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What Help Is Available Online for First Time Buyers?

By Angela Tempest

What can you afford? 
Many of the banks and building societies offer online calculators to help work out how much money can afford to pay out for a mortgage, which will dictate how much money you can borrow.

Once you know what kind of budget you are working with, you can start looking at what type of properties you can afford. There is a wealth of estate agents out there that have fantastic websites which allow you to search in many different ways. You can look at the ‘where’ of a property, the ‘type’ of property in a certain postcode or even just scan a whole postcode area to be inspired.

Below market average properties 
Another, slightly trickier proposition, is finding a house which is for sale below market price for some reason. These may be repossessed properties going up for auction, or they may need a lot of work doing to them. For repossessed properties, some property investment companies have searchable databases which list these properties. This saves you having to scout around a variety of different sites to find a property which may suit you.
Renovation projects can also be cheaper than the market value, but bear in mind, extra money will be needed to do the work, possibly before you can even occupy the house. So the amount you spend on the property needs to leave enough money from your original budget to do this work. There are lots of online resources to help with property development, whether you want to do the work yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

Legal stuff 
Once you find a property and organise your mortgage, then there is the legal side of things to be sorted. Many mortgage providers will have a list of approved solicitors who offer a service called a conveyancer. This means they liaise between mortgage lender and estate agent, sort out the legal paperwork and run searches. Always get an idea of the costs involved upfront and do a few online checks yourself to make sure you are getting the best value for money.

Moving in 
And then you are ready to go. Once you have a completion date, you can arrange removals from the range of companies who will give online quotes. Make sure you use someone who is a member of the British Association of Removers to ensure you are protected.
Good luck in your new home!

We hope this basic guide inspires you to start looking at the options available. The government is creating a lot of help for first time buyers at the moment so it might be the ideal time to get your foot on the housing ladder and get that first home of your own. Good luck!

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