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Stepping onto the property ladder?

How to get your foot on the first rung

While many people are keen to get on to the property ladder, there is an acceptance that this is often a difficult process. First time buyers have a lot to think about and they should be aware that buying a home is likely to be one of the biggest decisions they make in their life, and it is likely to be their first responsibility. However, with proper planning and taking the right steps, it is possible for buyers to get their foot on the first rung of the property ladder.

Think about your plans

While no one can tell what is going to happen in the future, you should be looking to remain settled for a number of years if you are buying a home. If you still have ambitions to travel or you feel that you have other aims and ambitions that rank alongside owning property, you will need to think about whether you are committed to settling down and buying property. There is no shame or problem in deciding you are not ready to settle down but this is something you need to consider before you start the house buying process.

It is rare for a person to feel 100% committed about buying property but at least make sure that you think you are doing the right thing.

Think about your finances

Once you are committed to buying a home, you need to focus on your finances. You should look to save as much of a deposit as possible and you should look to improve your credit score. Your credit score and the level of deposit you have in place are the two biggest factors when looking to arrange a mortgage, so take the time to build up these aspects.

Always check your credit score and report, making sure that it is correct. There are steps you can take to improve your credit score, like ensuring you are on the electrical register for your current home. The better the credit score, the more likely it will be that a lender will approve your application or provide you with a more attractive loan.

When it comes to saving money, don’t forget that assistance is available with the Help To Buy ISA Scheme a great example of how you can save money with help from the Government.

Know what you need to pay upfront and your monthly budgets and

When you are looking to buy a home, there are a lot of upfront costs. You have solicitor costs, conveyancing costs, home reports and you may have stamp duty to pay as well. This means you need to make sure you have money put aside to pay for these additional aspects.

You also need to make sure that you can make the monthly payments you will face each month. Obviously you should have the mortgage payment calculated but you have other bills to pay each month as well. There will be council tax, utility bills and TV licence payments to take care of and this is all before you consider food, drink, clothes and entertainment. You may also need to consider the cost of getting to and from work too.

It is advisable for first time buyers to draw up a budget and be sure of what they expect to bring in as income and pay out as outgoings. This will help you to plan ahead and ensure you meet all of your responsibilities when it comes to monthly bills.

Remember that there are ways you can grab an advantage

One thing first time buyers need to know is the fact that they are not in a chain of property deals and this can be attractive to many sellers. There is a fear of deals collapsing due to chains so you should be up front about the fact that you are a first time buyer and not reliant on any other deals going through.

You should also take the opportunity to pre-qualify for a mortgage. This isn’t a 100% guarantee of receiving a mortgage but it will give you a very good idea of what is on offer and it will show other parties that you are serious about buying a property. These two aspects may make your interest or bid more attractive to selling parties.

As a first time buyer, you should look to obtain as much support, assistance and guidance as possible. The financial side is crucial and as soon as you know what your budget is, you will be in a better place to look for relevant properties.