If you want a sneak peek before getting the whole thing, here’s a quick breakdown and intro for each section of the guide…
Chapter 1: Is a mortgage right for me?
This chapter urges you to think before you act. Is getting a mortgage right for you? Can you really afford it, or will you struggle to make each payment? Remember – renting isn’t a dirty word. If it’s either continuing to save up, or overstretching and having your first home repossessed – it’s a no-brainer.
Chapter 2: Have you got a big enough deposit?
In this chapter, we show you why the size of your deposit matters. It affects both how much you can borrow, and what interest rate you can borrow at. Plus, find out if there are any Government mortgage schemes that can help you get on the ladder sooner than you think.
Chapter 3: Boost your chances of getting a mortgage
The days when lenders offered mortgages willy nilly are long gone. Getting the best mortgage deal doesn’t just need a decent deposit, you now need a good credit score too. Yet there’s hope. This chapter shows you how to maximise your chances.
Chapter 4: What type of mortgage to choose?
Do you know your fixed rate from your variable rate? Or whether you should choose repayment or interest-only? This chapter explains what a mortgage is, how it’s ‘secured’ on your home, and lays out the pros and cons of different mortgage types.
Chapter 5: Mortgages for the self-employed/contractors
If you’re self-employed or a contractor, then getting a mortgage is tough as you need cast-iron proof of what you earn. That’s easy for the employed – they have payslips, but it’s much tougher if you work for yourself or don’t have a permanent contract. We tell you what a lender will want to see before they offer you a mortgage.
Chapter 6: Don’t forget the fees
Make sure when you do the sums, you add the full costs of buying a house and mortgaging. You need to consider mortgage fees, survey fees, lawyers’ fees and stamp duty for starters. You can try to minimise them, but you can’t magic them away. This chapter tells you what to budget for.
Chapter 7: How to get a mortgage
This covers going solo (if you’re ultra-confident), the two KEY questions to ask a broker, and how to find a top broker. Chances are that using the right type of broker will be the best bet for most people, as they can whittle down the top deals quickly and offer you an extra layer of protection if things go wrong.
Chapter 8: Watch out for the hard sell on…
To compensate for lower profits on headline mortgage rates, some lenders have upped prices on associated insurance products. This chapter tells you the insurance policies you may face, the hard sell on, what you should expect to pay, and how to find the cheapest products.
Chapter 9: First-time buyers’ quick Q&A
Will the lender lend on your property? What paperwork will you need to get together? How long should you get your mortgage to run for, and why is the APR useless? This chapter covers the answers to these and more questions you may have about buying your first home.
It’s the end of the guide, but not the end of the mortgage journey. You’ll need to monitor your mortgage, like you would with any financial product. Be on the lookout for good deals, especially if you need to remortgage in a few years.
But – in the meantime – happy hunting… and why not check out what mortgage rates are currently available to first-time buyers with the MoneySavingExpert Mortgage Best Buys.