First Time Buyer Mortgages

First Time Buyer Package

Buying your first house can be both daunting and exciting. This is where we can help! We will scour the whole of the market, to get you the right deal and then we will ‘hold your hand’ through every stage of the process – from advising you on how much you can borrow to picking up the house keys on moving day.
We offer a one stop shop package as we liaise with all relevant agencies on your behalf and give you regular updates. In addition, we will ensure you have all the mortgage protection you need to make your first time buyer experience as smooth as possible.

Table of Contents


Stage 1: About to buy your first house? TALK TO US

How and when can you get in touch?

Ring us on 01823 210386 Monday to Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm.

Day, Evening and Weekend appointments available.

Alternatively submit your enquiry online by clicking here and we will get back to you shortly.

Stage 2: Make sure you have a deposit

Usually a minimum of 5% of the purchase price for first time buyers.

The bigger the deposit, the better the interest rate, the lower your monthly repayments, the cheaper the mortgage.

The difference between a 5% and a 10% deposit is huge; the next big jump is at 20%, the 40%. So if you have any chance of pushing yourself up a band (or perhaps asking parents to help), do it. Look at our example table below:

*Your home (property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage*

If you think you might need help with a deposit, read our blog post “What are the “Help To Buy Schemes” and how can you use them effectively?”

Stage 3: Find out how much you can borrow

Before you start house-hunting, it’s a good idea to work out what you can afford to spend on buying a house or a flat and your monthly mortgage payments.

This is where our ‘detective’ work comes in as we will scour the whole of the market to find you the most suitable deal to maximise your budget.

We will then provide you with a lender’s ‘Decision in Principle’ (DIP). This is a conditional offer from the chosen lender showing how much you could borrow, based on your deposit, income and other financial commitments. This is subject to satisfactory supporting documentation.

Stage 4: Find the house you want to buy

The fun part! Once you’ve found a home you want to buy, the next step is to make an offer, usually through an estate agent. The fact you have a ‘Decision in Principle’ from a Lender will help you to secure the property as it proves you are in a position to buy.

You will not need to pay the estate agent any fees. You only pay an estate agent when you sell a property.


Stage 5: Apply to the lender in full

Once your offer has been accepted with the seller, we will then apply in full to your chosen Lender. This is when they will want to see the supporting documentation as evidence of your income and identity etc.

Documents you will need for the formal application:

* Proof of ID – Passport or Drivers Licence
* Proof of Address – Council Tax bill, Utility bill – dated within 3 months
* 3 months personal bank statements showing income going in
* 3 months payslips OR 2 years of business accounts or Self-Assessment Tax Returns
* A Credit Report
* Proof of Deposit
* Information on your monthly financial commitments eg. food, utilities, child care fees, maintenance costs, credit cards, loans etc.

Did you know?
Good news for the newly Self Employed!

We have Lenders who are willing to lend with only 1 year of business accounts! Don’t be put off from applying for a mortgage if you are relatively new at being self employed.

We will help you with this!

We will tell you exactly what documents the lenders have requested. You can use our secure, confidential online portal to upload the documents when it’s convenient and we will verify them and forward them on to the lender for you.

Not tech-savvy? Don’t worry, just pop along to our admin office with the necessary documentation and we will scan them for you!


Stage 6a: Arranging a solicitor

The solicitor will handle the legal work surrounding your house purchase. Your solicitor submits searches to the local council to check whether there are any planning or local issues that might affect the property’s value. Typical cost: £250-£300

We can recommend a reliable solicitor for your property purchase, at a very competitive price. Click here to use our solicitor quote tool.

Stage 6b: Arranging a surveyor

The surveyor will survey the property to check for problems, which might affect the cost of the home. A valuation survey is required by all lenders but you may also choose to have an additional property survey done. We will advise you based on the age and type of property you are hoping to purchase.

Valuation survey

This survey is done by the lender to make sure the property is worth the price you’re paying before they approve the mortgage. It is not an extensive survey and will not identify all the repairs or maintenance that might be needed.

Typical cost: £150-£1,500 depending on the value of property.

Some lenders might not charge you for this, depending on the type of mortgage product you select.

The property survey

You should commission a survey on the property to help you avoid hidden costly problems in the long run.

It’s your property, so it’s in your interest to pay for a decent survey at this stage. It can also help you to renegotiate the price.

For example, if the survey reveals a problem with the home that will need £5,000 to pay for repairs, you could ask the seller to lower the price by that much.

There are several types of survey available:

  • RICS Condition Report– basic ‘traffic light’ survey and the cheapest. It’s most suitable for new-build and conventional homes in good condition. No advice or valuation is provided in this survey. Cost: £250.
  • RICS Homebuyer Report– suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition. This is a much more detailed survey, looking thoroughly inside and outside a property. It also includes a valuation. Typical cost: £400+.
  • Building Survey (formerly Structural Survey)– the most comprehensive survey and suitable for all residential properties. It’s particularly good for older homes or homes that might need repairs. Typical cost: £600+.

