Embarking on the exciting journey of buying your first home can be overwhelming. However, with proper planning and precautions, you can avoid costly mistakes. In this guide, we dive into six helpful tips specifically tailored for first-time buyers like yourself.

Obtain an Agreement in Principle

Before you begin house hunting, it's crucial to assess your mortgage options. Take the time to obtain an 'agreement in principle' from a mortgage provider. This certificate, also known as a 'decision-in-principle' or 'mortgage promise', will give you a realistic idea of your borrowing capacity and budget. It's essential not to skip this step, as securing an agreement in principle can prevent disappointment if you find your dream property but can't secure the necessary loan.

Start Your Mortgage Application Early

Keep in mind that there is no fixed timeframe for mortgage approval. While most applications are processed within 18 to 40 days, delays can occur. To avoid rushing into an offer on a home, it is recommended to start your mortgage application as soon as possible. By doing so, you'll have ample time to navigate the mortgage process smoothly.

Choose the Right Solicitor

Selecting the right solicitor can significantly impact the timeline of your home purchase. A competent solicitor can expedite the process, enabling you to move into your new home sooner. Seek recommendations from your local team to find the best solicitors in your area. Their insight and knowledge will help you make the right choice.

Importance of Research

Before you begin viewing potential properties, take the time to define your priorities for the desired area. Consider factors such as transportation links, green spaces, primary schools, and amenities. Understanding your needs will streamline the selection process and ensure an informed decision. If possible, spend some time in unfamiliar areas of interest to get a sense of the atmosphere and assess transportation links.

Risks Involved in Purchasing a "Non-Standard Property"

It's essential to be aware that certain property types may complicate obtaining a mortgage. Lenders may hesitate to approve loans for flats above shops or areas with high-density renting. It's crucial to discuss any potential challenges with your mortgage provider and seek their advice on financing options for non-standard properties.

Seek Professional Advice

Navigating the home-buying process can be complex, especially for first-time buyers. Consider seeking professional advice from a reputable mortgage broker or financial advisor. They can help you understand the options available, guide you through the paperwork, and ensure you make an informed decision.


Remember, buying your first home is a milestone worth celebrating. Take the time to thoroughly research, seek guidance, and prioritise your needs. By following these tips, you can navigate the process with confidence and make your homeownership dreams a reality.