Owning a property for the first time can be both a daunting and an exciting prospect. For first time buyers, home ownership brings the freedom to put their individual stamp on a property by choosing décor and furnishings and also enables putting down roots to become part of a community. Local schools and amenities may be important, particularly to young families, or couples intending to start a family.
Many young people who are just starting out in their careers would like to own their own property, but may feel like they are unable to secure a mortgage, as they don’t have a long income track record of income. They may be newly qualified, still in a training scheme or have recently begun working. Younger buyers may also not have saved a large enough deposit for a home, as they are often paying rent or may be living at home with parents.
Despite the challenges, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), mortgage lending to first time buyers has seen a recent increase, partly due to the recent drop in the Bank of England Base Rate. For those who may be able to afford mortgage payments but have not saved a large deposit, there are several options which may enable people who have never owned a property, to secure a first time buyer mortgage.
Parents who are financially established and have built up capital in their own property, may be able to afford to fund additional monthly payments, to assist adult children by remortgaging their home. This may mean either taking a mortgage on a previously mortgage free property, or taking a larger mortgage to release some capital. Often, if parents have lived in a property for a number of years, their home may have increased in value enough to provide a lump sum as a gifted deposit for offspring.
There are also schemes offered by the government, which are specifically aimed at enabling first time buyers to secure a first time buyer mortgage on affordable housing. The Help to Buy: Shared Ownership scheme allows first time buyers to get onto the property ladder, by taking a first time buyer mortgage on part of a property (between 25% and 75%), whilst renting the rest from the local council.
For London properties, which are often more expensive than the rest of the country, the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme will run until 2021. This scheme enables first time buyers with a 5% deposit to take a loan for part of the deposit for up to 40% of the property value in Greater London, which means a first time buyer mortgage of as little as 55% of the property price.
The Right to Buy scheme allows council tenants in some areas of the UK to buy their own property for a substantial discount. There are also plans to introduce a Starter Home scheme, offering the potential of a 20% discounted price on a new build home.
Whichever way they decide to approach it, there are options for first time buyers looking to take the exciting steps towards securing a first time buyer mortgage.