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Outlook Upbeat For First Time Buyers

Jan 19, 2008
For the past several years, most first time buyers have had little hope of climbing that first rung on the property ladder. Soaring property values and the snapping up of available inventory by over-zealous investors have been difficult obstacles for first time buyers to overcome.

But now that the UK property market is showing signs of cooling, 2008 might be the best time in a long time for first time buyers. If you've been sitting on the sidelines, now is the time to take action. There's a lot to do and you'll want to get it all done so you can make a firm offer the moment the perfect property comes onto market.

Here's a checklist that'll help prepare you for that property ladder ascent:

Set aside money for the deposit AND buying costs

If you haven't done so already, now is the time to track all spending and cut any that doesn't get you closer to your goal of owning property. It's a lot easier to forgo those new shoes and CDs when you've got your priorities in order. Today 100% mortgages are a rarity. With lending standards tightening, lenders want to see that you're committed to property ownership and the best way to show that commitment is with an adequate deposit.

How much is enough? Expect to put down about 20% of a property's negotiated selling price. Don't forget that you'll need additional funds to cover buying costs including solicitor fees, mortgage set-up fees, removals, and possibly stamp duty, too.

Understand the mortgage options available for first time buyers

The Government understands the difficulties first time buyers face. That's why it has created several home ownership schemes targeted at this market. Some schemes are only available in certain areas or to certain groups so start researching your options now while you're not under any pressure.

Some first time home ownership schemes worth investigating include: Conventional Shared Ownership; Do-It-Yourself Shared Ownership; Homebuy; Rent-to-Buy; Graduate; Guarantor First Time Buyer; and Key Worker Homebuy. There are others and only you know which is best for your situation. Learning the particulars of the various types of mortgages can be a daunting task, but the resulting knowledge is definitely well worth the investment of your time.

Get your credit in order

You won't be approved for any mortgage, regardless of the type, until a check of your creditworthiness is completed. If you haven't personally checked your credit history recently, do so now. Immediately start correcting discrepancies so lenders won't base their decisions on potentially incorrect information later on.

Have realistic expectations

Finally, be realistic so you don't end up with property and/or a situation that's not right. Decide what's important in your life. Do you want a shorter commute? Will you truly be comfortable co-owning property? Do you really have the time and money to make renovations on your newly purchased property?

You'll never truly "settle" if you end up settling for the wrong property.

Find more useful information for first time buyers at www.propertyflaunt.com.
About the Author
Adam Labno is a UK property investor who has a passion for property and helping home-owners and sellers in providing cost cutting property solutions.Owner of U.K property business' including Property Flaunt, for which this article is marketed for, in bringing full transparencey to the UK market.
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