Saving for Your First Home? Things You Should Know

Hoping to finally buy a property in the not too distant future? Saving for your first home can feel like a slog, but with a little commitment, getting the keys to your very own property could come sooner than you think. First, here are some things you should know if you’re aiming to get on the property ladder in 2023 – or not long after. Read on…

A Good Budget is Worth its Weight in Gold

Not sure where your wages disappear to? It’s time to set up a budget; a well thought-out one will stand you in good stead when you’re saving for your first home.

While it can be difficult to budget, it’s necessary if you want to get ahead where stashing money away is concerned. Work out your outgoings and any essential expenditure each month, adding it into a spreadsheet or notebook. You can then see, at a glance, what you have left over month by month – and what you can feasibly save.

Now, it’s time to actually put some plans in place to save. Start small and in no time at all you could have enough saved to put a deposit down on a first property.


A Lifetime ISA Can Be Hugely Beneficial

Want to reach your savings goal sooner? The government’s popular Help to Buy ISA scheme is sadly no longer available, but a Lifetime ISA (or LISA)* can prove just as beneficial.

A great way to get set up for your future, the account will see you receive up to £1000 per year** from the Government to help you on your way to a deposit for your first home.


Negotiating May Be the Key to Bagging Your Dream Home

Think about it; if you confess your love for a property you view the minute you feast your eyes on it, it’s hardly likely that any offers below the asking price will be accepted.

Learn how to hone that ‘poker face’ or navigate more effective negotiation tactics by taking a look at these top tips.


Consider Other Costs

There’s far more involved in buying a house than simply the cost of the house itself. You may also need to consider which council band you’ll have to pay on the property, as this can vary massively in price.

Don’t forget product fees, admin and completion fees, booking fees, surveys, solicitors’ fees, and more. While we’re not attempting to put a dampener on your attempts to get onto the property ladder, it is worth being aware that moving costs can add up.

What about stamp duty, too? Did you know you have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in England, Wales and Northern Island if you buy land or property over a certain price?


Calculate Repayments Carefully

How much can you afford? You might not be aware that banks perform tests known as ‘stress tests’ when considering you as a candidate for a mortgage.

This includes asking you:

  • How much you can afford
  • If you will always be able to afford replacements
  • What you’ll do if interest rates go up.

They might also ask you what will happen if your expenditure increases if, for example, you have children.

You should, of course, have asked yourself all these questions and more, as knowing the answers – and preparing to the best of your ability – can only serve you better when it comes to buying a home.


Your Credit Score is Important

How’s your credit score looking? You’ll need to know what your score is to understand what kind of mortgage you can put in an application for.

Those who already know their credit score can correct any inaccuracies before they begin the process of buying a first property, so it’s worth swotting up, where possible. Do this around six months in advance, as this will give you ample time to sort anything out that may need your attention.

A credit check is the way to go – and you can complete one relatively easily online.

Above all, saving for – and buying a first property – should be nothing short of an exciting time. Here’s to getting on the property ladder once and for all!

Discover more about Unity Mutual’s range of financial products here on the site – and please do get in touch if you have any questions at all about the products or their terms and conditions.

Until next time…


*Terms and Conditions apply to all our products

**Figures based on saving the maximum annual Lifetime ISA contribution of £4,000

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