First Time Buyers

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First Time Buyer mortgages – what you need to know

Getting ready to buy your first home is exciting, but there’s a lot to think about. Even learning all the terminology can take a while.  

At Total Home Loans we help First Time Buyers understand each step in the property journey, including how much they can borrow and finding mortgages that offer a good deal.

What is a First Time Buyer mortgage?

Mortgages are targeted at either First Time Buyers or Home Movers. The process can be slightly different depending on whether you’ve had a mortgage before. 

A First Time Buyer mortgage is a very general term – there’s no specific product for new buyers. Choose any type of mortgage: fixed rate, variable rate, repayment or interest-only mortgages. You can also decide how long your mortgage term will be. The norm is 25 years, but various terms are available.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each mortgage type – we’ll help you narrow down the options.

How much can a First Time Buyer borrow?

Finding out how much you could borrow is a vital step towards owning a home. It will set your property budget so that you can start looking at homes for sale. 

Lenders generally offer around four times your annual income. You will also need a deposit – ideally at least 10% of the home’s value. A mortgage calculator will help you explore your potential loan amount and monthly mortgage payments. 

How much deposit does a First Time Buyer need?

Any mortgage will require a cash down-payment called a deposit. The average deposit is around 10%, but some mortgage lenders will accept 5%. If you reach 15% or 20%, you will get better interest rates and lower monthly payments. 

What is an Agreement in Principle?

This is a statement from a mortgage lender that they will – in theory – lend you a certain amount to buy a home.

It gives you good credibility with sellers and estate agents. It shows you’re serious about buying a house and can get a mortgage. You can ask a lender for an Agreement in Principle and they will run a few checks on you. The agreement is free and usually valid for 30 or 90 days.

It’s not a binding agreement though – you will need to put in a full mortgage application once you’ve found a property you want to buy. 

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How do I check my credit score?

Your credit rating is very important when you’re ready to get a mortgage deal. If you‘ve run into debt in the past you may have a poor credit score. Bad credit can mean lenders are less likely to accept you – or they’ll offer you higher mortgage rates.

Check your credit rating online and look at the details. Sometimes a poor score is down to an error. But if you do have bad credit, you may still get a mortgage offer. It will be easier if your debt issues are a couple of years in the past. Research ‘bad credit mortgages’ for more information on this.

Speak To An Expert

Total Home Loans are a national mortgage broker with whole of market access. Their combined experience of over 50 years in the mortgage and financial services industry means they have an enviable reputation and one which makes them well-placed to find the most suitable mortgage solution for you.

Can I improve my credit rating?

If your credit score isn’t too good there are a few quick wins. First check with your local council that you’re on the electoral roll – it’s a basic requirement for credit. 

Generally, your rating will improve if you avoid going overdrawn, you always pay bills on time and stay well within your credit card limits. It also helps if you can stay at the same address for a while. 

Support for First Time Buyers

A few government-led ownership schemes are designed to help First Time Buyers own a home: 

Help to Buy –  Shared Ownership 

With Shared Ownership you can buy a 10% share in some homes and pay rent on the rest. You can increase the size of your share over time.

Right to Buy 

If you are a council or Housing Association tenant, the Right to Buy scheme helps you buy a home with a good discount. The longer you’ve rented, the bigger the discount.

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How can a Mortgage Broker help First Time Buyers?

It can be really helpful for First Time Buyers to talk to a Mortgage Broker. As mortgage experts we’ll help you through every stage, from setting your property budget and checking your credit rating to comparing deals and applying for a mortgage.

We’re here for all your questions too: see us as your First Time Buyer guides. Ask us about anything from stamp duty to legal fees and insurance cover. Our offices are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday – so get in touch!

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Kevin Franklin

May 31, 2022


Very professional company. I’m 63 Years old and was having trouble sorting any kind of mortgage but Mark from Total Home Loans saved the day. please do not hesitate to contact them first as I wasted a lot of time hunting around for others.

Well done Mark and the team, the number 1 company.

Lolita Cooksley

May 16, 2022


Very professional fast efficient service and really caring and genuine people to deal with. They have helped us with our mortgage twice and been great both times.

We wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in future.

Karin Salmons

May 16, 2022


Thanks to Total Home Loans and their patience, care and understanding, along with their skill and kindness, my partner and myself are now home owners something I never thought would happen,

Please even if you think it’s not something you can achieve give Total Home Loans a call they will work for you.

Again thank you all at Total Homes Loans.

Arfan Ramzan

May 5, 2022


Great service, I tried so many brokers but no one could help but Total Home Loans were the only ones who found me a lender. It was really hard to find someone, I went to 8 brokers all found online with there so called promising words trying to bring customers in still no good for me but Total Home Loans got the job done, excellent service, will recommend 💯💯💯 and there was no fee till all applications was complete unlike some brokers.

Steve Greenfield

May 4, 2022


Very happy with my experience with Total Home Loans. Very professional company, were always quick to reply and action whatever was needed.

Will definitely be back! I’ve already recommended them to a friend and they had the same positive experience that I had.

Why Total Home Loans?


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