Buying your first house – what do you need to think about?

You’re buying your first house! This is a really exciting and daunting time as the process is all new to you and you haven’t done this before!

Buying a house is possibly the biggest purchase you will ever make, so it definitely worth getting as much information as possible. There are lots of things to think about, decisions to make and it’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed at first. Let us help you by giving you some hints and tips to help you along the process.


How much can you afford?

You need to assess what you can afford and be confident that you can cover your payments and are not over-stretching yourself. You can use a mortgage calculator to see what you can afford and what your monthly payments will be here

Finding your dream home

Looking around for your first home is an exciting time! Book in your viewings! As a first time buyer you are in a great position as you will likely be renting or living with friends or parents and this can give you some serious bargaining power as you won’t have a lengthy chain and can move quickly.

  • Put your name down with lots of different estate agents so that they can alert you for any new houses that come on to the market matching your criteria. Choose an Estate Agent that meets your requirements and budget and ask them questions to find out how they can help you find the best property for you.
  • When you start viewing houses, make sure you visit the house and the area at different times of day to give you a full picture of what it’s like when there is heavier traffic, parking issues and more people around.
  • Make a list of any questions that are really important to you. Is parking essential? Do you want a quiet setting, are you interested in schools and what facilities would you like nearby? Consider taking someone with you to help you get a second opinion.

Start getting your finances in order

Getting your mortgage in place

  • You’ll need to decide what type of mortgage you’ll need, what type of repayment options and interest rates you will be paying. We suggest you choose a mortgage advisor to find out all of your options and support you.
  • You’ll need to prove how much you earn, so will be asked to pull together documents such as your P60, payslips, business accounts and bank statements.
  • We’d advise you to get your mortgage agreed in principle (AIP) as soon as you can as it can avoid delays in the process and make sure you don’t miss out on your dream house.


Typically, you’ll need a 10% deposit for your house, but you may need to pay less. Often if you have a bigger deposit this will mean that your mortgage interest rates could be lower (which means you will pay less) and you could be more likely to be accepted for a mortgage.

Government schemes that can help you with your finances

  • Affordable Ownership Schemes. You can get an equity loan towards the cost of buying a new-build home as a first-time buyer. You can find out more here
  • Affordable Home Ownership Schemes. You can buy a share on your home to reduce your financial outgoings. Find out more here
  • Lifetime ISA. If you are aged between 18 and 39, you can save up to £4,000 a year in it, towards your first home or retirement, and the state adds a cash bonus of up to £1,000 a year on top. You can find out more here

Other charges to be aware of

  • Stamp Duty Land tax (SDLT). In September 2022 it was announced that first-time buyers buying a residential property (as their main residence) they will pay 0% SDLT up to £425,000. You can find out how more about stamp duty fees here.
  • Choose your Solicitors to complete your Conveyancing services. You need to budget for these costs when your house completes. For an instant online quote simply click here or call 01623 45 11 11.

Other handy tips for buying your first home

  • We have a ‘Moving Home Checklist’ that can help you let everyone know you’ve moved house.
  • You will have a lot of questions about what happens in the Conveyancing process. Click here to look at our frequently asked questions.
  • We have some Conveyancing Guides to help you see what to expect in the Conveyancing process Click here for the buying guide and click here for the for selling guide.

We’re here to help you

We help many first time buyers and we are happy to help you through the process. We welcome your questions (we expect you to have a lot!) and we can guide you at every stage until you collect the keys to your new home! Get in touch and let us talk you through it so you know what to expect. Simply call us on 01623 45 11 11