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Our First Time Buyers Coaches will support you through the whole house buying process, from working out how much deposit you need to save, all the way through to completing on your first home. 

Find out more about one of our Coaches, Hayley Smith, and her experience of buying her first home.

How did you know you were ready to get a mortgage?

I have always been quite a good saver. When I started my first job at 16, I managed my money with a spreadsheet to know how much disposable income I had once I paid my bills and transferred money to my savings. Saving for a house deposit is a big commitment though. I was financially ready to commit all my savings towards a deposit on my first home, but I didn’t cut myself too short so I could still enjoy my remaining disposable income and spend money on the things I loved doing.

How far in advance did you prepare for getting a mortgage?

I had opened a Help to Buy ISA, which meant I would receive a bonus when I bought my first home. There was a limit of how much I could pay in monthly to this account, so I started saving in my personal account on the side to try and speed things up and hit my savings goal sooner. It took two years to reach my goal.

Did being a young adult add any extra complications to getting a mortgage?

As a young adult my only monthly commitment was my mobile phone bill as a direct debit. I did not earn a lot of money at the time and the house prices in the area where I wanted to buy were quite expensive. I was committed to buying in this area though so my mortgage adviser recommended that my maximum loan to value for my first home should be 85% and I needed to save a 15% deposit.

(Loan to value is the percentage of borrowing you take out against your home. For example, if you have a £90,000 mortgage on a £100,000 house, the loan to value would be 90%.)

How much deposit did you have to save as a first time buyer?

I had a 15% deposit. However, it is possible to get a mortgage with as little as 5% deposit and our team of First Time Buyer Coaches can advise you about this once they have reviewed your personal circumstances.

Did you find it hard to save for your house deposit?

I did review my circumstances once I knew that the house I wanted needed a 15% deposit. I was still buying coffees every day before work! I knew I could save at least £10 a week if I cut down on this and that was at least £40 a month extra towards my deposit! I would eat out a lot too so I decided to cut down on that to enable me to save more. It's great to be able to create a personalised plan for yourself where you can review your current circumstances and keep yourself on track to hit your goal. Our First Time Buyer Coaches can help create that with you.

Were you entitled to any government help with this being your first home purchase?

I was entitled to a government bonus of 25% if I used my Help to Buy ISA towards my first home purchase. The Lifetime ISA offers the same benefit!

As a first time buyer, what was your experience with stamp duty?

As a first time buyer I was exempt from stamp duty on my first home purchase. However my advice to anyone is to ask questions, as rules change over time. We can always look at your purchase price and your circumstances and let you know if any stamp duty would be payable.

What would be your top 3 tips for first time buyers?
  1. Draw up a personalised plan that is individual to your lifestyle and goals. We can help you with this and offer our suggestions!
  2. Ensure you do not limit yourself too much when saving - you need to be able to enjoy your lifestyle, as well as committing to putting away funds for your deposit. 
  3. Take into consideration costs like legal fees and funds for furniture.

Book an appointment with one of our First Time Buyer Coaches today and let’s get moving! 

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