Planning to buy your first home
A simple guide to help you plan for your first property
Who is this guide for?
If you are just starting to think about buying your first home this section is designed to give you some help. It covers what you should be thinking about before you start looking, what you need to budget for and some useful next steps.
What to think about when planning to buy your first home with Santander
1. Budget for costs in setting up your first home
Working out how much money you need to buy your first home is important. You could already have savings, or now might be the time to open up a savings account with Santander to put some money aside each month for your new home.
Deposit - you will need a deposit to put down on the property you want to buy. Normally you pay a percentage of the value of the house. The minimum deposit Santander require is 10%, but a higher deposit normally means access to better interest rates and improves your chances of your mortgage being approved. All applications are subject to status and our current lending criteria. This means that the amount we will lend you will depend on your individual circumstances, the type of property and the amount you borrow. For example, we may require a higher deposit if you are buying a flat or a new build property.
|Deposit from you||£10,000||10% deposit|
Costs - In addition to your deposit you'll have some fees to pay to set your mortgage up. We've produced a handy list of fees to budget for here.
2. Budget for how much you can pay per month
Understanding what you can comfortably afford to pay each month is important.
This might be easier for you to work out if you currently rent and already budget for the different costs involved, such as utilities, shopping and insurances. If not then completing a budget planner can help you think about what you might have to pay for each month.
You can also use our mortgage calculator to work out what you might be able to borrow.
3. Find out more about mortgages
Santander has over 160 years of mortgage experience in the UK. Our mortgage specialists are happy to help and guide you when buying your first home.
You can also understand different mortgage repayment methods and fees here
4. Think about the type of property you want to buy
If you've got your deposit and mortgage roughly worked out then you can start looking for a property you might want to buy.
- What area do you want live in
- What sort of home do you actually need - for example a house or a flat?
- How many bedrooms?
- What are the 'must haves' and what are the 'nice to haves'?
- Does the property look in good condition, inside and out?
- Is parking important to you?
- Are shops, services and facilities within easy reach?
- What are the traffic levels like?
- Is it easy to get to work?
- Visit the property at different times of the day
5. Making an offer
You're in a strong position as a first time buyer as you've no house to sell and you can move in without having to wait on anyone else buying your house. Other things to consider are
- How long has the house been on the market
- How many people have viewed the house
- Has anyone else bought the house before and stopped mid way through the sale - find out why
6. Choose a solicitor
Shopping around for a solicitor / conveyancer can help you get the best price. They take care of:
Local Authority Search
They will look for anything that might affect your property, such as plans to develop nearby land and roads.
Drawing up and Exchanging Contracts
A contract is a legally binding document drawn up by both the sellers and buyers legal advisor. Once contracts have been exchanged, you are committed to buying the property
Arranging Completion Dates
They will agree a date for completion with you and the seller. This is when the purchase price is paid to the seller's law firm, and the property actually becomes yours.
These are official documents that prove who owns the property. This information is held electronically by the Land Registry for England and Wales. Your law firm will send you your Title Deeds and these will need to be kept in safe place.
7. Ready to apply
Once you're ready to apply take a look at our First Time Buyer guide
All applications are subject to status and our current lending criteria. This means that the amount we will lend you will depend on your individual circumstances, the type of property and the amount you borrow. For example, we may require a higher deposit if you are buying a flat or a new build property.
YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE