Buying a home

The first time you buy a home can be a very daunting experience. The good news is, it’s not much more daunting than the second or third time. Property purchase will always be one of the trickiest challenges you can take on, so if you do feel overwhelmed, take heart: you’re not alone.

Many buyers find the process a bit chicken-and-egg. In order to choose a property you need to know how much you can afford, which means working out how much you can borrow and how large a deposit you can raise. However, the amount you can afford to borrow will depend on the interest rate you are offered, which will depend on your loan-to-value ratio (how much of the total cost of the property will be paid for by a loan) – and you can’t be certain of this ratio until you find a property, make an offer and have it accepted. How much you can actually afford, therefore, is subject to a number of variables – including the price you achieve for any property you may be selling.

This means that buying a home is generally a step-by-step affair, with each step making the journey a little clearer and bringing your goal more into focus. Two kinds of adviser will be your go-to guides along the way. The first is a solicitor, who will handle the conveyancing (the transfer of the ownership of property) and provide general guidance throughout. The second is a mortgage adviser, whose job it is to find you the best mortgage deal in your circumstances, maximising your purchasing power while keeping your repayments affordable. Your mortgage adviser will also help you have your application promptly approved.

You can find a mortgage adviser or a solicitor here.

Questions you might like to ask a mortgage adviser and/or solicitor:

  • Can I take advantage of the Help to Buy scheme?
  • What are the more suitable types of mortgage for me?
  • How much will my mortgage cost me (short-term and long-term)?
  • Are there any penalties if I miss a payment?
  • How will you charge me for your advice?


If you’re trying to get a good mortgage deal, a lot depends on your credit score. You can check your score, see how it might affect your prospects and even find out how to improve it at Experian. Get your free credit score.