Are you in a position to buy your first home and ready to start looking? If you’ve never bought a home before, the whole process can seem quite bewildering. And often, arranging a mortgage can look like the most complicated bit of all. But it really doesn’t have to be.
Make sure you qualify as a first-time buyer
To be regarded as a first-time buyer you must not have:
- Previously inherited or been gifted a property
- Been added to the title deeds of a property purchased by someone else
- Previously acquired a property through a financial institution
There may be exceptions to the above but it’s best to check with a mortgage adviser if you’re in any doubt.
Benefit from a Stamp Duty discount (relief) rule
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax payable when you purchase a property in England and Northern Ireland, and the good news is that first-time buyers do not have to pay any SDLT on properties valued up to £300,000 (2022/23). Between £300,001 and £500,000, a tax rate of 5% will apply. But it will only apply to that slice of the price, rather than the full amount. If the property is over £500,000 and you are a first-time buyer, you cannot claim the relief and normal SDLT rates apply.
Get a Mortgage In Principle (MIP)
If you plan to take out a mortgage to help buy your property, get a Mortgage In Principle (MIP) before you start your search. A MIP is an agreement from your lender to grant you a specific amount provided the information you have given is correct. A mortgage adviser can organise this for you by searching the market for a great deal and it means you’ll know exactly how much you can afford to spend on buying your new home.
Find a conveyancer or solicitor
Some people choose to have a solicitor or conveyancer whose services they’ll be using throughout the purchasing process enlisted at the start of their search. This means they’re in a position to proceed quickly when they find a property they like. This isn’t essential but may help to speed up the process.
Next step – Prepare for your MIP
Most mortgage advisers (if you’re using one) and lenders will usually request the same documents when arranging your Mortgage In Principle. It’s a good idea to have the following ready as early as possible in the process so that there’s no delay in securing your MIP. You will often need:
- Proof of identity – e.g. passport or driving licence.
- Proof of address – e.g. one of the following: driving licence (can only be used if not already used as a form of ID), utility bill from the last three months, council tax bill or bank statement.
- Latest three months’ consecutive bank statements.
- Confirmation of the source of your deposit – e.g. a bank statement showing your deposit in your savings account.
- If you are employed – Your latest three months’ payslips.
- If you are self-employed – Your latest two years’ tax calculation summaries SA302s with corresponding tax year overviews from HMRC.
Having the above documents ready in a digital format that you can email over to the contact arranging your MIP application, will help to kickstart the process into action. Leading us nicely on to our next section.
As a first-time buyer, you might not be aware of the property buying process. Don’t worry! We’ve broken down the main steps for you below:
- Contact a mortgage adviser
They can ensure the smooth running of the whole process. They’ll inform you of how much you can borrow, make mortgage recommendations and be able to secure your MIP.
- Find your new home
Once you know the amount you can borrow, you can start looking for your new home. It’s worth drawing up a list of requirements that you have and speaking to different agents to find out what properties they have that match your needs. You may have to compromise on one or two things, or you might find something that suits your budget perfectly.
- Put in an offer
You think you’ve found The One; now it’s time to make an offer. Having your MIP means you know the maximum amount you can put forward. When your offer has been accepted, you can then proceed with the application.
- Submit your mortgage application
Your mortgage adviser will work with you to complete your mortgage application. The lender will also arrange for a valuation of the property.
- Undertake conveyancing
It is then the role of the solicitors and conveyancers to draw the contracts up for purchasing. They will also check the title deeds for any clauses that you need to be aware of and perform searches on things like planning permission applications in the local area that may have an impact on your property.
- Exchange of contracts
At this point your solicitor and your seller’s solicitor exchange contracts and agree a date for the sale to be completed. You normally transfer your deposit across at this point.
On the agreed date, provided all goes smoothly, you complete, meaning the final amount is transferred over and the keys are released to you.
Why choose B Mortgage Services?
When it comes to choosing a brilliant mortgage adviser, we’ve listed three key reason to select us.
- Fees explained
As mentioned, while a deposit is important, it’s not the only cost you’ll have to bear when you buy a home. Our mortgage advisers will be able to explain all the different fees to be aware of from the start, such as legal and conveyancing costs.
- Finding the best deal
We exist to find you a brilliant deal on your first-ever mortgage. We have a broad range of experience working with all types of lenders and, as mentioned above, we offer a ‘whole-of-market’ service. Take away the stress of trawling through comparison sites and leave the searching to us.
- Help at every stage
While buying a property may seem overwhelming, our dedicated advisers can help you navigate every stage of the home-buying process, from offer to completion. We currently have over 100 5-star ‘Vouched For’ reviews, so you can be sure that you’re in good hands.