First time buyers were up by 22 per cent in 2014 – the highest since 2007 – according to a recent report by Halifax.
And when you consider that this equates to 326,500 properties, it’s clear that we’re moving further away from the property market’s nadir of 2007/8 and that the entry barriers to property ownership are getting smaller and smaller.
This freer movement also comes in the wake of a 9 per cent increase in the average cost of property bought by first time buyers (currently £171,870), which points to the fact that the key driver behind this ‘first time buyer boom’ is better access to mortgages.
However, with property values expected to increase by a further 5 per cent in 2015, we would advise those who are looking to find a mortgage to move now before the gap between mortgage availability and property prices increases even further.
As a whole of market independent mortgage adviser, Complete Mortgages welcomes the growth of first time buyers. After all, having the opportunity to enter the realms of home ownership is important for most people.
So, if you’re a first time buyer and need mortgage advice, then we’ve prepared a brief guide on what to think about if you’re thinking of seeing in the New Year with a New Home.
1. Credit cards aren’t necessarily as bad as you think
Credit cards are often the source of negative debate – but they are a useful tool when it comes to securing a mortgage, as long as you pay them back. Not only that, but also buying on credit and demonstrating that you can pay it back only strengthens your overall credit score.
2. Run your own credit check
Running a simple check to ensure you fit the criteria and are made aware of anything that could affect your mortgage application six months prior to house hunting isn’t a bad thing. It’s much better to know where you stand and have the opportunity to fix any issues in advance of starting the buying process than finding out when you’ve already invested time, energy and emotion in finding your first property. You can access your credit file for free at www.noddle.co.uk.
3. Be ready for estate agents
Let’s face it; nobody wants to have their time wasted. Estate agents need buyers who are ready to go and know what they want. So, before you enter an estate agent’s door, try and get confirmation that the finance is in place and establish exactly what it is you’re looking for. These are things that can be done well in advance and are down to you and not the estate agent. By doing this, you’ll make sure that you’re the first port of call when a new property comes on to the market.
4. Moving can be expensive – make sure you factor everything in
When establishing your budget you need to factor in EVERYTHING. Whilst the property itself will be the highest cost, don’t forget to factor in stamp duty, legal checks and surveys. Your solicitor (another cost) will handle this for you but make sure you’ve budgeted for all the costs before you get too far down line only to realise that what you thought was affordable no longer is. We can give you guidance on these costs to make the whole process simpler for you.
5. Find a reputable mortgage broker
Mortgage broker advice is invaluable – particularly advice from a whole of market mortgage brokerage. Firstly, their advice is impartial as they have access to every lender and every deal on the market. Secondly, it’s their job! As a result, they know what they’re doing and this means that they are likely to find a mortgage that ticks all your boxes quicker than you can. Our only advice when it comes to mortgage brokers (although hopefully you’ll choose to work with us) is to make sure that they are FCA regulated and on the FCA register, which Complete Mortgages is.
If you’re a first time buyer planning to apply for a mortgage, get in touch with a member of the Complete Mortgages team to find out how we can help get you on the property ladder as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
Call 01483 238280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.