A quick guide to home ownership for first time buyers

Buying a home of your own for the first time is one of life’s greatest milestones, giving you greater freedom, stability and space, and getting you out of the renting cycle that guzzles the funds you could be putting towards your own property.........

With plenty to consider when buying your first home, from mortgages to choosing between an old property or a new build, we’ve put together a brief guide or first-time buyers with some top tips to make your journey to homeownership as exciting and stress-free as it should be.

1. Consider all the costs

If your monthly rent is eating away at your income, buying a home could actually help you save money. With monthly mortgage repayments typically lower than the cost of rent, not only are you saving the extra cash, you’re also paying off your own investment rather than your landlord’s.

However, figuring out what you can afford without leaving you financially stretched is imperative when navigating your first property purchase. Some key costs to consider when deciding your budget are:

Paying for the property
Before you start viewing properties, you’ll want to speak to a mortgage advisor (or use an online mortgage calculator) to understand how much you are eligible to borrow, and therefore what price range you should be looking at. This will typically take into consideration your income, profession, credit score and how much of a deposit you have.

A typical deposit for first-time buyers is around 10% of the overall value of the property, which can be a substantial sum to save, leaving the remaining 90% to be repaid via a mortgage.

The bigger your down payment, the smaller your mortgage (and therefore the interest you pay
on it), so the more you can save, the better for your pocket in the long run.

Additional fees
First-time buyers may be surprised by some fees that crop up throughout the buying process.  The main one to be aware of is stamp duty, which is typically 5% of the total property value for first-time buyers. There’s also the mortgage fee (a charge by the lender for setting up the loan), conveyancing fee (paid to a legal professional for managing the property purchase), as well as some other potential charges for insurance and other professional services.

If you’re concerned about property affordability as a first-time buyer, read on for the financial benefits of buying a new build, such as a Higgin’s Homes property.

2. Location, location, location

It’s vital you do your research and visit the area to see how it suits your individual needs. Not only will location affect your lifestyle and therefore your quality of life, it will also influence things like your spending, your health, and the quality of your property investment.

London is globally renowned for being an expensive place to buy, but there are certain areas that are gaining notoriety for their combination of good transport links, green space, sense of community and safety, proximity to good schools, and array of shops, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes.

At Higgins Homes, we do the research for our buyers, meaning all of our developments are thoughtfully situated in neighbourhoods that offer all the ingredients for a great lifestyle and a considered investment. By opting for a Higgins Homes property, buyers know they’re in a great location that’s only getting better.

3. Old vs new build

As a first-time buyer, the last thing you want is to finally get your own place only to find hidden problems beneath the surface, which can often be costly, time-consuming and can quickly take the shine off becoming a homeowner. With a new build, you have the luxury of turning the key to a brand new construction with modern new appliances, fixtures and a clean slate. There’s no previous wear and tear, no faulty electrics needing updated and no hidden mould or damp within the walls.

Registering early interest in a new development also gives you a better chance to find the perfect home for you, from south-facing sunlight to top floor views. At Higgins Homes, we focus on unique specification, ensuring no two residences are the same and your home is tailored to your taste. What’s more, by being outside the seller chain, you don’t have to worry about the seller’s end of the deal falling through, which alleviates a lot of uncertainty. From a financial perspective, a modern properties are often less demanding on your pocket, too, as they tend to be designed with greater energy efficiency. This means you can expect lower energy bills while also having a reduced impact on the environment.

Feeling inspired to get on the property ladder?

Find out more about our various developments in London, each with an enviable location, functionality and style.

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