Buying a house can be a very daunting experience, especially if you’re a first time buyer. From sorting your finances and getting the relevant support you need to finding your dream home and the all-important move itself, there is plenty to think about.

At GRE Assets, we are dedicated to delivering high-quality homes, in desirable areas which provide young people with the opportunity to get on the property ladder.

Below, we have compiled three of the key areas to consider before buying your first home – the government schemes available, stamp duty and mortgages, and completing your purchase.


Government schemes available

There are several Government initiatives available to help support first time buyers onto the property ladder. If you are 18 or over, you can use a Lifetime ISA to save for your first home. You can put up to £4,000 each year into your ISA and the government will top it up by 25% to boost your savings. The Lifetime ISA is eligible to withdraw for your first home if the property costs £450,000 or under; it is at least 12 months after your first ISA payment; using a conveyancer or solicitor for the purchase and you have a mortgage.

A Help to Buy: Equity Loan can be used towards the cost of buying a new-build home as a first-time buyer. In order to be eligible, you must be 18 or over, a first-time buyer and able to afford the interest payments. The property must be a new-build and sold by a Help to Buy registered housebuilder. By paying a deposit of at least 5% and arranging a repayment mortgage of at least 25% then first-time buyers can cover from 5% and up to 20% of the property purchase price.

Finally, announced in the Spring 2021 Budget, the mortgage guarantee scheme is open until 31 December 2022. As part of this, the government will provide a guarantee to lenders offering 95% on homes up to the value of £600,000 to help support people onto the property ladders. Buyers can also fix their initial mortgage rate for at least five years.


Stamp duty and mortgage rates

While many buyers raced to make the most of the stamp duty holiday, which has now ended, there remains a stamp duty relief for those buying their first home. First time buyers will pay no stamp duty land tax on properties up to the value of £300,000.

In November, the Bank of England announced it would maintain the bank rate at 0.1%, but mortgage rates frequently change. If you’re unfamiliar with the world of mortgages then it is a good idea to appoint an independent whole market mortgage advisor, who will be able to find the best rates available and help you to get a decision in principle.


Making the right choice

Once all the technical bits like securing your mortgage and hiring a conveyancing solicitor are sorted, it’s time to find your dream home. Before booking any viewings, it is important to make a list of must-have features, compile all the important questions for when you’re looking around and remember to be realistic and remain on budget. Another factor to consider is that new-build properties come with several guarantees that older properties don’t offer.

When you’ve found your chosen property, you need to get buildings and contents insurance as soon as contracts have been exchanged. The keys will be released to the buyer as soon as all funds have been received and the title deed has been transferred.

GRE Assets has been delivering high quality, well connected homes in the UK and Spain since 2006.

Date: 16 November 2021