monthly payments down.  

At the end of the fixed rate term, we’ll be in touch with your remortgage options, this might be a product transfer with your current lender or a remortgage to a better deal with a new lender.  We’ll sort all of this out for you 6 months ahead of your mortgage ending to give you plenty of notice.  

Depending on whether interest rates have increased or decreased, your mortgage payment may reduce or increase at the end of your fixed rate term. You’ll then have the option to fix your rate again if required.   

Most of our first time homebuyers prefer a fixed rate for their first mortgage for peace of mind and budgeting purposes.

The 8 types of mortgages available to first time buyers?

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Here are 8 types of mortgages that are available to first time home buyers:

  1. Fixed-rate mortgages – where your interest rate is fixed for 2, 3 or 5 years providing peace of mind that your mortgage payment will not increase during this period.
  2. Tracker mortgages – typically, your interest rate will go up and down inline with the base rate meaning your mortgage payment will change.
  3. Discounted mortgages – this is where your interest rate is at a discounted rate for set period of 2-5 years against your lenders standard variable rate which moves up and down.
  4. Offset mortgages – you can link a savings account to offset the interest that you pay on a mortgage, these can be a good option for savers, however, rates can go up or down.
  5. Guarantor mortgages – first time buyers often can provide a guarantor to help them secure a mortgage they couldn’t otherwise qualify for.
  6. Gifted deposit mortgages – this is where a family member of friend helps you out with the deposit, the deposit can come from a combination of a gift and/or your savings.
  7. Interest-only mortgage – these are rare for first time buyer mortgages, this type of mortgage allows you to keep the cost down by only paying back the interest. You’ll need to evidence you have the funds available to repay the loan in full at the end of the term as a lump sum.
  8. Age 40+ mortgage options – if you’re a first time buyer aged 40+ considering your mortgage options, there are lots available to clients of any age. Mortgage lenders have been very innovative in this space with new products and longer terms to meet the demand.

What is the difference between freehold and leasehold properties?

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Typically, most apartments and flats are leasehold, and most houses are freehold in the UK. However, from time to time, we do come across leasehold houses.

A leasehold property will have a freeholder that you’ll pay an annual ground rent to and maybe a monthly service charge. The freeholder will usually be responsible for maintaining any communal areas.

Your estate agent will advise you if you’re buying/viewing a freehold or leasehold property. Also, as part of the conveyancing process, your solicitor will go through the paperwork with you, so you know how much ground rent and service charge you’ll pay and what you and the freeholder are responsible for.

If you work from home for your business such as doing beauty or childminding etc, there may be restrictions in your lease as to what you can do here so it’s important to seek professional advice.

Your mortgage lender will only usually be concerned if there’s a short number of years left on the lease, however, usually, it’s an easy process to get the lease extended. It’s best talking this through with the freeholder for more details about this.

What is a loan to value (LTV)?

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A loan to value ratio, is the amount of funds you can borrow, at a percentage of the properties purchase price. With the minimum deposit for a property purchase generally being 5%, this means you would have a 95% loan to value. If you put down a 10%, you would have a 90% deposit, and so on.

Typically, mortgage deals go in bands, i.e.

95% deals, 90-80% deals, 75% deals etc – this is only an example to show the point as these vary between lenders. Often, if you can afford to put a bigger deposit or borrow some money from family, it might make a difference and take you down to a band with a lower interest rate.

Your mortgage broker will advise you accordingly here. This is a great perk of seeking trusted mortgage advice from an experienced team.

The more deposit that you can put down, the lower your LTV will be. This in turn will hopefully lower the rate of interest of which you will be charged on your first-time buyer mortgage, saving you money overall.

What do I need to buy my first home?

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You will need the following to start viewing properties:

  1. A deposit, typically 5% from savings, equity, or a family gift.
  2. A mortgage agreement in principle from a mortgage advisor.

Once you have found somewhere, to progress your first mortgage application, whether it’s in your sole or joint names you’ll need the following:

  1. Identification in the form of a passport, drivers’ licence etc.
  2. Recent proof of address.
  3. 3 months proof of earnings.
  4. 3 months bank statements showing your income and outgoings.
  5. Proof of deposit such as your savings account statement showing the funds building up.
  6. A credit report might be handy also if you have concerns about your score.

