Money Means guides are brought to you by FSCS, the people who protect your money from £1 up to £85,000 in UK banks, building societies and credit unions. Find out more.
How to get a good deal on a mortgage
1. Get your finances fixed as early as possible. Get organised.
2. Watch your spending! Financial regualtions have tightened so mortgage providers will be looking not only at how much you earn but how you spend too.
3. A bigger deposit means a better deal. If it's possible, try to save at least a 25% deposit.
4. Talk to as many lenders as possible to get the best deal. From your bank to brokers, consider all the options you can. Speak to mortgage advisers, search online and use recommendations from friends to get a range of rates and options
4 biggest hidden costs of buying a home
1. Mortgage fees - Your lender will probably want an up front fee of at least £2,500 to lend you the money.
2. Valuation survey - You'll probably have to pay for a survey when the bank comes to look at the property. That can cost around £1000.
3. Legal fees - You'll have to pay for conveyancing or a solicitor. That can be from £500 - £1,500.
4. Stamp duty - This is the biggest hitter, you have to make sure you have to make sure you have enough money saved to cover it. It applies to property prices over £125,000 and it can be as much as 12%. Find out more here.
Finding a home
1. Get to know an area by spending some time exploring and getting a real feel for it
2. Go online and register with various websites and property search engines
3. Make sure to visit local estate agents in person and bring print-outs and your contact details with you
4. If you can’t do it alone, consider buying with friends or family or consider a shared ownership options
Making an offer on a home
1. Get an understanding of the true value of a property
2. Do your research and find properties recently sold in your particular area and street
3. Don’t immediately rule out a property due to a bad survey, as you can use it to your advantage when negotiating a price
4. Be persistent and communicate well with your agent and all relevant parties at the exchange and completion stages