First Time Buyers

How much deposit do I need to buy a house?

Before you even start looking at properties, you should save for a deposit. Generally, you need to save at least 5% of the cost of the home, but the larger percentage you have saved, the more mortgage deals will be available to you.

It's a great idea to book a mortgage appointment, as this would give you a great indication of how much deposit you should save up.

How negotiable are house prices when making an offer?

Depending how long the property has been on the market, the seller could become increasingly keen to sell. Both parties should be and usually are flexible, and if you can demonstrate to the state agent that you are in a position to move quickly, for example you have raised a deposit, the seller may be more inclined to accept.

How do I know I am getting a fair deal?

Do your research. Check to see what other houses have sold for in the area and on the same street.

What extra costs should I budget for?

On top of your deposit and monthly mortgage repayment, remember, there are plenty of other costs that need budgeting for.

These include:

  • The cost of a survey
  • Solicitor or conveyancer fee
  • Hiring a removal firm
  • Buildings and contents insurance
  • Initial repairs and refurbishment, as well as new furniture and appliances
  • Mortgage arrangement fees

What does the estate agent do?

The estate agent should provide you with all of the relevant information about making an offer for the property. Remember, they act for the seller and not for you. To get a price that you are happy with you may have to be prepared to negotiate.

If my offer has been accepted, can the seller change their mind?

There is always a possibility of gazumping; this is where the seller of the property goes back on their agreement with the buyer and accepts a higher offer from someone else.

This is perfectly legal in England even after your offer has been accepted, except if you have bought at auction or with a sealed bid.

Gazundering also exists, where the buyer forces the seller to accept a lower offer. This generally takes place just before everything is about to be finalised and the buyer threatens to pull out of the purchase if the seller does not accept the lower offer.

What is the Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme?

With a Help to Buy: Equity Loan the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest.

You won’t be charged loan fees on the 20% loan for the first five years of owning your home. The scheme is open to both first-time buyers and movers, and restricted to new-build homes.

Under this scheme, the buyer is only required to raise 5% of the property value as a deposit. Find out more at cumberland.co.uk/mortgages/help-to-buy.

What other financial products do I need to consider?

Our mortgage and protection advisor will be available to discuss all the products with you in more detail, but it is important that your house and mortgage are protected against all eventualities.

The most common products that buyers should consider are:

Buildings & Contents Insurance

This helps protect you against certain damage/theft happening to the property and its contents. Buildings insurance is compulsory on any mortgaged property.

Life Assurance / Critical Illness

Simply put, this is designed to help your family meet the mortgage responsibility should you die. You can also take critical illness cover as well, which would repay your new mortgage in the event of certain critical illnesses.

What if my circumstances change?

Once your mortgage begins, you’re not obliged to tell your lender of any changes in your circumstances - provided you are able to maintain your monthly mortgage payments.

If you are likely to struggle, however, you should inform them immediately – they should be able to help you rather than leaving the situation to worsen or lead to missed payments.

How much can I borrow?

It really depends on your personal circumstances, such as your income and personal living expenses. Use our online mortgage calculator to find out a rough idea of what you could potentially borrow.

Make sure to view our useful first-time buyer hub for everything you need to know when buying your first home.

Looking for more information?

We've put together a really useful guide with 8 easy steps to owning your own home, from finding the perfect property and the mortgage process right through to the big move and everything in-between!
Download our first-time buyer guide
Your mortgage is secured on your home. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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