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Seven top tips for first-time buyers

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Follow these handy hints to ensure the mortgage process runs smoothly
Seven top tips for first-time buyers

Getting your first mortgage can be a daunting experience and not just because it’s such a big step, according to Moneyfacts.

The financial information provider noted that the mortgage process can often be a fraught experience, with many aspiring buyers worried they won’t be accepted for a deal.

Thankfully, there is plenty that borrowers can do to help the process along, explained Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at “Many would assume that once you have saved up your deposit and have a house in sight the hard work is over. However, getting a mortgage can be a tricky business with lots of hoops to jump through.”

Nelson offers seven top tips for first-time buyers to make sure you get the right mortgage first time:

1. Do the maths

“Once you know where you want to live, it is worthwhile checking the house prices in that area to see what loan-to-value mortgage you will need. The lower the loan-to-value, the cheaper the mortgage tends to be.

“A mortgage calculator will help you work out what your monthly repayments could be, which can help you gauge if what you’re looking at is actually affordable. It is ok to go back to the drawing board and continue saving if you feel it’s not quite manageable.”

2. Consider the type of deal you want

“There are different types of mortgages for varying lengths of time, and all have their benefits. Which type you opt for is dependent on how cautious you are and whether you think a base rate rise would seriously affect your finances.

“Variable mortgage rates tend to go up and down with base rate, so if base rate rises so too will your monthly repayments. Choosing a fixed rate mortgage, on the other hand, means that the rate is secure for the duration of the deal, regardless of what happens in the mortgage market. The longer the fixed term, the longer your monthly repayments will stay the same.”

3. Check your credit score

“Providers will use your credit score to decide whether to lend you money. You will need a good score to qualify for the best deals on the market. So, it is wise to check your score and fix any errors to ensure you get the best deal.”

4. Sort the paperwork

“Your mortgage application will require a lot of paperwork, so to avoid all the panic later on, you can try to get everything in order before you apply. Usually you will need about six months’ worth of old bank statements, your payslips and your latest P60.”

5. Don’t forget to consider all the costs

“First-time buyers may no longer have to pay stamp duty on their homes, but other costs such as legal fees, survey and valuation fees and even moving costs can still mount up. Shopping around and budgeting in advance of the mortgage completion would protect you from any nasty surprises.”

6. Shop around for the best deal

“It is essential that you look around to find the best deal. Try not to get sucked in by low headline rates; instead, look at all aspects of the mortgage. Especially consider any fees and incentives, to ensure you get the most cost-effective deal for you.”

7. Don’t ignore advice

“It can be tricky when it’s all new to know if you have found the most suitable deal for you. A financial adviser will be able to help you not only pinpoint the best deal for you, but guide you through the application process as well, making the challenging procedure easier for first-time buyers.”

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