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Home Buying Tips for First Time Buyers

Posted on 21 February 2018
Home Buying Tips for First Time Buyers

Buying your first home can be a daunting experience, it is a big investment and knowing how to wade the unknown waters can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. At Aria Residential we work with first time buyers every day, offering helpful advice and tips to help make the purchase process easier and as stress free as buying a home can be!

We’ve compiled a list below to help you make an informed purchase.


The first step on your home buying journey is saving for a deposit. Generally, you need to try and save between a minimum of 5% and 15% of the cost of the home you would like to buy. The bigger a deposit you have, the stronger your offer will be when you place that all important bid on your first home. Saving more than 5% will also give you a wider range of mortgage deals to choose from so you can make the best decision that works for you. Martin Lewis of advises looking into a Help To Buy ISA if you are a first-time buyer saving for your mortgage deposit. You can earn up to 2.53% interest tax-free and then the government will add 25% on top of the amount you save. For more information on the Help to Buy ISA, follow this link

Advice/Applying for a Mortgage

Finding out how much a mortgage lender will let you borrow is a significant, and one of the most important steps in the purchase of your
new home. Unless you are a cash buyer, you will require a mortgage to purchase a home. Do your research! Before you head out to meet with mortgage advisers/lenders, investigate the mortgage market.  First time buyers have access to the same mortgage products as seasoned buyers, but there are now so many more government schemes, incentives and initiatives to help first time buyers get on the
property market. Be informed. Few lenders will offer actual mortgages if you do not have a property in place to buy, so what you are looking to achieve is a mortgage in principle. CDF Financial Services can offer this service The MIP lets you know provisionally, how much you can borrow subject to finding a suitable home. Most estate agents will ask you for proof of funds, i.e. your deposit and proof of an MIP when you place an offer on a home. Having these in place is a big advantage.

At Aria Residential, we work with our sister company CDF Financial who can offer comprehensive financial services and who will work to find you a range of tailored mortgages to make sure you get the right loan for your circumstances.

Budgeting for Extra Costs

A lot of first time buyers get caught up in the process of saving for a deposit and getting a mortgage that they forget about the extra costs associated with buying a home. While the deposit will likely be the largest outlay of monies you will pay when buying your first home, there are other costs to consider.

Surveyors/Valuation Fee:

Mortgage lenders will charge a fee for carrying out a valuation on the property you are looking to buy. They are looking to make sure the property offers sufficient security for the loan they will be providing. Costs vary for a valuation depending on the lender and the purchase price of the home, but it is good practice to budget for roughly £300. Surveys are another costly aspect of purchasing a home. Typical surveys can cost between £400-£700 approximately.

Legal Fees:

Once your offer is accepted by the vendor, the sale will progress to solicitor stage to finalise the legal details of the sale. Many lenders will contribute to legal fees, but if you choose to pay for your own conveyancing you would need to budget for approximately £900 depending on the purchase price of the home.

Stamp Duty:

The good news is that the stamp duty fee was reduced in November 2017 for first time buyers in Northern Ireland, England and Wales. If your property is worth less than £300,000, you will no longer be required to pay stamp duty. If the property is worth between £300,000 and £500,000 you will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000 and will only pay the standard 5% on the remaining amount.

Repairs (if needed): 

From repainting, refinishing floors, carpeting or a complete fixer upper, if you are buying your first home and it requires any kind or repair make sure you factor in the attributed costs or leave a bit of buffer in case something comes up in the first few months of ownership.

The most important thing to note when buying your first home is to always be as informed as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and
get the information you need. Trust the experts and use their expertise to your advantage.

Come to Aria Residential for further guidance and have your questions answered – we are happy to help:  

Lisburn Road 028 90 599 599
Templepatrick 028 94 433 388