blog article providing dos and don'ts for first time buyers

Dos and Don’ts for A First Time Buyer in the UK

Are you a first time buyer eager to step into the property market? Whereas the journey to owning a home is an exciting one, it comes with its fair share of challenges. Therefore, to help you make informed decisions, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts for a first time buyer in the UK.


Understand Your Budget:

   – Assess your financial situation realistically. The last thing you want to do is over commit on your purchase to the point of struggling financially once the monthly mortgage payments start. Have a think about costs on top of your mortgage payments including council tax, monthly utilities, insurances etc.

   – Calculate additional costs like stamp duty, legal fees, and mortgage fees. Your representation acts on your behalf so find out costs up front to make sure this is accounted for when working out your house deposit.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage:

   – Consult with a mortgage adviser for pre-approval. Our mortgage team will assess your current circumstances and take into account your financial situation, credit file as well as your preferences towards the new purchase to advise suitable solutions.

   – Explore various mortgage options to find the best fit for your circumstances. Are you looking for fixed or variable rates, short or longer terms, repayment or interest only. A good adviser will consider all of these options and tailor this to you.

Research Property Locations:

   – Research areas and consider proximity to local amenities. Are you moving for work purposes? To move closer to family? Do you drive/take public transport? It is imperative to consider this to avoid an impulse purchase.

   – Link the locations your searching in to the aforementioned household budget. Different areas mean different council tax bands, limited availability of broadband providers, potential for rising / falling house prices. Therefore,it is important to consider the long term picture when you find a home you like.

Seek Professional Advice:

   – Consult with a qualified solicitor to navigate legal aspects of the home purchase. Our trusted legal partners would outline to any buyer exactly what they are buying. This can be something as common as boundaries on the land which may not be visible to the naked eye to more pressing matters such as extensive home improvements that does not have the required planning consents. A solicitors job is as much about identifying the risks of buying the property as much as it is about securing a date to get your keys.

   – Ordinarily it would make sense to use a qualified surveyor to look at the property you are buying. In Scotland publicly listed properties require an in date Home Report which will outline any issues with the property you are considering buying. Read this carefully as failing to adequately identify potential issues when buying could lead to you spending more money in the future to remediate these issues.

Consider Future Resale Value:

   – Think about the potential resale value of the property. In the majority of instances a persons first home purchase is not their last, and peoples forever home purchases are rarely that. It is important when buying to consider the future resale value of your new home. This should also play a part in thinking on an appropriate offer should you need to exceed the home report property value as you may never make this money back.

   – Factor in the long-term prospects of the area’s development if any. Introductions of transport systems, school areas as well as further housing and commercial developments can impact the resale value for better or worse. It would make sense to consider this should you know of anything immediate occurring in the area your buying.


Overlook Hidden Costs:

   – Don’t forget to account for hidden costs like maintenance and insurance. Does the property have a factor you need to pay? Is it a high risk area that could mean signficantly higher insurance costs? This can impact on your budget and your ability to ensure bills are paid each month.

   – Don’t underestimate the impact of possible interest rate changes. This is more prominent than ever in the current economy with interest rates significantly increasing in recent years. An increase in rates could lead to a homeowner struggling to make ends meet. Lenders will illustrate your mortgage to show the impact rising rates will have on repayments

Neglect Property Inspections:

      – Don’t ignore red flags such as damp or structural issues. going back to our dos in making sure you properly read the home report. Don’t ignore what you read where red flags are identified. This can result in long term maintenance costs or lump sum costs that could be avoided if the home report is properly observed.

Rush the Decision-Making Process:

   – Don’t rush into buying the first property you see. The home buying process can be a lengthy one but it’s important to remember this will likely be the biggest purchase you ever make. Therefore, take your time, assess the dos and don’ts mentioned here. As a result this will ensure you do not experience buyers remorse.

   – Don’t succumb to pressure – take your time to make an informed decision. You will on occasion experience sellers and agents who can be pushy trying to secure a sale. A good agent will help you make an informed decision but should never pressure you but rather be available to provide you with all the information you need.

Disregard the Importance of Location:

   – Don’t compromise on location based on the property alone. Location matters as much as the condition of the property you are buying and for a large portion of buyers location is everything.

Forego a Solicitor at an early stage:

   – Don’t attempt to handle legal matters independently. A lot of buyers wait until securing a property before appointing a solicitor. You can appoint representation as early as getting the mortgage approved with no property in mind. A solicitors job is so much more than cutting through buyers red tape. They can help structure suitable offers on properties, identify any red flags and work on your behalf and provide information that an inexperienced buyer may not realise is important


Embarking on your journey as a first time buyer in the UK can be both thrilling and challenging. Follow these dos and don’ts for a first time buyer and you’ll be better equipped to navigate the property market. Remember, patience and thorough research are key to making a decision that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle. As a result of following this guidance it should allow you to make an educated decision o buying a property.

Happy house hunting!