Make the personal commitment to live in your own premises. This should be a given but you must be aware of the rights, responsibilities and social change that go with first time house ownership. There will be no parents or landlord to fall back on for repairs. The utility bills and council tax bills will fall on you. You will probably need to save for a deposit. This is usually a minimum of 5%; although failing this there are 100% mortgages on offer.
Check out the financial issues. What is the maximum that you and any co-owners are able to pay? Include in your budget the costs of insurance, repayments tax and utilities. From this budget you will be able to assess what you can potentially borrow and how much deposit you may need to get the property of choice. See: how much can I borrow?
Discuss the options with your bank or building society. Learn what sort of issues they want to consider such as your current salary, debts and potential problems career prospects. If the results of your discussions show your case to be marginal from the lenders point of view, then you may wish to work through a mortgage broker who can shop around on your behalf to find a willing lender.
Be Realistic in Choosing House. Finding a suitable property means finding one that you want, but also one that can be financed. You won’t get a mortgage for more than the value the lender thinks appropriate. Some lenders don’t like problem properties e.g. those built on mine shafts or erected by notorious builders. Some companies don’t like thatched roofs or flats so check for general restrictions when talking to your preferred lender. The more marginal a property the more expensive the loan is likely to be.
Getting a mortgage takes time. Allow time for the lender to do the work they need to do. Surveying the property and checking out your credit worthiness can take some weeks. Get an offer in writing and keep the vendors agent and your solicitor informed.
Get a Good solicitor. Ensure your solicitor works to your needs. Get them on your side from the outset. Normally you pay a deposit, conduct due diligence with searches then complete the purchase transferring ownership to you with a registered mortgage or charge over the property.
Look around for most helpful mortgage adviser. Don’t be put off if your own bank refuses to give sufficient mortgage. There are an increasing number of mortgages on offer which may help you get your first mortgage.