First Time Buyers – #1 Where do I start?

Buying a house is often the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. To make the process as stress-free as possible, it is essential to have the correct information to ensure you are informed when making any decisions. 
You can speed up your house-buying process by knowing which questions to ask, understanding what your rights are and acting on your responsibilities as a buyer.
We’ve written a four-part blog series aimed directly at First Time Buyers to ensure you are fully prepared, for your first purchase! 
Part 1 covers your finances and getting pre-qualified, in order to buy your first home…


Most mortgage lenders require a minimum deposit of 10% of the total value of a property, and they will loan the remaining cost.
For example, if you wanted to buy a property for £200,000 with a 90% mortgage, you would need a £20,000 deposit and the remaining £180,000 will be loaned from the mortgage lender (ie. Halifax, Natwest etc).
In some cases, particularly if you are using a Help to Buy Scheme*, mortgage lenders may only require a 5% deposit. However, we advise discussing your options with a mortgage broker, as a lower deposit amount will affect your monthly repayments.
To find out more, click here: Help to Buy *Terms & Conditions Apply

Credit Score

The higher the score, the more likely it is that you will get a loan and a lower interest rate. Be sure to take care when reviewing reports and get any mistakes fixed and if your score isn’t where you want it to be, try to take any necessary steps to fix it.


We understand that mortgage calculators can be confusing and provide varying amounts, due to being based on variable terms and inputted information. For an accurate discussion on affordability, we recommend speaking to a mortgage broker as your first port of call. You’ll also need to consider the additional costs of buying a property, such as conveyancing, surveys, moving costs and stamp duty.

Mortgage Broker

Before you fall in love with a home that you are not qualified to buy, book an appointment with a mortgage broker. They will discuss all of your options in detail and provide thorough advice. Most mortgage brokers have access to deals from numerous different mortgage lenders, so will often find you the best rate available.
Please note, you’ll need historic paperwork for this part (payslips, photo ID, bank statements from all your accounts, two years of tax returns if you’re self-employed and other documentation).

Agreement in Principle

An Agreement in Principle (AIP), or sometimes referred to as a Decision in Principle (DIP), indicates a specified amount the mortgage lender will lend you towards a property purchase (ie. £180,000). A mortgage broker will source this for you and estate agents require evidence of this before you make an offer, and in most cases, before showing you available properties. 

If you need extra support or assistance, our experts will be happy to help! For example: providing you with removals quotes or putting you in touch with a trusted mortgage broker such as South West Mortgages. Contact us here: Richard James Estate Agents Swindon | Sales and Lettings – Richard James Estate Agents
That’s the end of part 1! We hope that you’ve found this useful and would recommend taking action on these 5 steps, as soon as you are thinking about buying your first property. 
If you’ve completed these steps or you’re wanting to learn more about the process of buying your first home, please continue onto part 2 of our four-part blog series. Click here.

Compare listings


Book a valuation with us

Please fill in the simple form and we will contact you to arrange a no-obligation valuation on your property as soon as we receive the details.

Not quite ready for a valuation? 

Thank you for signing up and referring a friend

Your details have been submitted successfully.