Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 14.22.14Buying your first home can be very daunting, what deposit do you need in place? Which mortgage should I get? Who deals with the surveyor, estate agent and solicitor?

So let’s deal with each question on an individual basis Best place for a mortgage:

Well that depends on your individual circumstances and deposit, all banks offer something different. Rates change, as do fees. At the moment one bank is offering first time buyers £2,500 cash back on completion. Rates are higher but then the cash back could cancel this out. The interest rate is used to make the headlines but the total costs need to be looked at. This works with most mortgages, the same bank will offer you a mortgage with a £995 fee, but are you saving £995? Or are you buying the interest rate.

Will the banks offer the cheapest mortgage or cheapest interest rate? You don’t know without checking the details and going over your options. It’s about finding the most suitable mortgage for you not the bank. Credit rating can also be an issue, do you know some banks only check credit reports back to 3 years, while others go back 6 years. You can be refused a mortgage on a late mobile phone bill, a few lenders don’t take mobile phone missed payments in to account. Every lender is different. You need to keep options open to find the better deals.

Help to buy scheme – Government help to buy scheme comes in 2 parts. If you are buying a new build, you use 5% deposit the government lend you a further 20% interest free for 5 years and they own 20% of your house.

If you are buying an older house then the government pay an insurance for you. A mortgage guarantee scheme. You still pay a 5% deposit. Both have some strict rules and regulation that need to be followed.


Surveyors rule the housing market. It is the surveyor who can stop you buying your home. It is his opinion on the house price, he has the final say. Don’t accept an estate agent valuation, its worthless. Don’t think a house is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. It is NOT. It is only worth what the surveyor thinks it is worth in his opinion. We have had surveys done within weeks of each other, with massively different results. Valuations from surveyor to surveyor differ.

The survey you pay for, is arranged by the mortgage company, but this report can be for them NOT you. You can get 3 different surveys.

Mortgage survey- Cheapest and tells you how much is it worth, can he see anything obvious. This is more for the mortgage company than you. A minimum requirement.

Home Buyers report- More expensive and ideal if you feel they may be a few minor issues. But he is not an electrician, plumber roofer etc. So he cannot check the utilities.

Full Structural survey- Most expensive and thorough report. Technical information about the structure, detailed report on any potential major or minor damage and gives you a cost of the work that may need to be carried out.

Estate Agent:

The estate agent is paid for by the seller… As a first time buyer you do not pay them, they will want to check your details, maybe deposit and proof you can get a mortgage. A mortgage broker should supply you with an agreement in principle before you place an offer on a house. This shows you can get the mortgage.


A conveyancing solicitor is employed to make sure the searches are correct and the house you are buying is legal. They need to complete local authority, drainage &, bankruptcy searches and also pay any stamp duty.

Stamp duty limits changed at the end of last years. New rates.

No stamp duty on the first £125,000

2% from £125,000 – £250,000

5% from £250,000 – £925,000

Solicitors costs vary as do the costs of the searches based on the local authorities.

Independent Mortgage Adviser:

An independent mortgage adviser has access to lenders not only on the high street but also specialist lenders who only deal with professionals. If you are not accepted at the first bank, they find you an alternative option. It’s about finding the best deal that suits you and your needs. Then making it work. They work with the estate agent, solicitor and surveyor. They can even appeal against the survey report, if he down values the property. The estate agent and solicitor will want information as the purchase progresses. They have the information to hand to forward to them, they cannot sign the solicitor’s documents but can check it is correct before you return them.

Good Mortgage Solutions- We were described by a client as project managing the process of buying the house. I think that just about sums us up. You get a dedicated adviser and administrator. You receive weekly reports giving you progress updates. To top it all the advice we give is free, you are under no obligation to accept the recommendation given to you. We are not a bank so you can meet the adviser at your home or at the office, at a time that suits you. We don’t just work Monday to Friday 9 till 5. We understand you have work commitments so we work around you. The initial meeting lasts around an hour, where we get to know you and what you want, and you get to know more about us.

For further information: Email:, Phone 01642 671747