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First time buyers: 4 top tips

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

Do your sums. Then do them again.

You’ll need a lot of money upfront for your deposit, ideally 10% or more – especially if you want the best rates. There are also loads of extra costs involved when you buy rather than rent, like legal costs, lender fees, buildings insurance or service charge, buying new fixtures and fittings… so make sure you know what to expect.

Be flexible

This is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, and there are lots of moving parts. It’s almost inevitable there’ll be some hiccups during the whole process. Don’t be tempted to rush through a deal that looks good or the first bank you speak to – make sure you take the time to find the best deal for you and your finances.

Have your documents ready

You’ll need to show proof of your identity, income and outgoings, and address to apply for your mortgage. So you’ll need high resolution scans of documents like your passport, bank statement and utility bills. Having these all ready in advance your application will move along much faster.

Finally, don’t forget the fees

On top of stamp duty (if you’re paying this tax) there are many potential add-on fees to factor in when you buy a home: arrangement fees, valuation fees, legal fees, booking fees… If you can afford it, keep back some of the money from your deposit to cover these.

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