22 Sep 2022

Five things you should do before buying your first home

Five things you should do before buying your first home

Buying your first home is a significant and exciting milestone, but it can also be a stressful and confusing process.

We're here to help you unpack the essentials of the house-buying process, and decide whether now is the right time to make the move. 

Here, we outline our five top tips first-time buyers should consider before buying a home in 2022.

1) Get your credit report

Imagine if there was a way to find out what everyone was saying about you behind your back. Would you use it? Of course you would!

That’s pretty much what your credit report is. The organisations who lend you money share information with each other to check the veracity and credit-worthiness of applicants.

These reports contain details of your address history, any financial connections you have (joint borrowing or joint accounts) as well as details of your existing borrowing and payment history. Therefore, your credit score of vital importance, particularly if you are away to apply for a mortgage.

Most UK mortgage lenders will pull your credit file from one of the three main credit reference agencies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

The good news is that you can see exactly what is on these reports online. ClearScore uses Equifax data, Credit Karma uses TransUnion and you can see your Experian score direct on its website. 

2) Pump up that score

Once you have a clearer picture of your credit score, you can work on improving it – and some of the steps are very easy.

The most obvious – and important – step is to ensure you are paying all of your bills on time. Late or missed payments will send your score tumbling in the wrong direction.

Simple steps like making sure you are on the electoral register can also help. Most of these websites will advise you on the best steps to take to improve your credit score.

It is also beneficial to strike a balance between using your credit card (if you have one) little and often while keeping the total amount of debt on the card low.

3) Speak to an independent mortgage adviser

We are all creatures of habit, which is why many people stick with the same bank from their first ever account right through to their savings and investments. However, this isn’t always a smart move when it comes to mortgages. 

If you go to your bank for a mortgage deal, they will only show you their mortgage products, which vary from tens to hundreds. However, if you go to an independent adviser, like Aberdein Considine, they’ll be able to access thousands of mortgage products across the whole market.

More choice means more chance of finding the best possible deal. In the overwhelming majority of cases, this service is provided free of charge by Aberdein Considine and you can click here to start your application online.

4) Boost your deposit

It may seem obvious, but a bigger deposit makes things much easier. It may help you get a better interest rate on your mortgage, which means you will be paying less for the money you borrow.

Although rates have been increasing, as a guide the higher the deposit, the lower the interest rate. There are mortgages available with a low 5% deposit but these tend to be at a high-interest rate, so it is worth aiming for a minimum 10%-15% deposit. 

An independent mortgage adviser will be able to keep you right on the options available.

5) Find a solicitor who knows your local market

There’s an old saying in the property industry which is that you make your profit when you buy a home, not when you sell.

In essence, this means you need to buy at the right price and not overpay. This is especially true in the current climate amid the unique economic circumstances created by the cost of living crisis.

A local solicitor will have their finger on the pulse of what prices are being achieved in your area – and will advise you before making an offer on your behalf.

Aberdein Considine solicitors will not charge a fee to do this - we're here to help you get the right home at the right price.

Should your bid be successful, our legal and mortgage teams will work together to complete your mortgage application, draw down the funds and complete the legal transfer of the property into your name – all under one roof.

If you're still unsure of where to start we're currently hosting first-time buyer events at our branches. Click here to find out more and register your interest. 

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