The professionals that you’ll need on your side throughout the process will be:

  1. Mortgage broker – it’s always best to use a mortgage advisor that isn’t tied to a bank or doesn’t have an affiliation with an estate agent.
  2. Estate agent to progress the sale – you’ll need to provide them with your ID and mortgage agreement in principle certificate to mark your property as sold.
  3. Conveyancer/solicitor for the legals, we can help with this if you like as they’ll need to be on your mortgage lenders approved panel.
  4. Surveyor – if anything gets picked up on your valuation you may need to appoint a surveyor, as above, using our experience, we can help here with the various reports also.

Hurdles can appear along the journey also and as a first-time buyer this can be daunting. Our mortgage team are here to help you every step of the way. We’ll provide you with an experienced dedicated mortgage case manager to answer all your questions.

It’ll be a condition of your mortgage offer that you take out a buildings insurance policy on your property with your new mortgage lender noted as an interested party. We can arrange this as part of the process with you along with explaining any other optional mortgage protection insurance options such as life insurance, critical illness or income protection.

How much deposit do you need for a first time buyer mortgage?

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5% of the value of your new property is usually the minimum, with a 95% mortgage. The deposit can be from your savings, a gifted deposit, or a combination of the two.

It is important to remember, however, that putting down a deposit larger at say, 10% of the purchase price, will widen your mortgage options and open up better deals. If you happen to have a poor credit score, whether that be to a lack of credit history or any debts in your name, you may be required to put down a higher deposit.

What are the costs involved with first time buyer mortgages?

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Typically, as a first time homeowner if you budget around £2,000 plus any stamp duty that will be about right to cover everything.

The costs associated with your first time buyer mortgage will include:

  1. Stamp duty, although, most first time buyers purchase a property under the stamp duty threshold therefore do not pay any stamp duty. Here are the latest rates – HMRC Stamp Duty Rates. If you must pay any stamp duty, this will be picked up during the legal process.
  2. Mortgage fees, depending on the type of mortgage that is recommended, there may be arrangement and mortgage broker fees payable during the application process. With mortgage arrangement fees, some products have free deals but come with higher rates, some you pay a fee for, and they have lower rates, some are in the middle etc. As experienced mortgage advisors, we have access to software that will work all of this out for you and let us know which one works out best for you based on your personal situation.
  3. Valuation & survey costs, as part of your application process, you may be required for pay for a valuation and a survey on your new property. There are options here ranging from approximately £150 to £1,000 depending on the condition, age, and construction of the property you are buying. For example, if you are buying a newer house then a basic survey will suffice, however, if you are buying an older house then you may want a more in-depth pair of eyes looking over your property for cracks, damp, and other structural problems etc. As your mortgage broker, we can help and advise you accordingly here.
  4. Conveyancing costs, we find that conveyancing costs vary in price significantly, it’s always best to get a few ‘all inclusive’ quotes to compare. Estate agents can be quite pushy when it comes to using their in-house services so be careful before agreeing to anything. Typically, for a first time buyer your conveyancing costs should be between £500 and £1,000 all-inclusive plus any stamp duty. The amount will vary on whether you are buying a leasehold or freehold, sole or joint names, have a gifted deposit etc.
  5. Moving costs, you may need to hire a van for the day or a removals company to help you move your furniture.

Are there any first time buyer mortgage schemes to help me get onto the property ladder?

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Useful schemes you may be able to use include the forces help to buy scheme, the shared ownership scheme, right to buy and any government backed schemes.

There are also options such as guarantor mortgages, gifted-deposit mortgage options and buying at a discounted rate off a family member or landlord to help first-time buyers.

To learn more about the first-time buyer help to buy mortgage schemes that may be available to you, please get in touch with one of our mortgage advisors and they will run through your options with you.

Do first time buyers pay stamp duty?

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Generally, in the UK most first time buyers do not pay stamp duty as their purchase price falls below the minimum threshold. For first-time buyers buying more expensive homes, stamp duty will be payable.

