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First time buyers

Making that first move is all about having the information you need to get started. Here you’ll find everything from our tool for finding a mortgage and affordability calculator to information about buying schemes and 5 top questions answered.

You could lose your home if you don’t keep up your mortgage repayments.

Your top 5 mortgage questions

The amount you could borrow depends on how much you could afford to pay back based on your income and your outgoings. Use our affordability calculator to get an idea of what this might be – it only takes 5 minutes and it doesn’t affect your credit rating.

Affordability calculator

It all depends on where you want to live, the type of home and how much you want to borrow. It's good to remember that if you are able to put down a bigger deposit, then you could get a better interest rate because of this.

A good starting point is that based on the average house price of £281,913 in December 2023, you need to save approximately £14,000 for a 5% deposit or £28,000 for a 10% deposit.

Read our how much do I really need to save? article to find out more.

A fixed rate mortgage is one where the interest rate stays the same for an agreed period of time – this is usually two, three, five, seven or ten years. So even if other interest rates go up or down during that time, your interest rate won’t change.

A variable rate mortgage is one where the interest rates can go up or down, meaning your repayments may also go up and down. Rate changes can happen for a variety of reasons - some will be decided by your lender, others might be driven by what’s happening in the economy. Sometimes variable rate mortgages may be subject to a "floor" (below which the rate can never fall), or a "ceiling" (which the rate cannot go above).

Read our different types of mortgages article to discover what others are available.

Yes, if some or all of your deposit has been gifted to you by a member of your family. You would need to give us full details when you submit your mortgage application. The person giving you the money must be 18 years old or older, cannot reside in the property you are purchasing and will need to sign a gifted deposit declaration.

With our Online Cash Lifetime ISA, you can save up to your Lifetime ISA (LISA) allowance each tax year (£4,000 for the current tax year) and the government will give you a 25% bonus on top of your contributions every year, bringing you that bit closer to owning your own home. Saving for a deposit can be a big hurdle, so this could be a handy boost to help you onto the property ladder.

A LISA is only available if you are aged between 18-39. You can withdraw money from your LISA to buy your first home after 12 months from your first payment in. Any other withdrawals before the age of 60 would incur a 25% government withdrawal charge, which would mean you’d get back less than you paid in.

Things to consider for first time buyers

Our Life & Money section has lots of helpful information for first time buyers. Below is a selection of articles that we think could help you on your home buying journey.

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