A Property Guide For First Time Buyers

Are you finally taking the steps to buy your first home? I know it seems scary now but if you follow our guide, securing your first home will be a breeze.

Keep the faith

There is no escaping the fact that the chill of austerity has discouraged first time buyers from stepping onto the property ladder. Things are changing though and finally people are able to take that all important that step.

This time last year, first time buyers took out 26,800 mortgages – the highest figure since November 2007. Now the help to buy scheme is really booming, it’s really helping young people fly the nest and start a new adventure.

You need to save as much money as possible to be able to get the cheapest mortgage deal; cutting back on luxuries and not going out to the club every weekend will really help you along.

Don’t trust the images

When looking for potential properties online try not to get too overwhelmed with the photos. That kitchen might look massive but Estate Agents sometimes use wide lens cameras and other trickery.

It is always recommended to view the property a number of times before putting an offer in. You might end up missing something the first time around as you can be overwhelmed and excited.

Meet the neighbours

Don’t expect the vendor to tell you about the neighbours and any problems with them – or even the Estate Agent. Sometimes neighbours can be noisy and it can really ruin your first home. It is best to try and visit the properties at different times of the day or even drive by it at night and listen out for anything which might impact your new home.

If you want to be less sneaky you could knock on a couple of doors around the neighbourhood and ask them “what is it like to live here?’’. You can also check the state of the properties to see if they are run down or even ask your Solicitor to check any records to see if any arguments have took place.

Avoid London

I know, it is very tempting to buy a home which is a short commute from work but you will be forking out thousands of pounds extra for the privilege. You can compare house prices by size and really see the difference.

The average house price in London is £595,585 and the South East is £372,742 (April 2015). There is such a huge difference in house prices! There will be direct trains into London from Surrey and the South East and even Essex. So you don’t have to break the bank with overpriced properties. Why not plan to use the commute time productivity? You can learn a new language by audio tape, catch up on your reading a take a short correspondence course.

Move back home

I know that it sounds crazy but it can really save you money. As money is the most important aspect of buying a property cutting costs is definitely a must.

These days it is almost impossible for young people to get on the property ladder without a financial leg up from their parents. Even if it is for just a couple of months, grin and bear it for a little while and you will really notice the money piling up in your bank account.

Play it cool

If you find the perfect property try not to give the game away straight away. Try not to put an offer in without thinking about it. Take some time and maybe write a list of pro’s and con’s to see if it really is as perfect as you think.

The vendor will want as much money from you as possible so if they end up rejecting your offer don’t be to disheartened, just politely tell them that you will review your offer and get back to them. As you don’t want to lose this property, don’t wait too long!

Don’t spend a lot on decorating

It might be a dream of yours to decorate your home exactly how you dreamed but there is no point spending thousands on a home which you might not be in for long. Especially as it is your first home there is a massive chance that you will move and expand – particularly if you’re in a steady relationship.

If you are desperate to decorate, just try and keep cots to a minimum or buy paintings and rugs which you can take with you when you move.

Do the maths

As we know, money is the main driver when buying a home, but it’s not just the property you’ve got to take into account – there are other additional costs. You need to budget for Estate Agent fees, moving costs and Surveyors fees. Just make sure you make a budget and work out how much everything will cost. There are little things which you might forget like TV license fees, internet and phone line rental. Whatever you do, don’t forget to get an independent survey done – it could save you thousands down the line.

Build your own

I know it sounds mad but it could really be an option for first time buyers and it might really be a good way to start your adventure. I know this might sound like a more expensive way to get onto the property ladder, but it will be worth your time. You can hire a good designer or architect and negotiate planning permission, then you can source materials for the build which will be structurally efficient and save money. If you keep to your budget, get advice competent professionals and don’t make the build too complicated it should be a breeze.


If you are looking to buy a property, it is always best to get a survey as you might not be able to see something a Surveyor can see. If you are getting a mortgage, the mortgage company usually get a survey on your potential home for their own piece of mind – but they aren’t that detailed and they aren’t for you.

Just make sure you plan every aspect of your move and budget accordingly. With thorough preparation, you’ll be fine.