First time buyers
Are you thinking about buying your first property and getting that first footing on the property ladder? Getting a mortgage is one of the biggest financial commitments you may make in your lifetime, so it’s serious business. Having said that, it doesn’t have to be difficult and there is a lot of help and support available. Working your way through the vast array of information about eligibility criteria, credit rating, equity loan schemes, financial support, government-backed schemes, house prices, housing market trends, market value, mortgage rates, newly-built home…can be daunting,  
but it doesn’t have to be! 
Who can help me? 
Using the services of an experienced mortgage broker to get the best possible advice for your individual circumstances is a must. Brokers have access to a wealth of information and knowledge that isn’t always available to you, so it’s well worth having the conversation. A good mortgage broker (also known as a mortgage adviser) will help you understand the options and the processes – they are there to give you advice and not to make the decision for you. It’s important that you feel confident enough to ask any questions you need to and feel confident in your decision and how that will impact your financial future outcome. As part of the overall mortgage process service, a good mortgage broker will also discuss protection and insurance options with you. 
Can I really afford a mortgage? 
This is a really good question. Can you? Take the time to sit down, look at your household income or combined income with a partner, bills, outgoings, bank accounts, credit cards and really plan out your monthly finances. What could you realistically afford to pay each month? What would happen if interest rates went up? What would your affordability look like then? Lenders have different criteria, however they typically look at your incomings and outgoings to see what your affordability is – in other words, how much spare money you have at the end of each month. They each develop an affordability model, which designs the amount of lending allowable with that particular lender. 
Do I need to save a deposit for a mortgage? 
Yes. Generally speaking, the bigger your deposit (as a percentage against the purchase price of the house), the better the interest rate, which in turn means the monthly payments are lower and therefore so is the cost of the overall mortgage. 
What is a shared ownership scheme? 
Shared ownership means you’re not buying the whole property outright, just a part of it. These schemes are often run by housing associations and the borrower typically buys a share of a property worth between 10% and 75% and pays rent on the rest. With schemes such as this, there may be additional help for key workers such as nurses, teachers and military personnel. You will need to need a specialist mortgage for a shared ownership option so speaking to a mortgage broker is your first step. 
How can I boost my chances of getting a mortgage? 
Making yourself attractive to the lender is really important as having a big enough deposit isn’t the only thing they look at. Not all lenders have the same criteria (and this is where an experienced mortgage broker can save you a lot of time and stress) so everything you can do to help yourself is a bonus; 
• boost your credit score -this takes time! 
• make sure you are on the electoral roll 
• ensure all information is up to date – addresses/ contact information 
• avoid withdrawing cash from your credit card and try to keep your utilisation low 
• spend within your limits- avoid your overdraft 
What type of mortgage should I choose? 
This all depends on your individual circumstances. Speak to one of our advisers or click here for more information. 
What happens when the mortgage deal ends? 
At the end of the mortgage product in most cases you are free to switch deals. It’s important you start thinking about this at least 4-6 months before the end of your current deal so that you avoid ending up on SVR (standard variable rate). 
Can I move house within the mortgage term? 
Many mortgages are now ‘portable’ (make sure you have this discussion and check with your mortgage broker). Often the your mortgage amount and interest rate can be ported to the new property. You would need to stay with the same lender and you would be assessed as a whole new customer, but you would avoid paying your early repayment charge (ERC). 
Can I get a mortgage if I’m self-employed? 
Yes. All mortgages are available to self-employed or employed applicants. If you are self-employed your income is usually evidenced over a 2 year period. You would usually need your tax calculation documents, your mortgage adviser can explain which would be required. Provable income for mortgage, is the net profit figure not turnover/gross earnings. It is important to speak to your adviser if you are self-employed as they will be able to advise which mortgage/lender would be suitable. CIS Contractor income and certain other contractor income, is sometimes treated differently. Again, speak to your adviser and they will be able to research the right solution. 
What are the fees involved in getting a mortgage? 
There is a lot to consider and it’s important that you factor fees into your overall costs. The fees involved can be: 
• lender arrangement fee 
• valuation of the new home fee 
• legal fees 
• stamp duty land tax 
Where do I start? 
Speak to a qualified, regulated mortgage adviser (mortgage broker). A mortgage adviser can understand your individual circumstances, offer you bespoke advice and save you a lot of time and stress. Using a broker is not compulsory if you feel confident enough to do the research and work yourself. 
Good luck! 
How do I find out more? 
Call us on 01302 866787 and speak to one of our trusted advisers. 

FCA Disclaimer 

According to our research, the content contained in this article is accurate at the time of writing. 
Infomation on this website is NOT bespoke advice to its audience and therefore does NOT constitute financial advice. 
Readers are encouraged to contact our qualified advisers directly for mortgage and protection advice. 
As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments. 
Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. 
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