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How To Compare Mortgage Rates For First-Time Buyers

Mar 9, 2008
There was once upon a time when finishing your degree, settling down and getting married producing children along the way was as simple as one, two and three - or so I had once thought. The whole process is just as daunting, if not difficult, as it is to buy your own house. I have recently discovered that every time I sit down to compare mortgage prices, I am left dazed and confused even more so than when I was before I had sat down to research.

Now I have found a system and instead of facing the bombardment of information, one should start by researching finance and mortgage advice forums. I would even consider talking to people who are experienced and have experienced the woes of first-time buying. I found those who had bought a house or flat recently or within the last two years to be more helpful than those who had purchased a house ten years ago.

The first step is to work out how much you can afford. It is good to write down how much you can afford to pay off on a mortgage, as well as knowing how much all other fees are going to be for example stamp duty, solicitors fee, insurance costs and valuation fees. When you compare mortgage rates, you will find many different options, so take into account of the extra costs and what you are likely to spend on that. The right mortgage for you is dependent on your annual salary and employment circumstances.

Consider whether you will need to save for a deposit, if you do not have a savings are you able to gain help from your family, or would a one hundred percent mortgage suit you better? This option is not always the most financially safe route, however, most first-time buyers will not have a large sum of money to pay up-front and therefore this option would be ideal.

Ask yourself whether you prefer to have a fixed rate mortgage or a variable rate? Are you able to afford the interest only or can you afford the capital as well? Research the risks involved in each of these options then you are more likely to have a good advantage when actually searching for your ideal home.

The next thing you will need to do is to be realistic and calculate how much you qualify to borrow and find out what type of house/apartment you are able to afford with this amount. There is no use in expecting to buy a large house on your own, if you can only afford a small flat. Price ranges vary dramatically, so have a look at what would be value for money and what is going to be simply a purchase for the post-code!

If you find your own researching is confusing you, you should seek expert advice from your bank, estate agent or independent mortgage advisor. They are the best people to approach and they more than happy to help you calculate the costs of everything as well as finding the right mortgage for you. However, some advisors will charge and others will give you this advice for free. Be careful not to be pushed into a corner of accepting their offer as some use this as an advantage to sell you their product.
About the Author
Anna Stenning has become an expert on how to compare mortgage rates, having spent a year trying to save and find the right mortgage for herself. For more on mortgage advice and rates visit http://www.hartmortgages.com/
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