5 Things Every First Time Buyer Should Know

Starting the journey towards home ownership can be both exciting and daunting, especially for first time buyers. It’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls and questionable tactics that some in the property industry may employ. In this blog I will highlight some of these tactics and offer invaluable insights to help you navigate the complexities of buying your first home.

Watch out for underhand tactics:

Some estate agents or builders may employ shady tactics to push you into using their preferred mortgage broker or solicitor. They may falsely claim the seller would prefer it you used their broker (when the seller has no idea this conversation has even happened) or even refuse to present your offer without you first speaking to their mortgage broker. I’ve heard of some estate agents even refusing to put an offer forward without getting an AIP with their broker. This is all completely illegal and if it happens to you, you can always quote the ‘Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents’. Protect yourself by working with a reputable mortgage broker who can guide you through these situations with clarity and transparency.

Your bank statements speak volumes:

When applying for a mortgage, your bank statements are thoroughly examined. Lenders assess various factors, such as overdraft usage, returned direct debits and even your spending habits (especially betting!) to evaluate how much of a risk you would be to lend. Maintaining a healthy financial record is crucial to securing the very best mortgage, especially when you have a low deposit.

Choose your solicitor wisely:

The solicitor or conveyancer you select can significantly impact your property buying experience. Opting for a cheap online service might seem economical at first, but it often leads to delays and frustrations. Overburdened solicitors may mishandle your case, resulting in prolonged transaction periods. Invest in a reliable solicitor to ensure a smoother and less stressful process. A local solicitor is convenient for you to pop into the office with paperwork. If you do opt for a solicitor who isn’t local, send all of your documents recorded delivery to reduce the risk of them being lost. Working with a mortgage broker, like  The Mortgage Mum Warwickshire, who will call and chase the solicitor throughout the process, can help, but even we can’t perform miracles if they don’t answer the phone/ reply to emails.

You need credit to get credit:

Building a credit history is essential for accessing mortgages. If you’ve never had a credit card, loan, or mobile phone contract, proving your creditworthiness to lenders becomes challenging. Start establishing credit early on by responsibly managing accounts and making timely payments.

Beware of Probate Properties:

Purchasing a property going through probate can significantly delay the homebuying process. Despite assurances from agents, receiving the keys for such properties may take much longer than expected. Probate typically takes around 16 weeks to grant, but delays are common, with some cases dragging on for years. Always inquire about the probate status to gauge the potential timeline accurately.


Bonus Tip: Share the Knowledge! If you found these tips helpful, don’t hesitate to share them with friends or family members who are starting their home buying journey. Sharing knowledge empowers others to make informed decisions and navigate the complexities of the property market effectively.

There you have it – five essential pointers for first-time property buyers, along with a bonus tip to ensure a smoother purchasing process for all. You are now better equipped to embark on your homeownership journey with confidence and clarity.