Stamp duty rules are changing all the time so it’s always best to check out the current HMRC Stamp Duty rates so see how much you will have to pay.

If you are buying a property over the threshold, then your stamp duty will be handled by your conveyancer as part of the process.

How do I choose a solicitor or conveyancer?

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Firstly, a conveyancer is a qualified property, a solicitor is a qualified in many aspects of law therefore will usually be more expensive than a conveyancer to handle your purchase.

There are several factors that you consider when choosing a conveyancer, here are some of them:

  • Reviews and reputation – have you been recommended, what are their online reviews like etc.
  • Mortgage panel – are they on your mortgage lenders panel of approved conveyancers?
  • Locality – are you happy to deal over the phone and email or would you like someone more local where you can go into the office?
  • Price – is the price reasonable and have you compared prices? Estate agents can often put a huge mark up on their in-house services so be careful here. It’s always best to get an ‘all-inclusive’ quotation so you can compare easily.
  • Responsiveness – what are they like getting back to you on emails and calls etc, having an un-responsive conveyancer can make the process slow and stressful.

If you would like your mortgage broker to provide a couple of quotes, then they will be more than willing to help you compare the above. We have lots of experience ourselves as to what they are like from previous customers also, so we can add value to you here.

Is it better to get a first time buyer mortgage from a bank or broker?

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As expert providers of mortgage advice, we are able to search 1,000s of first-time buyer mortgages to find you the most suitable deal for your circumstances whereas a bank will be limited to their own products.

We find that estate agency mortgage arrangers can be very pushy when ‘qualifying’ you for your purchase. Remember, do you want the vendor knowing your maximum borrowing capacity when you’re trying to negotiate on price.

A mortgage broker will work for you and, as a first-time homeowner, will help and guide you through the whole process impartially.

The bank used to be a popular choice, as the local manager knew your finances inside and out and would take this into consideration when offering mortgage products. Nowadays, it’s good to shop around and match you to a deal that meets your personal situation.

Using the services of a mortgage broker can often get the process completed a lot quicker, with a lot less stress and you have a lot more choice. Here at UK Moneyman, we have access to a large panel of lenders, so we can tailor your mortgage to your personal circumstances.

What documents do first time buyers need for a mortgage?

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As with all mortgage applications, certain documents are required by your mortgage broker and new lender as part of the advice process.

First time buyers will need to provide the following documents to apply for a mortgage:

  1. Identification in the form of a passport, drivers’ licence etc.
  2. Recent proof of address.
  3. 3 months proof of earnings.
  4. 3 months bank statements showing your income and outgoings.
  5. Proof of deposit such as your savings account statement showing the funds building up.
  6. A credit report might be handy also if you have concerns about your score.

We advise our first time buyers to start a folder on their computers and to start gathering everything together into one place for when they are ready to start the ball rolling.

Your mortgage rate is not guaranteed until we submit your application, therefore, the quicker you are able to get these documents to us the more secure your rate will be which will help your budgeting.

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We're on your side, we work for you.

Getting your first mortgage can be a daunting experience. We’ll hold your hand all throughout the process.

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We'll recommend appropriate insurance products to ensure you can stay in your home, should you become seriously ill or unable to work.

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We shop around for the cheapest deal for you, saving you time and money.

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There isn't a situation we haven't come across before, we fully understand your needs.

Your mortgage advisor will be with you every step of the way.

We'll help you overcome hurdles that you face along the way, for example, removing the stress of property survey and valuation problems.

First time Buyer Mortgage Situations

First time buyer mortgage in sole name

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We find that sole/single name applications for first-time buyer mortgages are popular for both apartments and houses. It’s the same process.

Providing that you have a good income and a deposit sorted, we’ll be able to let you know how much you’ll be able to borrow on your first mortgage and how much this will cost.

If you receive some benefit income this can usually be considered also as part of the how much you can borrow calculation.

There are schemes also such as shared-ownership mortgages that might help. As a first-time homeowner, our mortgage team can explain these options to you.

There are also various optional insurance policies you may wish to consider if you are buying in a sole name to give you peace of mind, these are income protection insurance and critical illness.

