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What Options Do First Time Buyers Have In The Current 'Credit Crunch' Market?

Mar 7, 2008
The average cost of a house in the UK is now 130,000 this can be a pretty daunting figure for first-time buyers. But there are still options for first time buyers in the current market.

The first option may or may not be suitable for you, but it's something worth considering. In the North of England, the average house is price considerably lower than in the south, especially compared to the southeast. The gap is nowhere near as great as it used to be, but 5% deposit on 90,000 may be an easier option, with lower monthly mortgage payments.

Under new tax rules, there is a tax exemption scheme known as 'Rent-a-Room', which will allow you to earn 4,600 each year by renting out one room in your home. This additional income is often taken into account when lenders are considering giving you a mortgage. They may allow you up to four times that income, which would add nearly 20,000 to the size of the mortgage you could obtain.

Another common practice is to buy a property jointly with a friend, or maybe your brother or sister. This requires a legal agreement properly drawn up which takes into account how much cash each person is investing in the property. This is in terms of amounts of cash deposit, and also if the mortgage payments are equally split or not. This is essential to avoid arguments, should you have a disagreement or when you sell the property.

If you're fortunate and your family have a little money set aside. You may be able to ask them to contribute towards the deposit amount. Another way they could assist you is by acting as guarantor for your loan. But this would mean that if you cannot make the payments they would become obliged to make them for you.

One of the better options for first time buyers in the current market could be to purchase a brand new property. The advantage of a new property is that it comes with all new fixtures and fittings. And will be in good condition, requiring little maintenance. Many builders will now give very generous deals for first-time buyers.

Properties previously owned by the local council are usually of very solid construction with good size rooms. They potentially offer excellent value for money in comparison to houses that have always been private.

Shared ownership schemes are now becoming popular, and are run by housing associations all over the country. They are set up to help people on lower incomes who want to become property owners. Under this type of scheme, you only buy a share in the house of for example, 50%. You then only need a mortgage for 50% of the value of the property.

You will also have to pay rent on the other half of the house, but this is usually set at a much reduced rate. Over time you can buy more shares in your house up to the full 100%. When the house is sold you are entitled to your share, for example 50%, including half of the profit.

Auctions can provide interesting options for first time buyers in the current market. Properties that are sold via auction very often sell for far less than if the same house was sold by the local estate agent. It will be possible for you to view properties before they are auctioned. It is necessary to arrange a mortgage before bidding, and you will be required to put down a deposit if you are the successful bidder of around 10%.

The usual amount of the deposit required by banks and building societies is a minimum of 5%. They require this not so much because they want you to have the money to put down. It is more a case of you proving that you can put by a regular amount of money every month for a couple of years. That says to them that you are both disciplined and serious about your mortgage commitment.

Not all options for first time buyers in the current market require a deposit, someone lenders will now offer 100% mortgages to first-time buyers. Interest rates tend to be, slightly higher than if you had put down a deposit.

There are even a handful of lenders that may allow the first-time buyer slightly more than 100% of the value at the house. This is to cover such things as legal fees. On the surface this can be a good deal, the only drawback is that some companies will impose what are known as, indemnity premiums, which can be quite high.

As you can see from everything above, there are still options for first time buyers in the current market. And a capable broker should be in a position to assist you to find a suitable mortgage, depending upon your situation.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for Glitec.org, offering loans in the UK, visit them today for mortgages or for US residents, Rebuild for mortgages
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