First time buying

The average age of first time buyers has risen to almost 40!

But don’t despair! There are now LOADS of schemes available to help first time buyers get on the property ladder

You need to save as much as you can to get a standard mortgage BUT with some schemes, the magic number is just 5%

Once you have 5% of the value of your new home schemes like Help to Buy and Shared Ownership could give you a leg up onto the property ladder


Help to Buy

Help to Buy: Equity Loan-  This is a government loan for up to the value of 20% of your new home. It is interest free for 5 years. You will still have to provide a deposit of 5% and get a mortgage for the remaining 75%. This is also available for people wanting to move up the property ladder BUT it only applies to selected houses and developments. Contact your local Help to Buy agent to apply

Help to Buy: Shared Ownership (also known as part rent part buy) - A scheme where you buy part of your new home (eg 25%) and pay rent on the rest. This means you only need a deposit and mortgage for the amount you are buying. You can then ‘staircase’ and gradually buy the rest of your home. Contact your local Help to Buy agent to apply

It’s VERY easy to get more information about what is available in the area you want to buy. Help to Buy England has details of agents and local events. Click for more information on schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland


Help to buy ISA

As of the 2015 March budget the government has launched a fantastic new ISA designed to help first time buyers

From December 1st 2015 the Treasury will give you £50 a month for every £200 you save up to a maximum of £3000!

Banks offering the ISA include Nationwide, NatWest, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and Virgin Money.

The Help-to-Buy ISA scheme expires 30 November 2019 and you must use your bonus by 1 December 2030.

Take a look at this factographic for the full details

You can also read our full summary of the announcement here


Lifetime ISA

In April 2017, a new ISA is launching called the Lifetime ISA. The new ISA will give you a 25% bonus on top of anything you save.

First-time buyers will be able to save up to £4,000 a year, either as a lump sum or by putting cash in gradually. The state will then add 25% extra on top.

The bonus will be paid annually in the 2017/18 tax year, and then monthly from April 2018. You'll also get interest on top of the state bonus.

The maximum bonus you can get is £32,000 - which is a significant chunk in the era of rising house prices!

The Lifetime ISA can be used for one of two things. The first is for first-time buyers to put towards their first residential property, providing they've had the ISA for 12 months. The second is to take the money out and use it in retirement after you turn 60

With both options, there is no tax to pay when you take the money out.

For more information, you can visit the Government's page here


Need to know

  • Make sure you have paid off debts (excluding any student loans) and saved a separate emergency fund before you drain your savings buying your new home
  • Apart from your deposit you will also need to save for other fees including: Stamp duty (1-15% of the property’s value), Arrangement fees charged by the lender (£0-£2000), Legal fees (vary), a Survey (£100-£1000+) and  Land registry fees (£50- £920). You can check your expected Stamp Duty below
  • If you only have 5% have a look at the Help to Buy schemes BUT these will restrict the deals you can get on your mortgage, if you are able to put together a larger deposit you will be able to access mortgages with lower interest rates
  • If you live in a big city have a look at ex-council properties, which are often very central and much cheaper than surrounding houses. Don't focus on the outside, it could be gorgeous inside!
  • Consider borrowing from the Bank of Mum and Dad, or Grandma and Grandad, or Aunty and Uncle... Any interest free lump sums you can borrow from family or friends will help you put together a larger deposit. But DO set up a payment plan so they know when they can expect their money back
  • To get the BEST mortgage deal, you need a deposit of at least 20% (so an 80% mortgage). Look out for 90% mortgages which will have MUCH higher interest rates. If you only have 5-10% for a deposit, look at Help to Buy and Lend a Hand schemes
  • Look locally, Lloyds TSB and Leeds Building Society have joined with local authorities to offer the Local Lend a Hand/ Helping Hand Mortgages. If your local authority is participating, you may be able to get access to mortgages with better rates for just a 5% deposit
  • A Helper Mortgage (called Lend a Hand at Lloyds and Family Springboard at Barclays and Woolwich) is where a helper allows you to gain access to better rates, by transfering their savings into a savings account held by your mortgage provider to act as insurance until the end of your deal (which could be as long as 5 years)
  • A Guarantor Mortgage is where your guarantor agrees to meet your repayments if you are unable to, again this will get you access to better rates

Mortgage broker

We recommend that you speak to a mortgage broker. However before you start it might be worth gathering some important information first.

Before you speak to anyone you should work out roughly what you can afford to buy. Most lenders will take your income into account but also any debts.

How much can I borrow?

Your income (Gross p.a.):


Your partner's income (Gross p.a.):


Based on the Information you have given us you could borrow between

£ and £

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It is a good idea to work out your budget and how much you can afford to pay each month.

How much will it cost?

How much do you want to borrow?


Interest rate?


How long do you want to borrow the money for?


Based on the Information you have given us your monthly costs will be:

Repayment: £

Interest Only: £

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Call London and Country and they can say how much you could save on your mortgage

Request a callback:

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Fee-free mortgage broker

London and Country

Why we like it:

  • FEE-FREE advice on 0800 953 0591
  • contactable 7 days a week
  • excellent iPhone App

Watch out:

  • whilst they are still able to call themselves ‘whole of market’ brokers, some lenders no longer allow their deals to be accessed by brokers

Call London and Country for FEE-FREE advise on 0800 9530591 to see how much you could save on your mortgage.


Go Direct

Remember, there are some mortgage providers who don't use or appear on comparison sites so make sure you check direct with a few to make sure that you are getting the very best rate outside of comparison providers


Local mortgage advisor

You could also try looking for an independent mortgage adviser in your area


Why we like it:

  • FREE to use website
  • many local advisors offer great personal service
  • some advisors come to your househouse

Watch out:

  • some advisers may charge a large fee

The inside track

  • Lenders may like to see that you have a budget planner in place to manage your outgoings each month. This is also a great way to see if there is a way to reduce your outgoings (and possibly save more for your deposit at the same time).
  • Choose where you keep your savings wisely. You may be able to grow them tax free or save with a lender who will then offer you preferential rates on their mortgages
  • Current plans include a government scheme to help people with a 5% deposit by across the market
  • When you get a mortgage make a note of when your deal ends and MAKE SURE you remortgage and find a better deal, this WILL save you THOUSANDS

Stamp duty calculator

Purchase price of property


Stamp duty on a property worth £ will be £

You have indicated you are a first time buyer, you will need to ensure you match the goverment criteria in order to benifit from the lower stamp duty band between £125,000 and £250,000

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Call London and Country and they can say how much you could save on your mortgage

Request a callback:

Please enter your contact details to arrange a call back

Book call

Call London & Country:


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