Whilst there was a 1% increase in property sales in England and Wales last year, only 640,000 properties were sold, half the number of homes sold when the market was at its peak in 2006 (1.3 million sales). When the number of homes sold in 2012 is compared to those who regretted not buying it’s almost two thirds less.
Andy Forbes, Head of Retail Products at first direct said: "It’s worrying that such a large number of people regretted not buying a home in 2012. Buying a home is understandably a daunting prospect especially in these financially uncertain times, but at first direct we’re committed to helping first time buyers overcome some of the obstacles to getting on the property ladder."
To help borrowers keep upfront costs down and overcome at least one of the barriers to buying a home, first direct offers a range of ‘Homebuyer’ mortgages. Not only are these ‘Homebuyer’ loans fee free, but those buying a property will only require a 10 – 15% deposit and can choose to fix their monthly payments for 2 , 3 or 5 years or track the Bank of England Base Rate for the duration of the mortgage.
To further encourage some of those who regretted not buying to take the plunge, first direct has compiled a list of tips to get on the property ladder.
* Research how much you can afford to borrow to get a feel for the size of deposit you will need to save;
* Budget – plan your income and expenditure to understand how much you could save on a monthly basis to build up a deposit towards your dream home;
* Don’t forget the other costs involved in buying a home. If all your savings are being put towards your deposit, consider first direct’s Fee Free mortgages: no arrangement fee, no booking fee and no standard valuation fee – costs which can soon mount up. A homebuyer could typically save over £1600 with first direct’s Fee Free Homebuyer mortgages;
* Consider a fixed-rate mortgage if you want to know what your monthly payments will be while you find your fee;
* Low deposit mortgages are becoming increasingly available in the market, so do your research to find the best deal for you;
* Remember to haggle on the value of your chosen property; vendors commonly build 10-15% in to their asking price and the worst that can happen is they say "no";
* If you’re not part of a chain and have a mortgage agreement in principle (AIP) you’ll normally be in a much stronger position to have your offer accepted. An AIP from first direct lasts for six months.
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