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28 Jul 2022

First-Time Buyers: How To Get Your Foot on the Property Ladder

Owning your own property is a goal for many. But for more and more young people, getting on the property ladder can seem impossible with the increase of house prices and the cost of living crisis.

At Mortgages Online, our online mortgage advisors have the experience and knowledge of first-time buyer mortgages to help you through every step of the process.

A First-Time Buyers Guide

It’s understandable why many people see owning a house or flat as less attainable. Increasing prices and the rise of inflation could be putting you off. But if you’ve stumbled across this article, you must feel somewhat ready to start the first-time buyer property hunt.

As long as you’ve got a stable income, some decent savings and a good credit score, you’re more than likely to bag yourself your own place.

This article will be a guide for first-time buyers looking to understand the current housing market and what they can do to take that first step on that important property ladder.

Are Your Finances in Check?

There are a couple of things you need to have before applying for a mortgage, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. From saving a large enough deposit, to having a good credit rating, these steps will make you much more likely to get accepted for a first-time buyer mortgage.

Save a 5-10% Deposit

Saving up for a deposit can be one of the hardest parts of getting a mortgage, especially if you are looking to buy on your own.

The more deposit you have, the more likely lenders are willing to accept your application. You should try to save as much as possible, as the larger your deposit the better the mortgage deals will be available to you. However, for first-time buyers, a 5-10% deposit is usually required.

If you have a help-to-buy ISA, this government scheme allows first-time buyers to purchase a house with a 5% deposit, and they will add 25% of what you save when you buy your first home.

These 95% mortgage deals seemed to hit a standstill during the pandemic, but they’re making their way back onto the market. If you’re wondering whether you’re eligible for a 95% mortgage, we can happily talk you through the process.

Get The Right Salary

An important part to the mortgage process is proving you can comfortably afford monthly repayments. This is where your salary will play a large role. If you don’t earn enough, lenders simply won’t be able to give you a mortgage. You can usually get a mortgage five times your salary, but this will depend on the mortgage lender.

Before you apply, check the pricing range of houses or flats you can afford with your salary. This will help you understand how much you’ll need to save for a deposit, and what type of property you can afford. You can do this using our free mortgage calculator.

Hunt Around for Mortgages

As with most things, you don’t want to jump too quickly at the first deal you see. With online mortgage advisors, there are far more mortgage deals available to choose from instead of a small handful from high street banks.

You should speak with a couple of lenders to see the options available to you.

Check Your Credit Rating

Without a good credit history, it can be tricky to get a good mortgage deal. For first-time buyers, a lack of credit history is also enough to make it very difficult.

A mortgage lender will want to see proof that you are financially stable and won’t struggle to make monthly repayments. Without a good credit profile, they won’t feel secure enough to lend to you.

Your credit score is a three-digit number which will rank your creditworthiness based on your overall credit profile, so it’s important to check yours before applying for a mortgage.

Want to improve your credit rating? Read our blog about how to increase your score.

Long-Term Mortgages

On average, a mortgage usually lasts between 25 and 30 years. The longer the mortgage length, the more you’ll have to pay per month – but paying it off quicker means paying less in interest.

However, the longer the mortgage the more affordable monthly repayments are, which is why first-time buyers are more likely to have a longer mortgage of 40 years. This will mean paying more interest in total.

It’s also important to remember that your financial circumstances are likely to change over the course of the 40 years. If things do change, you might want to switch providers – but this can sometimes come at a price like an early exit fee.

Take the First Step

Although it can take some time, getting your foot on the property ladder can be an achievement to be proud of. With a deposit, good salary and clean credit profile, there isn’t anything to stop you from starting this new chapter.

Do you require specialist advice or help with securing your first-time buyer mortgage? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Mortgages Online. Give us a call on 03300 58 60 58 or email at


Andrew Montlake

As Managing Director, Andrew looks after the strategic goals that drive the vision and culture of the company, maintaining and promoting our Brand, Marketing, PR & Communications, as well as looking after our Corporate, Introducer, and Lender relationships.

He is the author of a highly acclaimed Mortgage Blog and host of our successful Mortgage & Property Podcasts and he has also won 8 major industry awards; Best Press Spokesperson (twice), Best Marketeer (twice), Mortgage Personality of the Year (twice), Mortgage Strategist of the Year and most recently Best Business Leader Broker (11-50 brokers).

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