Are you a first time buyer? Thinking about taking the first step onto the property ladder in 2022?

If so, one of the most important steps is to understand your financial position. Get this step right, and you’ll be able to search with confidence, safe in the knowledge that you know exactly what is within your budget.

If you’re looking to get your finances in order for your first home purchase, we’ve put together a short guide with our top tips to make it more straightforward to go from house hunter to homeowner.

1. Check your credit score

Whenever you spend money on a credit card, take out a car loan or apply for a mortgage, lenders will look at your financial history to check that you will be able to pay back the money you want to borrow. The information is collated together and categorised to give you an overall ‘credit score’.

There are a number of free websites where you can check your own credit score. And it pays to spend some time improving it.

For example, are you up to date on all loan and credit card repayments? Is your address up to date with all the financial firms you deal with? Are you also listed on the electoral roll? Checking these points should help ensure that your profile does not raise any red flags to lenders, making them more likely to offer you a mortgage.

2. Find out how much you can afford

It is a good idea to talk to an independent financial advisor before you begin your house search. This will help to give you an idea of how much you can afford and what your maximum budget will be.

On the one hand, this will give you the ability to search with confidence, knowing exactly which properties will be within your reach. And on the other, it will make you a more attractive buyer if the seller knows you have checked your position and are serious about a purchase. In many cases, it can be worth getting a mortgage agreed in principle before you begin your house search, to put you in the best position to secure a new home.

3. Boost your deposit

The deposit is the percentage of the purchase price of the home that you have available in cash. Having a larger deposit usually means that you will either be able to afford a larger property, or secure a lower interest rate on your mortgage.

There are a few ways you might be able to boost your deposit amount before buying your first home. Many first-time buyers are lucky enough to have parents who are willing to help them top up their deposit. For others, some little changes could add up over time and help you save a larger deposit: making your morning coffee at home instead of buying it from a coffee shop, cycling to work instead of driving, or switching any savings into a high-interest ISA could help top up your deposit.

4. Every little helps to buy

The Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme is available on the remaining two-bedroom apartments in The Navigator Building, at Brabazon. The Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme is a government-backed initiative which enables first time buyers to buy with a deposit of just 5%. You can secure an interest-free loan of up to 20% of the property purchase price from the government for 5 years, meaning that you might be able to afford more than you thought!

At Brabazon we have a range of two-bedroom apartments available with Help to Buy, as well as three and four-bedroom homes, so you're bound to find something that suits most budgets. Register your interest with our New Homes Consultants today, who can guide you every step of the way from viewing our Show Home to reserving your first property.