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Home » Services » Mortgage Services » First Time Buyer Mortgages » First Time Buyer FAQs

First Time Buyer FAQs

Ciarán Power

Last Updated: February 2nd, 2024 at 6:40 pm

Table Of Contents


As a first-time homebuyer, you likely have a multitude of questions about the process. Here we address some of the most common queries with detailed explanations to guide you through your home-buying journey.

The Basics

What is the first step in buying a home?

The first step is assessing your financial situation. This involves reviewing your savings for a deposit, understanding your budget for monthly mortgage payments, and getting an idea of additional costs like stamp duty and solicitor fees. Then, securing a mortgage Agreement in Principle (AIP) can give you a clear budget for your property search.

How much deposit do I need?

Typically, a deposit of at least 5-10% of the property’s value is required. However, a larger deposit could secure a better mortgage rate and lower monthly payments.

What are the key costs involved in buying a home?

Beyond the deposit, significant costs include stamp duty, solicitor fees, mortgage arrangement and valuation fees, and potentially surveyor fees. It’s also wise to budget for moving costs and immediate home improvements.

How do I choose the right mortgage?

Selecting a mortgage involves comparing types (fixed-rate vs. variable-rate), terms, and interest rates. Consider your financial stability and whether you prefer the certainty of fixed repayments or are willing to risk potential rate changes with a variable-rate mortgage. Consulting with a mortgage advisor can provide personalized recommendations based on your financial circumstances.

Other FAQs

What should I know about property surveys?

Property surveys assess the condition of a house and identify any major issues. There are different levels of surveys ranging from basic valuations to full structural surveys. The type you need may depend on the property’s age, condition, and your lender’s requirements. Understanding the survey results can influence your decision to proceed with the purchase or renegotiate the price.

How can I improve my chances of getting a mortgage approved?

Enhance your credit score by paying off debts and avoiding new credit applications. Save for a larger deposit, and ensure your financial documentation, like income proof and bank statements, is in order. A stable income and employment history also boost your application’s strength.

What is the role of a solicitor in the home-buying process?

Solicitors handle the legal aspects of buying a home, including conducting property searches, managing contract exchanges, and handling the funds transfer on completion day. They ensure that all legal obligations are met and that the property transaction is legally sound.

What if the property valuation is lower than the offer?

If the valuation is lower than your offer, you can renegotiate the price with the seller, make up the difference yourself, or look for a different property. A lower valuation might affect your mortgage offer, so it’s important to communicate with your lender.

Can I buy a home with friends or family?

Yes, you can jointly buy a property with others. This may allow you to borrow more as the lender will take into account both of your incomes. However, with you being a first time buyer, you must still fit the lender’s borrowing criteria. Your mortgage broker will have all of this information and knowledge to hand.

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