Important Steps to Getting on the Property Ladder

| Updated on March 21, 2024

Regardless of if the housing market is red hot or starting to cool down, as The Guardian claims, first-time buyers always face an uphill challenge, this is why most people look for a great property manager. But if you are taking things in your own hands you need to go through a whole swamp of checks to just get on the property ladder, even for much smaller homes or apartments, so it’s good to get an idea of the key steps to take so that you can make the process a bit easier, more streamlined, and cost-effective.

How Much to Save for a Deposit

Long before you even start house hunting, you’ll need to start to save up a hefty sum of cash to put down as a deposit. As a general rule, most lenders require a ten percent deposit on a house to give out a mortgage, but there are exceptions to the rule. In some places, you may only need to put down five percent, with the UK Government bringing in the scheme in April 2021. On the flip side of these 95 percent mortgages, some lenders require a 15 or 20 percent deposit if the borrower is considered to be high risk. Certain professions, especially the self-employed, are put under more intense scrutiny than many other career paths.

Know How Much You Can Borrow

There isn’t much point in looking for specific properties without knowing how much you’re going to be able to borrow. So, be sure to get a Mortgage in Principle once you’ve saved up as much as you think will be enough for a deposit. Unlike many other parts of the house-buying process, you can get a MIP for free with online broker Trussle, which only performs a soft credit check via 18 lenders to give an accurate picture of how much you can borrow. You can then use this as a point of reference when you shop around and show estate agents that you’re a serious buyer.

Use All of the Tools Available to Scan the Market

Just going to the local estate agent or using one online home-buying website would be foolish in the current market. You have a great range of options available, with the big four property sites offering a great starting point for your search. They’ll all offer something a bit different, and sometimes, you’ll find even better prices. It’s also wise to consult your local estate agent as they now have to compete with the websites, often making their service and sometimes their prices better as a result.

Check Recent Market Activity

House prices depend on a fair few variables, but one that you can usually rely on or use as a point of reference is the local market activity. Look online for houses that have sold recently near to the house that you want to buy and how they differ. If you find one of a similar composition in terms of bedrooms and bathrooms, you may be able to use it as an idea of how much you should aim to spend and perhaps as a course for haggling down the price.

So, on your journey to getting on the housing ladder, you should save up a good amount of money for a deposit, get a MIP, browse all house selling platforms, and read up on the recent market activity. There are multiple factors that one needs to consider before purchasing new property, so make sure you go through all of them before taking any step further.

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