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First-time buyers guide

Updated: May 3

Getting on the property ladder can be an overwhelming process. At home me we are happy to guide you through the entire buyer journey, in the meantime we have put together an easy step-by-step guide to give you an idea of what to expect.

Step 1 – Find out how much you can borrow – Use our mortgage calculator to get a rough understanding of what you can afford. We just need your household income and your deposit to work out how much you can potentially borrow.

Once you have an idea of how much you can afford to borrow please consider other costs you may incur in cash such has:

  • Stamp Duty

  • Solicitor/Conveyancing

  • Broker fees

Step 2 – The exciting part! Start looking for a home – Now that you have an indicative budget you can start looking at homes within your range.

Step 3 – Get in touch with a mortgage adviser to get a more accurate assessment of your affordability. At home-me our mortgage experts will assess your financial circumstances and provide you with a mortgage in principle that confirms how much you can borrow. Even though the mortgage in principle might be required by some estate agents to accept an offer, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a mortgage for that amount.

Step 4 – Put an offer on the house of your dreams. If your chosen home is very popular and there are other offers in, be careful about offering too much and how that will impact your budget. Sync with your mortgage adviser to see if you can afford to offer more and, if need be, it’s always good practice to increase your offer in small increments (e.g. £2,500 not jump straight to £10.000).

Step 5 – Sort out your mortgage – Contact your dedicated mortgage adviser at home-me. Now that you have an offer accepted, our team will work to find the mortgage product that best suits your circumstances. You will need a solicitor or conveyancer to deal with the legal works – it might be a good idea to look for recommendations

Step 6 – Apply for a mortgage – Provide your mortgage adviser with the documents needed such as:

  • Proof of ID

  • Proof of Address

  • Proof of deposit

  • Proof of income (latest 3 payslips or 2 yrs tax returns and Tax overview if self employed)

  • Bank statements (bank statements from the last 3 months and business bank statements if self employed)

The lender will carry out a credit check and assess the documents required to support the mortgage application. Once done the lender will instruct a valuation to assess the value of the property. There might be a chance that the property is valued less than the price you are paying for and this could affect your mortgage. In the valuation they will also assess if the property is suitable for lending purposes.

Step 7 – Get the mortgage offer – Once the lender is happy with the valuation and the documents provided they will produce a mortgage offer which means that the lender is formally happy to lend you the amount requested.

Step 8 – Start the legal works – Now that you have received your mortgage offer the instructed solicitors will also receive a copy. There is still some paperwork involved but your solicitor will guide you through the process. Your solicitor will also liaise with the seller’s solicitor i order to exchange the contracts and find a date for the completion.

Step 9 – Complete your mortgage and move in – Once the mortgage is completed the house is finally yours. You can pick up the keys and finally move into your new home.

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