Being a first time home buyer needn’t be complicated or difficult. As much as it all sounds like a big dream, it’s perfectly possible. According to UK Finance, over 380,000 people in the UK bought a home for the first time. If you’re ready to join them in 2020, check out our top home buying tips below. 

Explore your options

There are several government schemes in place to help you with buying your first home. 

  • Help to Buy ISA: Although no longer available, if you opened a Help to Buy ISA last year, you could get up to £3,000 from the government towards your deposit. The government tops up any contributions you make by up to 25%, up to the contribution limit of £12,000. 
  • Lifetime ISA: Launched in April 2017, you could get up to £32,000 from the government when you open up a LISA. You can save up to £4,000 a year into your LISA account, and the government will then add a 25% bonus on top if you use it towards your first house.  The maximum contribution by the government is £32,000, meaning you’d have a total of £160,000 including the bonus to put towards yout first home. To find out more about Lifetime ISAs, check out the Money Advice Service here

Save for your mortgage deposit 

If you are a first time home buyer, chances are you’ll be applying for a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan taken out to buy a property. You can apply for a mortgage directly from a bank or building society. Alternatively, you can use a mortgage broker to help compare different mortgages on the market in order to find out which is most suitable for you.

Saving for a mortgage can sometimes be pretty daunting, and the reality of putting aside money each month can seem pretty complicated at first. Luckily, we’ve written a whole post on how to practically save for your mortgage deposit here.

To find out how much money you may need to save for your deposit,. You can check out the Which Deposit calculator here, or the Money Saving Expert Deposit Calculator here. 

Boost your credit score 

When buying a home for the first time and looking to take out a mortgage, your credit score matters. Your credit profile sends a clear message to lenders about your creditworthiness, and your likelihood of repaying mortgage payments back on time. The better your credit score and profile are, the more favourable terms you will get from mortgage lenders. 

We’ve written a post breaking down exactly how your credit score affects your mortgage here.

We’ve also written a post breaking down credit scores and ways to improve your rating here

Compare areas

Making sure you have a good picture of what the property ladder has to offer is important. Making sure you have researched the areas you are interested in, as well as housing prices, is a great way to start narrowing down the property and place you’d like to purchase your first home in.

You can use the free tool by Which to compare housing prices and areas here.

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