I've saved my deposit, but what's next?

If you’re in the process of saving up a deposit to buy your first property and making the exciting leap onto the property ladder, you’ll likely have lots of questions you need answered.


You’ll be pleased to hear that most people who are in your position have the very same questions, so we’ve answered some common questions on how to get started.


Who should be my first point of contact when looking to buy my first house?

Firstly, your mortgage adviser will be able to advise on how much you can expect to borrow and how much of a deposit you’ll need. Next, you’ll need to speak to your solicitor who can provide you with guidance on the current market, assess what you can afford to offer, submit notes of interest, offer on your behalf and guide you through all the legal elements to completion.

What happens when I am ready to make an offer on a property?

Notify your solicitor as soon as possible and they will be able to submit a note of interest on your behalf so you will be kept up to date if a closing date is set. Your solicitor will be able to find out if the property you’re after has attracted any other interest and they can advise you to submit an offer for immediate acceptance.

What does “conclusion of missives mean”?

Missives are the legal documents which are signed by both the buyer and the seller to conclude the sale. Once signed, the seller is legally obliged to sell the property and the buyer must pay the agreed sum on the agreed date.  You’ll be asked to submit your deposit or additional funds to a specific bank account ahead of the entry date. Your solicitor will then contact your mortgage adviser to request the mortgage funds.


How long does it take to obtain a mortgage?

This process can take a few weeks to be approved so it is best to allow six to eight weeks’ time from offer acceptance to move in date.

What is the minimum deposit required to be successful in gaining your first mortgage?

This varies depending on the lender and mortgage type, but 5% is usually the minimum.

I have heard that in Scotland there is a scheme that involves first time buyers only needing a 5% deposit?

A mortgage which is supported by the Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee scheme, for new build or existing homes anywhere in the UK priced up to £600,000, works exactly the same way as any other mortgage except that with the scheme, the Government offers the lenders the option to purchase a guarantee on the mortgage loan. This allows lenders taking part in the scheme to offer property buyers mortgages at a value of 80 to 95%. So, if you have a 5% deposit, you can take out, and pay back, a 95% mortgage providing you can afford the mortgage and you do not have a history of payment difficulties.

What fees are there associated with getting a mortgage?

There can sometimes be an arrangement fee with different mortgage products which can be up to £2,000. You can often choose whether to pay the arrangement fee upfront or add it to your monthly repayments, however it’s worth noting that choosing the latter option means that you will pay interest on the fee. There may also be a fee if you use a financial adviser. A CHAPS fee is also required to be paid and includes the lender’s costs for sending the mortgage funds to your solicitor to allow them to pay for the property on your behalf.

Is there an option to increase mortgage payments should my financial circumstances change in the future?

Most mortgages offer a 10% overpayment facility on your current monthly repayments. If you exceed this amount, there is often a charge, known as an early repayment charge. The advantage of overpaying is that you will be able to pay off your mortgage balance more quickly.

What happens to my mortgage if I decide to sell up and buy a new home?

Most mortgages are portable, meaning they can be transferred from the property which you originally borrowed against to the home you want to move to, so moving house is not a problem. However lenders will want to value the property and there may be a fee to pay for the transfer, typically a few hundred pounds. One of the advantages of moving home is that it provides an opportunity to look for a better mortgage deal. Speak to your adviser about any deals they may have for you keeping your mortgage with them, but be aware that loyalty does not always pay off. Your mortgage adviser will be able to tell you whether it is better for you to pay up any early redemption penalties and move lenders or to stay put until any fixed rate periods are finished.

To find more information for first time buyers, visit our website at espc.com/useful-info