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Top 10 Mortgage Tips for First Time Buyers

by Sarah Halloran

Finding your first house is an exciting time.  Opening the front door to your new home will be one of the happiest and most memorable times of your life, but there are lots of hurdles you need to jump before you reach the finishing line.  We’ve given you 10 tips to help you get the best out of the property buying game so that you experience less stress and get a great mortgage deal.  The home buying experience is different for everybody, but following our basic tips will ensure you buy your first home with confidence.

Shop Around

Once you have found your dream home and had an offer accepted it’s time to find a mortgage.  In fact, this should be the first thing you consider before you even view properties.  Knowing how much you can afford and what your monthly payments will be will prevent nasty shocks later.  There are literally thousands of mortgage deals on the market at the same time so it’s important that you research the market as much as you can.  You can use mortgage comparison websites or seek the help of a professional mortgage broker.

Seek Professional Advice

Feeling lost and confused is something many people experiencing when looking for a mortgage.  You may have been refused a mortgage or told your credit score is low.  There is usually a product that is suitable for these situations and a mortgage advisor can give you the lowdown on which product to go for.

Make Up Your Mind

Again, a mortgage advisor can assist you here.  Decide whether you want variable or fixed rate payments – it’s all about risk and whether you want the security of fixed payments each month or variable payments which follow the Bank’s interest base rate.  Interest rates are very low right now and many mortgage advisors will advise you to fix your mortgage for as long as you can.

Ask Questions

Make sure you understand everything you can about the mortgage application and home buying process.  If there is anything you aren’t sure about, ask.  As a first-time buyer you aren’t expected to know it all and with a mortgage being a huge financial commitment it makes sense to ask questions before you sign on the dotted line.

Read the Small Print

Boring, we know!  However, the small print might contain something that you weren’t aware of or a clause that you need more clarification on.

Keep it Real

Never attempt to borrow more than you can afford to pay back.  Whilst that 5 bedroom house with the swimming pool might be the home of your dreams, you won’t think so when you’re struggling to meet the demands from the mortgage company when you miss your first repayment.  The good news is that many mortgage lenders have tightened their lending requirements to ensure you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Honest is Always the Best Policy

All lenders will lend to you based on your income and your outgoings.  Don’t be tempted to lie about your income or exaggerate the truth about bonuses.  Don’t play down your debt commitments either.  The mortgage application process is very thorough and your lender will check everything to verify the truth.  It’s so much better and easier to be honest.

Think About the Future

When choosing a mortgage, think about your next likely house move and your next mortgage.  This might be the last thing on your mind right now, but it might help you to choose your mortgage and the lender you go with.  Find out whether your lender will give you a good deal when you decide to move or whether they save their best deals for first-time buyers.

Shop Around Again

Once you have found the mortgage deal you are happy with, it’s time to shop around again for your home and contents insurance.  Building insurance is compulsory when buying a home and you are strongly advised to also take out contents and life insurance policies. Mortgage payment protection might be another option to consider.   Mortgage lenders may be able to offer you advice, but they are not insurance specialists and may recommend you seek professional assistance from an expert in that field.  Shop around online.

Keep Focused and Be Happy

The trials and tribulations of moving home may stay with you long after you have moved, but once you are in your home and happy with your mortgage payments it’s time to take a big deep breath and think ‘I did it’.  Congratulate yourself on jumping through all the buying your first home hoops and enjoy your new home.

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