First-Time Buyer Mortgage Advice

Expert Guides

In early January 2022, the Yorkshire Building Society announced that, according to its analysis, the number of first-time buyers had hit a 20-year high. Over 408,000 first-time buyer transactions were recorded in 2021 and, considering the backdrop of a third lockdown and no guarantees the pandemic was over, this made remarkable reading.

Rightmove reported that first-time buyers’ purchase prices had also reached a record high – up 1.4% in December 2021 to £214,000 and first-time buyers made up almost a third of all purchases. Indeed, one personal finance analyst hailed ‘the welcome return of first-time buyers [who] are continuing to breathe life into the market’.

The good news is that there’s no sign of any end to the trend in 2022. The really good news is this has little to do with a potential slowdown in property prices as some housing experts have suggested. It’s all to do with a perfect storm of support that’s out there to help first timers get onto to the once elusive property ladder.

Low-cost mortgages

With mortgage products offering interest rates around just 1%, borrowing remains at a record low. Even if the Bank of England base rate rises a little, it’s unlikely to dent first-time buyer affordability.

Stamp duty savings

Thanks to the Chancellor’s Stamp Duty Holiday that was launched in July 2020 and extended to June 2021, an extra 140,000 transactions were recorded. The holiday will have ended for many, but first-time buyers are still exempt from paying stamp duty for properties valued up to £300,000.

Earnings rise

According to Statista, the market and consumer data specialist, average weekly earnings are on the up. In November 2021, earnings grew by 3.5% compared with the same month in 2020 – adding to a three-month average rise of 4.2%.

Help to Buy

Since the government’s Help to Buy initiative was launched in 2013, 339,000 buyers have taken advantage and made a more affordable leap onto the housing ladder. The scheme changed slightly in April 2021, but it still leaves the door wide open for first-time buyers to make a more affordable move into a new-build property. You can find out more about the scheme here:

Generation Buy

The government-backed mortgage scheme to help home buyers with deposits as low as 5% secure a mortgage launched in 2021 and has seen a meteoric rise in the number of low-deposit mortgage products available. The scheme has never been more popular.

Parent power

1.4 million home buyers have been supported by the Bank of Mum and Dad to the tune of £53 million to buy their first home in recent years. As the Mortgage Advice Bureau reveals: 84% of parents help their children, of that, 57% is a gift, 18.3% is a no-interest loan and 4.8% a loan with interest. Parent power also extends to serving as a guarantor on a mortgage and, with the guarantor’s income taken into account, it can increase the level of borrowing.

With so many positives and open doors to first-time buyers, the prospect of their leap onto the ladder slowing looks distinctly remote. For those thinking of holding on in the hope of a slowdown in property price rises, there are no guarantees and, in the absence of foresight, it might well be more prudent to make a savvy move now and enjoy the perfect storm that could make a first home an affordable reality.

Charters Financial Services has a portfolio of competitive first-time buyer mortgages that take account of the schemes that we’ve highlighted above and will ensure any first move is affordable and fits your circumstances to a 'T'.

Contact us on 03454 500 200 and we’ll match you with the right mortgage product to help you make your first move.

It's never been easier for first time buyers to get a mortgage!


Data from across the industry is pointing to first-time buyers being in the driving seat when it comes to securing the right mortgage deals.

The 95% mortgage scheme means deposits as low as 5% are now accepted by the majority of lenders as of April 2021. According to Which, there are now some ‘189 fixed-rate 95% deals now available, compared to just five at the start of March’.

This boost for first-time buyers, whose first home might have otherwise been out of reach, comes at a perfect time, with the stamp duty holiday ending and a shortage of housing stock has made moving an impossibility for those already on the ladder. First-time buyers no longer need to raise even a 10% deposit or Stamp Duty payments.

Alain Amos, Managing Director of Charters, shared his opinion with us: ‘Just a few months ago, a 95% mortgage would have been unheard of, Not only do we now have many products offering just that, but we’re now seeing interest rates under 1% too.'

'First-time buyers are now able to look forward to their first foray into their home with the confidence that a low-deposit, fixed-rate mortgage is affordable and makes sound financial sense.’

For example if you are a first time buyer here are some possible mortgage repayments:

  1. A £200,000 property with a 90% mortgage over 30 years on a 1.99% deal would cost £664.42 per month.*
  2. A £300,000 property with a 95% mortgage over 30 years on a 2.95% deal would cost £1193.90 per month.*
  3. A £400,000 property using Help to Buy with a 25% deposit over 30 years on a 1.14% deal would cost £1082.77 per month.*

Or use our mortgage calculator to find out your options.


If you’d like to know more about how the figures add up for your first move, click here. Or alternatively call one of our friendly advisers on 03454 500 200.

With mortgage brokers in Winchester, Southampton, Farnham, Bishops Waltham, Alton, Chandlers Ford, Alresford, Romsey and Park Gate, you are never too far from mortgage advice.

*All are subject to a fee of £999, which can be added to a mortgage, but is not included in the above illustrations.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

How to apply for a new mortgage

If you are looking to apply for a new mortgage, this can feel like an overwhelming and daunting prospect. To help, this guide will explain the process and assist you with everything you need to know about a new mortgage and what is involved. 

