We’ve spent more time at home recently than ever before, and in turn, more and more first time buyers are looking to get on the ladder and find a place to call their own. For potential purchasers who are looking to the future and hoping to buy in 2021 and beyond, Share to Buy have taken a look at the best ways to prepare and search for your new home!
Increasing house prices and large deposits have left many feeling priced out of the property market, but alternative home-buying schemes could open the door for those who can’t quite afford to buy on the open market.
Buyers can look into Shared Ownership, a part-buy part-rent scheme which allows purchasers to buy a share of a property (usually between 25-75%), paying a mortgage on the portion they own and a subsidised rent on the remainder. Alternatively, Help to Buy can aid eligible buyers by providing them with a government-backed loan of up to 20% of the home (or 40% in London), so the purchaser only needs to raise a 5% deposit with a 75% mortgage (or 55% in London) making up the rest.
Buying your first home is going to require a lot of research to determine which property best suits your needs – from comparing house prices and weighing up different areas, to deciding whether you’d prefer a new build or resale home.
On Share to Buy, you can view thousands of Shared Ownership and Help to Buy listings all across the country. You can use filters such as number of bedrooms, search radius, deposit amount and accessibility requirements to hone in on your ideal property – you can even register to receive alerts when new properties that fit your criteria are announced by email
If you’re hoping to get on the property ladder, understanding your finances is an important way to prepare. When searching for a home on our property portal, every live listing will feature an interactive budget calculator which includes key costs for that home including the share percentage, required deposit and estimated monthly costs. This can help buyers weigh up their options and check their affordability against the home they’re interested in!
It’s also good for budding buyers to be aware of any other fees that could crop up during the process. On top of reservation fees and deposits, housing providers generally recommend that you have between £3,000 to £5,000 saved for other costs such as legal fees, valuation fees and moving costs.
Whichever way you plan on buying your home, it’s likely that you’ll be taking out a mortgage. On Share to Buy, we offer plenty of helpful guides and interactive toolsto help you get started, including an Affordability Calculator and Mortgage Comparison tool.
Many first time buyers will also choose to work with a mortgage broker. While it is not mandatory to use a broker when buying a home, many potential purchasers find themselves reaching out to these specialist firms as they are able to look into your finances, make an assessment on how much you can borrow, and provide a mortgage agreement in principle which proves to sellers or housing providers that you can afford to buy their home!
The biggest step you can take towards becoming a homeowner is being prepared. Dedicate time to searching for and viewing properties, check your credit score, understand your finances and ensure all paperwork is ready to go.
Thanks to campaigns such as National Home Buying Week and events such as Share to Buy’s upcoming Virtual London Home Show, you’re also able to easily find out more about the different available tenures, as well as hearing from and engaging with housing providers from all across the country.