Five expert tips to help you buy your first home – including best mortgage schemes

From knowing how much deposit to save, to making the use of first-time buyer schemes, we speak to the Co-operative Bank to round up everything you need to know about getting a mortgage

A mortgage is essentially money you borrow to purchase a home(Getty Images)

Getting a mortgage and taking your first step on the property ladder can feel like a daunting task.

Interest rates have been hiked from 0.1% to 5.25% meaning you’re paying more in interest on your mortgage. House prices have shot up too, with the average home in the UK now costing £284,691, according to Land Registry data.

But there is help out there if you’re struggling to save, or you don’t know where to get started when it comes to mortgages. Warren Cain, Head of Mortgage Products at The Co-operative Bank, has shared five tips to help you on your journey.

They said: “If you’re planning to buy your first home, the very first step is to save up money for a deposit. Typically, you’ll need to save a minimum of 10% of the cost of the property you want to buy. There are government schemes available to help you do this, like the Lifetime ISA (LISA).

“You’ll also need to figure out how much you can afford to spend and create a budget. You can use tools like our mortgage calculator to see what property price you could afford or what your monthly mortgage repayment could be. Don’t forget to factor in extra costs too, like conveyancing and surveying fees.

“Finally, first time buyers especially could benefit from using a broker. They can help you find the best mortgage to suit your needs, and explain how the market works.”

Save up for a deposit

The very first step is to save up for a deposit. You typically need to save a minimum of 10% of the cost of the property you want to buy – so for example, if the place you’ve got your eye on costs £250,000, then you’d need to save £25,000 for the deposit.

It may be possible to get a mortgage with a 5% deposit but the rates you’ll be offered normally won’t be as good. As you’re borrowing more, you’ll also generally pay more overall in interest. As mortgage lenders tend to offer lower interest rates to people with bigger deposits, the more you can save, the better.

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