First time buyer mortgage in joint names

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Whether you are buying your first property with a partner, family member, or friend we can help you with your mortgage options. Did you know, you can buy a property with up to 4 people.

A joint first-time mortgage works in the same way as a sole mortgage however, both your incomes, outgoings, and credit scores are assessed.

Also, there are niche products available such as a joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage and guarantor mortgages that are designed for parents to help their first-time buyer children onto the property ladder without the parent living at the property.

Your mortgage broker will help guide you through the maze of joint mortgage options and answer all your questions.

It gets a little more complicated on the legal side as there is more than one way you can own a property jointly, there’s tenants in common and joint tenants.

  • Joint tenants, this is the most common, you both own 50% each and if one dies, the remaining 50% goes straight to the other person and not a third party.
  • Tenants in common, this is more complex as one person can own more of the property than the other, i.e., 60% and 40% and you can sell or leave your share to another person.

What you choose will depend on your relationship with the person you’re buying with, how much deposit you’ve put down each and what your plans with the property are. This is more one for your legal team to expand on and maybe you can seek more advice from them if you’ve got questions.

First time buyer mortgage with bad credit

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Firstly, having a low credit score or something registered on your credit file is more popular than you think. Often, first-time buyers can simply have a low score due to saving their money and not having much of a credit history in the past.

Here is a list of common blips we see on first-time buyer credit reports:

  • CCJ’s
  • Missed payments
  • Defaults
  • Debt Management Plans (DMP)
  • Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVA)

The good news is that we can usually overcome most hurdles when it comes to bad credit mortgages.

The most frequent adverse item we see on our first-time buyer’s credit reports are CCJs, often this is from then you were young or not as good with money as you are now. There’s usually an explanation. We’ll need to know when your CCJ (or multiple) was registered, whether it’s been settled or not and how much it was for. We’ve got lots of first-time buyer CCJ mortgage advice options to consider.

First time buyer mortgage for self-employed

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We find that our clients income mixes are becoming more complex, and lenders are evolving constantly with their criteria.

You can be an employee of your own limited company for HMRC, however, for mortgages purposes, if you own typically more than 20/25% of the shares, you’ll be classed as self-employed.

Here is a quick list of how we can help our self-employed first-time buyers:

  • Company owners/self-employed income.
  • Dividend income/retained profits.
  • Contractor mortgages fixed or short-term.
  • Doctors/dentists/medical mortgages.
  • Freelancer mortgages.
  • Agency worker mortgages.
  • Umbrella company mortgages.
  • Zero hours mortgages.
  • Locums/seafarers.

Self-employed mortgage criteria is vast! It’s a maze. It’ll prove invaluable to have a mortgage professional on your side to help you navigate through it and recommend the best lender for you. It is very criteria driven in this space.

If you have self-employed income that you’d like to use towards a first mortgage application the best thing to do would be to talk everything through with an experienced mortgage broker to get everything in order before you start viewing properties.

First time buyer mortgage with a gifted deposit

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Saving for your first home might take a while, especially if you are paying out for rent also. The bank of mum and dad is a popular way for helping first-time buyers on to the property ladder.

A gifted deposit is when your family or friends help you out with some or all the deposit required to buy a house. The minimum deposit you’ll need as a first-time buyer is 5%, however, if you have more available it might be worth putting more down to secure a better mortgage rate.

Mortgage rates work in bands, typically a 95% mortgage will be at a higher rate than an 85% mortgage due to the extra risk being taken on by the lender. This is where putting more of a gifted deposit down can make your mortgage payments more affordable.

There are rules and criteria on gifted deposits such as who can gift the money and their relationship to you, these rules vary per lender. Your mortgage broker will help you navigate this and recommend the best lender for you and your situation.

For a gifted-deposit mortgage, your parents will need to show evidence of the funds such as a recent bank statement that shows the build-up of funds.

There are also other ways parents can help with a first-time buyer mortgage such as acting as a guarantor or going on the mortgage also. Sometimes, grandparents or parents that do not have any cash to gift will look at their equity release mortgage options to provide the funds for the gift.

