This is a general guide that can help you in getting onto the property ladder.
Start Saving Early:
Due to the steep rise in property prices over the past years, many reports have claimed that it will take first time buyers longer than ever before to secure their first property. Therefore, it is essential to start thinking about saving from as early as possible. A great way is to encourage setting up a monthly direct debit or standing order for a certain amount to go into an ISA account or a savings account. This will help individuals to part away with a portion of their income every month into a separate account and will also earn them some interest
Maintain a clean Credit Record:
It is vital for first time buyers to maintain and clean up their credit record when trying to obtain their first home and get on the property ladder. Lenders will assess their credit records by checking with credit reference agencies to find out if the borrower has kept up with their repayments of any debts they may have. Therefore, it is essential to make sure you avoid any late payments on any credit cards, hire purchase agreements or any other form of debt you may have, and to clear those up if there are any arrears.
It is very useful to make sure you are registered on the electoral register as this will help boost your credit report and to arrange to cancel any credit cards that are no longer in use. It is recommended to register with credit report agencies to help you view and monitor your credit rating, which in turn will help you maintain a positive record.
Look out for incentives from the government:
The government has introduced several of what is known as Help to Buy schemes, designed to assist potential first time buyers get on the property ladder. They have been designed to attract individuals to acquire their first home and obtain a mortgage whereby they would not have been able to do so through the conventional way based on their income. Below are two of the well-known government Help to Buy Schemes;
Equity Loan Scheme:
This scheme has been designed by the government to help individuals get on the property ladder with only a 5% deposit. Individuals are only required to put down a 5% deposit on a new build property that is part of this government scheme, which the government will then top up with a loan of up to 40% of the purchase price. This loan is interest free for five years, which leaves the buyer only looking to acquire a mortgage on the remaining 55%.
Shared Ownership Scheme:
This scheme allows individuals to purchase between 25% and 75% of the property value and will require them to pay rent on the percentage they don’t own. This can seem to be an appealing option for those struggling with affordability issues and the scheme also allows them to increase their share of the ownership over time which can lead to full ownership of the property.
Look out for free incentives:
Some lenders offer free incentives when purchasing a property such as free valuations and legal fees which can come in very useful for cash strapped first time buyers. Some lenders also offer cash back options whereby they offer a cash sum to the borrower on completion, which can be pleasant in assisting with the initial expenses of acquiring a new property.