First time buyers
Buying your first home
Over 70% of all the people who buy a new Keepmoat home are first-time buyers, just like you. So you’re in good company. We also know, that when it comes to buying your first home, it’s a very big deal.
Relax. We’re here to help you buy your first home. But before you start planning the décor, here’s some advice on the steps to becoming a proud homeowner.
Helping you buy your first home
The more you do before you’re ready to buy, the easier it will be when you’ve found the perfect home for you. And when you’re ready, here’s how to reserve your home.
Here are our top tips to make sure you’re ready to buy your first home.
Start saving a deposit.
The golden rule here is that it’s never too soon to start saving. You can buy with a 5% deposit, or if you’re a renter with a good history, 100% mortgages are available. But the more you can save, the more mortgages will be available to you and the better the rates will be.
There’s help available too. You can boost your savings with a government-backed Lifetime ISA. You can save up to £4000 each tax year and get a 25% government bonus. Topping your savings up by up to £1000 per year.
Lifetime ISAs are available to anyone aged 18-39 who’s saving for their first home.
Be mortgage ready
Knowing how much you can borrow is the best starting point. This will depend on your income, your outgoings and how much deposit you have.
There are many mortgage calculators online which will give you a ballpark figure. When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will carry out a more detailed affordability assessment.
Here’s how else you can improve your chances of securing a mortgage.
Check your credit file
Knowing your credit score, and making sure it’s accurate and up to date is vital. The sooner you do this the better. There are a number of agencies that offer free credit score checks, plus lots of helpful advice on how to keep it looking healthy.
Good financial housekeeping
Now’s the time to get your finances in order. And lender will take a close look at your bank statements, so you may as well too. You might want to cut back on your spending in the months before you apply for a mortgage. Plus avoid applying for any new borrowing such as overdrafts and loans, as this could put some lenders off.
We’d suggest avoiding the buy now, pay over 3 months deals when shopping too. As these can appear on your credit file. Also, payday loans are a big red flag for lenders, so it’s worth avoiding those.
A guide to first-time buyer mortgages
Find all those mortgage terms confusing? You’re not the only one. Read our guide to first-time buyer mortgages.
Mortgage affordability tests – not as scary as you think
Everyone applying for a mortgage will have to have an affordability interview. This will look at what you send your money on, and whether you could still afford the mortgage if interest rates rise or your earnings change.
It sounds scary, but with a little preparation, it doesn’t have to be.
A mortgage in principle
Even if you’ve not found your dream Keepmoat home yet, you can apply for a mortgage in principle. The lender will state how much they are prepared to lend (in principle). This is usually valid for 3 months.
Having a mortgage in principle puts you in a great position when you’re buying. As it shows you have the finances in place to buy your home.
Ready to reserve?
There’s nothing better than finding a home that ticks all the boxes. And when you do, reserving it and making it yours is easy. You can reserve your home for just £250.
Reserve in person. Simply book an appointment with the sales advisor. They’ll guide you though the steps and take your reservation. And don’t forget to bring some ID.
Reserve online. If you’ve not got time to visit us, you can still reserve your home, online, anytime. You’ll still need your ID documents. Once reserved, we’ll be in touch to arrange the next steps.
Find out more about the reservation process.
What happens next?
Once you’ve reserved your home, it’s time to appoint a solicitor, apply for your mortgage and decide what options and extras you’d like to add to your new home. Take a look at the many ways you can personalise your home.
Once reserved you’ll have access to MyKeepmoat. From here you can access all your options, choose your kitchen and bathroom designs with our online configurator, and purchase any extras you want.
Now’s the time to arrange your mortgage.
If you need a mortgage and haven’t already arranged one, you’ll need to do so quickly. Your sales advisor can give you the details of some reputable independent mortgage advisers and solicitors if you need a little help.
All mortgage lenders will want to value your new home for themselves before they lend you the money – even on our homes which offer fantastic value for money.
When moving house you need a solicitor to carry out the legal work of buying your home – this is called conveyancing. Your solicitor will handle all contracts, provide legal advice, carry out local council searches, work with the Land Registry and transfer the funds to pay for your home.
Your Sales Advisor will provide you with regular build and sale progress updates to keep you informed throughout your homebuying journey.
Applying for a mortgage
Once you’ve found the perfect Keepmoat home, you’ll need to fill in a formal mortgage application.
Your mortgage provider will arrange for a valuation survey to be carried out on the home. You may need to pay for this, or some add it to the mortgage amount.
When the lender is happy with everything, documents, credit checks etc, you’ll get a mortgage offer letter. This sets out the agreement between you and the mortgage provider.
You will need to sign and return the mortgage offer letter and any other documents. Make sure you read them carefully, including the small print. And ask if anything’s unclear.
Ways to buy
There are many ways we can help you buy your first home.
Great news for renters looking to buy. A deposit-free mortgage* aimed at renters has been launched by Skipton Building Society.
The shared ownership scheme lowers the cost of buying a new property, making it easier for first-time buyers.
Deposit Unlock is a brand new scheme to help all types of buyers purchase a brand new home, with just a 5% deposit.
Discounted open market sale homes
Working in partnership with Councils across the UK to make buying a new home within the reach of more people.
The legal bits
If you’re buying for the first time the legal paperwork required to buy a home can often be a little bit baffling.
Relax. We’ll guide you through all the steps, and remember, your sales advisor is always on hand to answer any questions you have.
First things first, let’s get to grips with all that confusing terminology.
This involves legally transferring the home ownership from us to you. The conveyancing process starts when you reserve your home and ends when you’ve got the keys. A solicitor will handle all aspects of conveyancing for you.
As your mortgage provider is putting up the majority of the money for your new home, they’ll want to know that it’s good enough to lend against. Like are there plans for a motorway in your area or is it at risk of flooding.
Not to be confused with your moving-in day, when you exchange contracts with us, you’re entering into a legally binding contract to buy the property. If you’re home is still under construction, when you exchange contacts we’ll give you as much detail as we can regarding completion and possible moving-in dates.
This is when everything goes through. The money is transferred and we hand the keys over.
A solicitor will handle all aspects of your conveyancing. And if you need a hand finding one, your sales advisors will have a list that comes recommended by previous Keepmoat home buyers.
Why choose Keepmoat
We’re passionate about creating great places for you to live, work and play. Constructing quality, yet affordable homes that give you everything you need.
Support every step of the way
From the very start to moving in and beyond, we’re with you on your home-buying journey. With help, support, guidance and a friendly face whenever you need it.
Low-energy homes = lower bills
New homes are so much more efficient than older ones. Costing much less to heat, saving you money on your energy bills. We’re pushing this even further with our next-generation low-carbon Echo homes that are packed with the latest renewable technology.
Make it yours – with options and extras
This is the exciting bit. Choose your perfect kitchen. Style your bathroom. Add any extras you need to make your home truly yours. With our Options and Extras, it’s easy.
There are lots of reasons why moving to a Keepmoat home is a great idea. Find them here.