Buying your first home is a big step. While the journey may initially seem daunting, understanding the key steps and factors can simplify the process and enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Evaluating Your Financial Situation

Before diving into the property market, we recommend beginning by examining your current financial position. There are three key areas to take a look at:

  • Your Savings: As both the down payment and legal costs will be considerable initial payments, it will be important to understand your financial capacity when setting your budget.
  • Spending Habits: Examine your spending habits and any financial commitments made. This can highlight opportunities to cut back and boost savings. Lenders typically review spending activity and usually request to view 2 or 3 months of account statements, so make sure your accounts reflect sensible financial management.
  • Credit Score: A credit score can significantly impact mortgage eligibility and interest rates. Obtain a copy of your credit report and address any errors or discrepancies.

Schemes for First-Time Buyers 

For some, purchasing their first home might seem like a distant dream. However, various government schemes exist to help people on their path to becoming homeowners for the first time.

  • Help to Buy: This initiative allows for the purchase of a new-build property with a deposit of as little as 5%. You are offered an interest-free equity loan of up to 20% of the property’s value (up to 40% in London) for the first five years. As a result, the deposit reduction can help make homeownership more accessible to you.
  • Shared Ownership: You can buy a portion of a house and make rental payments on the remainder. Shared ownership enables you to gradually increase your ownership share until you eventually own the property outright.
  • Starter Homes Scheme: This program is available to individuals under 40, and offers discounted homes sold at least 20% below market value. To be eligible, you must meet the specified criteria, such as income limits and a commitment to live in the property as your primary residence for a set period.

Understanding Mortgage Choices

Understanding your options when examining mortgage options is important for first-time buyers. There are various options to consider, each with its unique benefits. Let’s take a look at some options:

  • Fixed Rate: A fixed-rate mortgage provides stability by securing an interest rate for a set period, typically two, three, or five years. This guarantees steady monthly payments, making budgeting simpler and appealing to those looking for long-term predictability.
  • Tracker: Tracker mortgages vary with interest rates, potentially changing monthly payments. They initially provide competitive rates but are better suited for those with shorter-term homeownership plans or higher risk tolerance, as costs may rise if interest rates increase.
  • Offset: Offset mortgages link savings to the mortgage, reducing interest by offsetting the balance. While savings don’t accrue interest, they offset an equivalent mortgage balance, reducing interest payments. Family offset choices utilise relatives’ savings to offset mortgage debt.

Choosing a mortgage that suits your requirements and financial objectives is key, specifically for first-time buyers. Many first-time buyers often prefer fixed-rate mortgages because they focus on stability and risk management.

Conveyancing & Survey After Offer Acceptance

After discovering your first property and accepting your offer, the next steps involve conveyancing and surveys. A conveyancer oversees the legal transfer of your property’s ownership. It is important to instruct a conveyancer to manage the transfer accurately and promptly to ensure a smooth process.

Secondly, we advise arranging a survey to evaluate the property’s condition. Although not mandatory, a surveyor examines different aspects of the property, pinpointing potential issues or areas needing attention. Prioritising conveyancing and surveys help minimise risks and ensure a seamless transaction.

Closing On Your First Property

As you conclude your home-buying journey, the closing process commences, marking the finalisation of necessary tasks to complete the purchase and gain total property ownership. It’s important to closely coordinate with your lender, agent, and legal representative to fulfil all requirements within the agreed timeframe. After meeting all requirements and completing payments, you’ll receive the keys to your new home, officially sealing the deal on your property ownership.

Additional Costs When Buying A Property 

For first-time property buyers, it’s essential to be aware of potential additional expenses beyond the property’s purchase price. Here are some typical ones to consider:

  1. Legal Fees
  2. Stamp Duty
  3. Moving Costs
  4. Survey Expenses (get a quote)

Awareness of these expenses ensures a seamless process, avoiding unexpected financial challenges


Purchasing a home involves careful research, financial planning, and well-informed choices. By following these steps and seeking advice when needed, you can embark on your journey to homeownership with the necessary assurance and confidence.

If you’re considering buying a new home and need to sell your current property quickly, We Buy Any House will help you sell your house in as little as 3 days.