We will advise you as to the type of survey we would recommend and can get surveyor quotes for you to compare and then will instruct the surveyor on your behalf to carry out your chosen survey.


Stage 7a: Finalising your property offer

Once the survey is complete you might want to go back and renegotiate the price of your new home.

There are two reasons for this:

  • Your survey might uncover problems with the property that will be expensive to fix. You can use this information to ask for a reduction in price.
  • The lender might value the property at a lower price, leaving you with a shortfall. This means you won’t be able to match the asking price or what you originally intended to offer.

Stage 7b: Finalising your mortgage offer

If the documentation proof and valuation has gone according to plan then you should have received a formal mortgage offer from the Lender! You will then have 7 days to accept this offer if you are happy with it.

There is usually a fee called an arrangement fee, to set up the mortgage. This can be added to your mortgage, but if you choose this option, bear in mind you’ll pay interest on it for the life of the mortgage. Typical cost: £0-£2,000.


Stage 8: Exchanging contracts

You will receive a contract to sign and complete the sale. Before signing the contract, go through it with your solicitor to check that all the details are correct. Make sure you’re happy with what the sellers have agreed to leave in the property and that all your queries have been answered.

At this stage, you and the seller are committed to the sale.

The seller might also ask you to pay a holding deposit – typically £500-£1000 to show intent.

Once you’ve exchanged contracts you’ll need buildings insurance in place to cover the structure of the property.

This is where our ‘detective’ work comes in!
We can scour the whole of the market and provide you with highly competitive buildings and contents quotes. Once you are happy with a quote, we will then ensure that it is all in place for you on the day you exchange contracts.


Stage 9: Completion and final steps

  • The remaining money owed to buy the property is now transferred from your solicitor’s account to the seller’s solicitor’s account. Since some of the money comes from the mortgage provider there will be a telegraphic transfer fee. Typical cost: £25-£50.
  • You might also have to pay a mortgage account fee. The lender charges this fee for setting up, maintaining and closing down your mortgage account. It’s often added to the mortgage, which means you’ll pay interest on it, so consider paying it up front instead. Cost: £100-£300.
  • You’ll now need to pay your solicitor’s bill (minus the deposit and local searches if you’ve already paid them). Typical cost: use our solicitor quote tool.
  • Your solicitor will register the sale with the Land Registry for properties in England and Wales.The cost of this will depend on the price of the property.
  • Buyers of residential homes costing over £125,000 have 30 days from the completion date to pay Stamp Duty in England and Northern Ireland. Your solicitor will usually arrange this for you. In Wales, you will need to pay Land Transaction Tax on properties over £180,000.
  • If you’re using a removal company, moving on a weekday is cheaper. Typical cost: £300-£600+.

Our after care

We will forward diary a call to you a few months prior to you mortgage rate expiring and will then help you to get the right deal for the next term.

We are happy to help answer any question you have as first time buyers and at any time in your mortgage duration.

Andy Rowden Equity Release Specialist


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Dan Rowden Director of The Financial Detectives


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First Time Buyer Taunton

Buying Your First Home?

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Book about financial advice

Q. What is a mortgage?
A. A mortgage is a loan taken out to buy property or land. Most run for 25 years but the term can be shorter or longer. The loan is ‘secured’ against the value of the home until it’s paid off. If you can’t keep up your repayments the lender can repossess (take back) your home and sell it so they get their money back.

Q. How much deposit do I need?
A. Usually a minimum of 5% of the purchase price. The bigger the deposit, the better the interest rate, the lower your monthly repayments, the cheaper the mortgage. The difference between a 5% and a 10% deposit is huge: the next big jump is at 20%, then 40%. So if you have any chance of pushing yourself up a band (or perhaps ask your parents to help), do it!

Q. What does ‘LTV’ mean?
A. It stands for ‘loan-to-value’ which is the percentage of the property value you’re loaned as a mortgage. In other words, its the proportion that you’re borrowing.


      We have access to the whole of market, including exclusive rates not available on the high street.

      We’re an independent, family run business – we are not ‘tied’ to any lender, insurer, solicitor or surveyor. We can therefore give broad, unbiased advice.

      We have 20 years of mortgage and insurance experience, therefore our advice can be trusted.

      We don’t get paid until the case completes so we have as much incentive as you to get your case completed!

      5 star Google and Facebook reviews proving our commitment to exceptional customer service.  We give our clients a dedicated advisor and processing team, who will ‘hold your hand’ throughout the entire process.

Did you know?

“Over 50% of our clients are referrals from other customers we have helped… we must be doing something right!”