Buying a home

Buying a property is the largest financial commitment that most people make in their lifetime.

Whether it’s a studio flat or a detached house for the family to grow into, home ownership is a milestone that many strive to achieve. However, for many, the cost of a deposit, plus the cost of a home survey, legal costs, and moving costs, make buying a first property a real challenge. The average age of a first time buyer in the UK is now 34, with just 1 in 10 homeowners being 34 years or under.

This is largely due to the time it takes to save for a deposit, with rental costs leaving little money spare to save for a deposit. This, coupled with a continued rise in house prices, (average prices fell by 2% in 2023 but are slowly rising again) makes getting onto the housing ladder a challenge for many.

Despite the challenges, there are a number of schemes to support buyers, such as shared ownership and LISAs.

A mortgage is a loan that is secured on a property such as a flat or a house. A mortgage is invariably the largest and longest term loan that a person or couple will have in their lives. Paying off a mortgage is a huge milestone that often takes 25+ years to achieve. It’s important to understand how mortgages work and how to get the best value deals available. A 1% increase in mortgage interest over the lifetime of a mortgage can mean £1000’s more in interest payments, so it’s worth getting the best possible mortgage deal available.

Here are some useful links on mortgages:

Whether a first time buyer or moving home, buying a home is the biggest purchase that most will make in their lifetime. The Money Helper website has a comprehensive guide to buying a home.

Everyone in the UK over the age of 18 is given a credit score to indicate their creditworthiness i.e. their ability to borrow money based on their likelihood to be able to pay it back. All credit scores are calculated automatically, using software that takes details from an individual’s credit history plus other sources of data, and uses it to generate a score. Credit scores are used by lenders to help them decide whether to lend, how much to lend and how much interest to charge. Having a poor credit score can have an impact on your ability to borrow money, and also the cost of borrowing money. The good news is that there are ways to improve your credit score.

Here are some useful tips on how to improve your credit score.

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