Paul Demarco, an independent mortgage adviser with ESPC Mortgages provides five essential mortgage tips for those buying a home for the first time.

For many first time buyers and home movers, the first question they are likely to ask is “how much can I borrow?”. This is often followed by “what is the best deal I can get?”. The answers to both questions are not that straightforward, unfortunately.

In today’s mortgage market, affordability is carefully scrutinised, meaning how much you’re able to borrow doesn’t just depend on your income. Instead, lenders will carefully check your credit record and your financial commitments.

As for the best deal, it depends on your finances and preferences as well as your attitude to risk and your life stage.

With some careful budgeting and the right advice prior to applying for a mortgage, you can boost your borrowing power and ensure you get the right deal for your needs.

Here are some top mortgage tips for first time buyers:

1. Increase your deposit

Increasing your deposit by just a small amount can boost you into the next loan to value band, meaning that you might benefit from a better interest rate.

2. Register on the electoral roll

You should ensure that you are registered on the electoral roll at your current address, as this can have a bearing on your credit score.

3. Overpay where you can

Once you have a mortgage in place, if your mortgage product allows it, utilise the overpayment facility. You will be surprised at how much difference even a small overpayment can make on a monthly basis when it comes to the total interest over the lifetime term of your mortgage.

4. Opt for a fixed rate

As we are currently in a low interest rate cycle and mortgage product affordability is close to record lows, it can make sense to fix your mortgage rate for a specific term as you can achieve stability of payments over the fixed rate periods.

5. Boost your credit score

If you’re looking to buy right now and do not have a good credit score, you should do as much as you can to change that. As mentioned above, registering on the electoral roll at your current address can help.
You could also consider taking out a credit card and use it as much as you can to purchase small items while making sure to make any repayments within the appropriate timescales. You should also generally make sure none of your payments are ever late, including rent and bills as this could have an adverse effect on your credit rating.

ESPC Mortgages

If you’re buying your first home and looking for mortgage advice, get in touch with ESPC Mortgages. As independent mortgage advisers, ESPC Mortgages can help with all aspects of understanding your budget, applying for a mortgage and dealing with the relevant insurance requirements.
Pop in for a no-obligation chat with me or one of the team at our Edinburgh Property Information Centre or contact us on 0131 253 2920 or fsenquiries@espc.com

Get more advice about buying your first home

Whether you’ve decided to buy your home with a friend or on your own, you can start searching for your dream property on ESPC today. Also, find out how ESPC helps you find your new home first.

It's worth checking out other useful articles which will give you more information about buying your first home. 

How much can I afford to borrow 

How to boost your credit score

Can I get a 5% deposit mortgage

First time buyer ISAs

Mortgage calculator 

Try out the ESPC Mortgage Calculator to get an idea of what you can afford to borrow and what your monthly repayments will be.

Find the right mortgage for your circumstance using our deals comparison tool.

The information contained in this article is provided in good faith. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of the information, no responsibility is accepted for any errors which, despite our precautions, it may contain.
The initial consultation with an adviser is free and without obligation. Thereafter, ESPC Mortgages charges for mortgage advice are usually £350 (£295 for first time buyers). YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER LOANS SECURED AGAINST IT.