Mortgage Help for First Time Buyers

A mortgage is often the biggest financial commitment of a person's life. As a mortgage broker that specialises in finding finance for all kinds of buyers, we can help you get a foot on the property ladder.

First-time buyers typically need to pay at least 5% of the purchase price of their property as a deposit, but every circumstance is different. Our mortgage borrowing calculator gives you an estimate of the amount you can borrow, the deposit you’ll need, and the monthly payments you should budget for.

How do I choose a property?


  • Start with choosing your area.
    Your criteria might include having a good school nearby, local transport links and convenient shops or restaurants.
  • Be clear on what you want.
    House or flat? How many bedrooms? Being clear on your requirements will help you narrow your search and help estate agents be more specific
  • Contact as many estate agents in your desired location as possible.
    Ask them to send you details of suitable properties on their books on a regular basis.
  • Keep records of the properties you have visited.
    You’ll see a lot of properties in a short period of time, so keep notes of their good and bad points to make sure they are fulfilling your requirements.
  • Get to know an estate agent more closely.
    By calling once a week to reaffirm your interest, they’ll know you’re a serious buyer and ensure you get an early look at their best new properties.
  • Stay competitive.
    If you know that many people will be interested in the property and you are really keen on it, you might consider offering the asking price up front to avoid a 'bidding' war.


  • Forget to consider the additional costs. 
    On top of mortgage payments, make sure you consider your utility bills, maintenance bills, Council Tax, any renovation work and other property bills.
  • Be inflexible. 
    Be prepared to trade off one factor for another as you look around, e.g. you might be prepared to live in a cheaper area if that means having a garden.
  • Keep a short-term view. 
    Your job might change and your friends might move, so don’t use these as a basis for making decisions about where to buy your long-term home.
  • Neglect family matters. 
    If you’re starting a family, is there room for your family to grow? Are the local schools any good? Are there the right services for a young family? Is it a safe area?
  • Immediately offer the asking price. 
    Most sellers inflate their price, so it is usual to offer up to 10% less than the asking price, especially if the property requires building work or redecoration.
  • Assume an accepted offer is set in stone. 
    The acceptance of your offer is not legally binding until you and the seller exchange contracts. Watch out for gazumping, where a seller accepts an offer then takes a higher bid.

For more information on finding, funding and purchasing a property, read our in-depth guide to buying a house for the first time.

First Time Mortgage Advice

Whether you’ve found your dream home or are just starting your search, you need to know how much mortgage you can afford.

Our mortgage advisers have over 40 years’ experience of finding the best mortgage rates for first time buyers. We can help you with everything from finding a property to making an offer to the seller.

The mortgage product you choose will change these numbers dramatically, so exploring your options and making the right decision is crucial.

How can John Charcol help First Time Buyers?

We save you the hassle

Our highly trained, professional advisers work with you every step of the way to make the mortgage process simple, saving you time and effort on one of life’s biggest decisions.

We’re independent

Going to a bank or estate agent limits your options and leaves you at risk of getting a less competitive deal. We have access to hundreds of products across the whole mortgage market and can find you the ideal product for your needs.

We can save you money

By hand-picking the best mortgage and negotiating the best rates on your behalf, we can save you up to tens of thousands throughout the term of your mortgage.

Call our mortgage experts on 0344 346 3672 or request a callback to get more advice on saving and applying for your first mortgage.

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