How do I prepare for a mortgage application?  

Before you apply for your mortgage, you should check your credit report. Lenders will check your credit score to determine if you have a good repayment history in order to make a decision on if they can offer you a mortgage. 

Your credit report will show past and current loans, mortgages, credit cards and overdrafts from the past six years. You can obtain your credit report using a free trial from various companies, the best ones to use are Equifax, Experian or Check my which shows the 3 most common sources that lenders will use.  

How do lenders decide if they will give me a mortgage? 

Lenders will check your credit score; alongside all the information you provide during the application process. This will include: 

  • Your household income
  • Any regular outgoings
  • Any debts you currently have such as loans and credit cards 

They will also do a ‘stress test’ to ensure that you will still be able to afford mortgage repayments if the interest rates were to increase. 

Use our mortgage borrowing calculator to receive an estimate of how much you could borrow. 

What do I need to apply for a mortgage? 

You will need to provide several documents and evidence for ID and proof that you can afford a mortgage. These may include: 

  • Passport or Driving Licence 
  • Last three months’ payslips 
  • Utility bills 
  • Proof of any benefits you receive 
  • Last three to six months of bank statements 
  • P60 from your employer 
  • If self-employed, you will need to provide two to three years’ accounts, tax return form SA302 and banks statements to support this information

When providing you details and information, you need to ensure it is completely accurate. 

Are you a first-time buyer?  

If this is your first mortgage, explore our first-time buyer mortgage advice to find out what’s different about a first-time buyer mortgage and read our top tips. You may also want to look at our Help to Buy expert guide if you’re looking to purchase a new-build property. 

Are you re-mortgaging? 

Whether you’re looking to re-mortgage to save money, move house or complete renovation works, take a look at our expert re-mortgaging guide for information on how it works and the advantages and disadvantages that can come with changing your mortgage. 

How can a mortgage adviser help? 

A mortgage adviser can help you to understand the terms and conditions of a mortgage and guide you through the whole process from start to finish. There are thousands of mortgages available, and with the help of an adviser you can be sure you’re finding the right one for you. 

Charters Financial Services can help you today

Take a look at our mortgage calculators and get in touch to speak to your local mortgage broker. Our friendly team of experts are on hand and happy to help. 


The property market has experienced a resurgence of low-deposit mortgages with increasing numbers of lenders offering 90% loan-to-value (LTV) products. The low-deposit comeback is likely to initiate a further rise in the demand for property from first-time buyers and those who are still holding their breath for a much-wanted stamp duty holiday extension.

Research by Moneyfacts, the financial information service, has revealed a staggering increase in the number of mortgage deals in recent weeks – from 160 deals available on 1 January to 277 on 12 February. But, more significantly, the availability of 90% LTV products leapt from 32 to 47 in the same period and, with cashback deals for first-time buyers with a 10% deposit increasing to 83 from 50 just a month ago, there’s fresh hope for those wanting to get onto the property ladder.

‘We’ve seen a surge in the availability of low-deposit mortgages since the start of the New Year,’ revealed Alain Amos, Managing Director of Charters Financial Services. ‘Before Christmas, the restrictive conditions of the few high LTV providers around had made it difficult, if not impossible, for many prospective borrowers to take advantage of products that were on offer for limited periods.

‘Fast forward just a few weeks and, with the earlier stipulations being removed from what are now core range products for the majority of high street lenders, low-deposit mortgages have made a welcome comeback. There is now a real opportunity, in particular for many first-time buyers, to join the mortgage market having been locked out of it for much of 2020.’

Indeed, Eleanor Williams, finance expert at, has pointed to the potential for a concrete strengthening of the first-time buyer market:

‘There are of course still hurdles for these borrowers to overcome,’ she explained. ‘House prices inflated quite significantly last year – although early indications are this may be slowing in 2021 – and savings rates have continued to descend to rock bottom lows, making building a larger deposit difficult, as have high rental payments. But their options have been steadily increasing and, added to the news that the homebuyers using the current Help to Buy equity loan scheme have a further extension on the deadline for completions, there is hope that 2021 may see more potential homebuyers take that first step onto the property ladder.’

If a low-deposit mortgage sounds appealing, the renewed scope for a great deal makes this is the perfect time to speak to a mortgage broker who can give you all the advice and support you need in choosing the best deal. Contact our team of specialist mortgage experts and we’ll talk you through your options.

Top Tips for First-Time Buyers

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.


What's different about a first-time buyer mortgage?

As a first-time buyer, 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.

How much do I actually need as a deposit?!

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. By having less to borrow, 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. As a first-time buyer, you don't have to pay Stamp Duty on the first £300,000 for homes worth up to £500,000.

There are many different Government-led schemes to help first time buyer get onto the property ladder. These include Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme, 95% mortgages, First Home Scheme, Shared Ownership and more. Be aware that schemes for England, Greater LondonWales and Scotland, and they all vary.

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.

How much can I afford to borrow?

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.

What is taken into account?

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.

How can I prepare?

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.


We used this service to get our most recent mortgage. I cannot fault our Adviser or the team there. If we needed to speak to them they were always available. Explained things in simple terms and made us feel comfortable when talking about finances and also mortgage protection too. Thank you. We will use you again!

Glenda R

April 2020

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