First time buyer buying off landlord

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If you are currently renting, happy in your home, and looking to buy your first property it’s always a good idea to see if your landlord will let you buy the property of them. There’s no harm in asking!

You can find out how much the property is worth by using online tools such as Rightmove and Zoopla to find a fair price.

The advantages for the landlord are it’s easy, there’s no estate agency fees, you’ll pay rent right up until the completion day, and no renovations are required to get the market ready to sell etc.

The disadvantages for the landlord are that they’ll lose the rental income per month, they might have to pay an unexpected tax bill, they might have early redemption charges to pay if the property is mortgaged.

The advantages for you as a first-time buyer are; little deposit is required if you can negotiate a discount off the price, you know the property and area, it’s seamless, and there are no removals to pay.

The disadvantages to you are that you might be able to find a better property elsewhere and save money.

We’ll help you with your first-time buyer mortgage advice if you are looking to buy your property from your landlord, whether this is a flat or house. Often, we can use any discount you receive from the landlord towards your deposit meaning you have to put less down.

First time buyer mortgage for older clients

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Not all our first-time buyers are young, we sometimes get older clients aged 40+ looking to review their mortgage options to get on the ladder.

It can be harder for older customers to get on the property ladder due to the lower mortgage term pushing monthly payments higher.

The good news is that mortgage lenders have been very creative in the mortgages for over 40’s space and now provide first-time buyer products that run into retirement.

First time buyer insurances

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The only compulsory insurance policy that you’ll be required to take out as a first-time buyer is a buildings insurance policy to provide peace of mind to the lender that if there is a fire or structural damage that their asset is protected. All other insurance types are optional and for you to consider.

Here’s is a list of the types of insurance that is available to first-time homeowners from us:

  • Life insurance – will provide a lump sum on death. Options such as decreasing, and level is available.
  • Critical illness insurance – this will provide a lump sum should you get one of the defined illnesses listed on the plan, examples include a heart attack or stroke. This type of insurance is specialist and cannot be compared on price, it’s more about value for money considering the illness you’ll be covered for.
  • Income protection – this will provide a monthly amount should you be on long term sick.
  • Buildings insurance – this is the compulsory insurance policy that is required by your mortgage lender.
  • Contents insurance – most first-time buyers will choose to add insurance for their personal contents on to their building’s insurance also.

Our protection advisors will be more than happy to talk through the above with you as part of our service to help recommend the right policy for you based on your personal and family situation.

There’ll also be able to recommend putting polices in trust to ensure that the proceeds of any pay outs go as your wishes if you were to die.

First time buyer mortgages on benefits

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If you receive benefit income, it can usually be used towards your total income calculation for mortgage purposes along with any employed or self-employed earnings.

A list of benefits that we see often are below:

  • Universal credit
  • Maternity allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Attendance allowance
  • Child benefit
  • Jobseekers allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Income support and housing benefits
  • Personal independent payment
  • Others….

Mortgage lenders will all treat the benefits in different ways so it’s important that you speak with one of our experienced mortgage brokers to get an accurate idea of how much you can borrow as a first-time buyer and how much this will cost.

Read more about getting a first-time buyer mortgage on benefits.

First time buyer right to buy

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A right to buy is where you can purchase your council or housing association house at a discounted price if you meet the qualifying criteria.

As a rule, the longer you have lived in the property the bigger the discount is that you will qualify up a maximum.

You’ll need specialist right to buy mortgage advice when taking advantage of this scheme. Due to the discounted purchase price, your first-time buyer mortgage lender will use this equity as your deposit therefore you will not need to put any of your own money down.

If you are a council tenant, the right to buy scheme provide a great way for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.

First time buyers buy to let mortgage advice

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It is possible to get your first property to let out, however, it’s much more difficult than buying your first residential property. There are lots more hurdles to overcome throughout the journey.

The deposit you will require will be much higher than the 5% than if you we’re buying the property to live in, it’ll be closer to 25%.

For a first-time buyer buy to let mortgage the rates will also be higher often making the investment opportunity less attractive. Buy to let mortgage lenders will assess how much rent you will receive from the property and how this compares to your mortgage payment to judge if this is affordable to you.

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