First-Time Buyer Mortgage Advice

Expert Guides

If you’re buying your first home, you’ll need to know how much you can afford to borrow and how much you’ll need to save for a deposit. Your affordability will depend on your salary, your monthly outgoings and the size of the deposit you’ll have to put down – these may also have an impact on the interest rate you could be offered.

First-time buyer mortgage lenders use a range of criteria to judge your affordability and must obey strict guidelines to ensure you’ll still be able to afford your monthly mortgage repayments if interest rates rise significantly. Lenders will assess your income and expenditure – they’ll take account of big monthly bills and will want to be assured that you’re living within your means. Your outgoings checklist is likely to include your weekly food shop, bills, insurances, hire purchase payments, finance, credit card and debt repayments, childcare, entertainment, car and travel costs, etc.

Your prospective lender will want to see what your monthly budget comprises so, to give yourself a head start, try to boost your savings and watch what you spend in the months leading up to your mortgage application.

In the meantime, you can estimate the size of the mortgage you may need and use our handy mortgage repayment calculator to work out what your monthly repayments will be based on the value of your new home, your income and expenditure. Remember, you may be eligible for the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which will make your house purchase more affordable by reducing your monthly repayments.

Buying your first home can seem daunting so, when you’re ready to talk about mortgages, our team of expert mortgage advisors are on hand to guide you through it. Call us on 08454 500200 or click here to make an enquiry about first-time buyer mortgages and Help to Buy.


As a first-time buyer, provided you meet the strict lending and affordability criteria, there’s a great range of first-time buyer mortgages to suit your circumstances and your budget and to help you get on the first rung of the housing ladder.

As you’re new to the housing market, you may well be offered incentives or cashback schemes to encourage you to apply for a mortgage with them. The deposit you’ll need for a first-time buyer mortgage could be as low as 5% although, again, you’ll need to meet the relevant criteria to show you can afford your mortgage repayments.

You’ll also need to consider what type of first-time buyer mortgage will be right for you. There are several that you might be offered – your mortgage adviser will be able to talk you through the mortgage product that’s right for you, but here are the key features of each:

  • A fixed-rate mortgage is a sensible option for first-time buyers because you’ll pay the same monthly payment for as long as your fixed-rate period lasts. After that you can apply for a remortgage to secure another good deal. If you overpay or leave the deal early, you’re likely to pay a penalty, but the rates are usually lower than a variable rate deal.
  • Variable rate mortgage monthly repayments are linked to the bank base rate so, when rates are low, your repayments will be low too, but you’ll pay the price should rates rise. Tracker mortgages and discounted rates are also guided by the bank base rate.
  • Offset mortgages offset the interest on your savings against your mortgage – talk to your mortgage adviser to check if this is the best use of your savings.
  • A repayment mortgage means that every monthly payment you make will go towards paying the capital sum you’ve borrowed until you own your home outright.
  • Help to Buy loans are designed to make it more affordable for people to get onto and move up the housing ladder. You’ll need to save a deposit of at least 5% to qualify for the government’s Help to Buy equity scheme, which will give you an interest-free loan of up to 20% (40% in London) to put towards a new-build home valued up to £600,000. You’ll pay interest from Year 6. You can find out more about Help to Buy mortgages

There’s lots to think about when it comes to buying your first home, but we’re here to help you through the process. Talk to our team of expert mortgage advisers about your options and we’ll help take the stress out of your move. Call us on 08454 500200 or click here to make an enquiry.

If you’re a first-time buyer and you’re saving for your first home, you’ll want to know how much deposit you’ll need to get together as early on in the process as possible. Just to clarify – you’ll be classified as a first-time buyer if you’ve never owned a property, either freehold or leasehold in the UK or abroad.

In most cases, you’ll need to have a deposit of between 5% and 20% of the cost of your first home. The more you save, the less you’ll need to borrow and the greater access you’ll have to more mortgages with better rates as you’ll be a less risky investment for lenders.

The difference between the deposit you’ve saved and the first-time buyer mortgage you need is known as the loan to value (LTV) ratio – the higher your LTV, the higher the interest rate you’re likely to pay.

Remember there are other costs associated with buying a new home. You’ll need to pay solicitor’s fees, survey and search costs, mortgage arrangement and valuation fees, buildings insurance and removals costs. You’ll also need to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) – as a first-time buyer, you’ll pay no Stamp Duty on the first £300,000 for homes worth up to £500,000.

Buying your first home can be as nerve-wracking as it can be exciting, so talk to our team of expert mortgage advisers about your options and we’ll guide you through the process. Call us on 08454 500200 or click here to make an enquiry.

If you’re a first-time buyer and keen to get on the housing ladder, there are a number of steps you can take to help you secure the home of your dreams and take the stress out of the moving process. Here are our top tips for first-time buyers:

  1. Check your affordability. Our mortgage affordability and mortgage repayment calculators will show you what your monthly costs are likely to be and what size mortgage you could be offered – be prepared!
  2. Use your savings. By pumping some or all of your savings into your deposit, you’ll reduce your loan to value (LTV) ratio (the amount you need to borrow in relation to the price of your new home) and increase your chances of getting a better interest rate.
  3. Overpay your mortgage. If you want to reduce the interest you pay on your mortgage and clear your loan more quickly, use any disposable income to make higher repayments. Make sure you check out whether you’ll be penalised before overpaying first, although most lenders will allow you to overpay up to a certain limit of your outstanding balance each year.
  4. See if you qualify for help. There are a number of options that might be open to you to help you secure your dream home. Research Help to Buy, shared ownership and starter homes schemes to see if they apply to your purchase.
  5. Budget and plan ahead. Your mortgage lender will want to know you can afford your mortgage repayments so try to boost your deposit and cut out any unnecessary expenditure and improve your credit score before you apply.
  6. Talk to a mortgage expert. Our team of expert mortgage advisers have great help for first-time buyers – call us on 08454 500200 or click here to make an enquiry.

Thank you to the Charters team for their help with our Mortgage. Mark was a huge help, professional and responsive throughout the process. I would highly recommend them for anyone looking to navigate the house buying process. Thank you all!

Adam K

November 2020

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