First time buyer mortgages
Looking to buy your first home? Getting onto the property ladder can be a big step. Let us help you get the keys to your new home.
From working out how much you could borrow to picking up the keys to your first home, we’ll be there every step of the way.
Steps to buying your first home
1.Thinking of buying your first home?
Take a look at the things you'll need to think about when looking for a home and applying for a mortgage.
2. How much could you borrow?
Use our online calculators to get an idea of how much you could borrow and compare monthly payments
3. Want to start viewing properties?
You’ll need to complete an Agreement in Principle which will give you an indication of how much we could lend you. Most estate agents need to see this to show that you’re a serious buyer.
There's no charge for this, and no obligation to apply for a mortgage with us.
4. Had an offer accepted on a property?
Make sure you’ve completed your Agreement in Principle with us. Then you’ll need to speak to one of our mortgage advisers to continue with your full mortgage application.
You can call us on 08458 50 37 05 or come into branch.
What happens next?
5. You'll need to complete your mortgage application with a mortgage adviser
Average time: 2 hours
If you're applying with someone else, make sure you’re both available because it'll save time.
You'll need to:
• Prepare the documents you’ll need such as pay slips, recent bank statements, details of any financial commitments or bonus, and proof of your identity
• Have details of the property you want to buy.
Your mortgage adviser will:
• Review your income and commitments
• Ask about your needs and circumstances and then recommend our most suitable mortgage for you
• Give you a Key Facts Illustration, which sets out the terms of the mortgage product and the total cost of the loan
• Complete background checks with a Credit Reference Agency
• Talk to you about valuation schemes and ask you to choose which scheme you want
We'll appoint a valuation surveyor and arrange for the property to be valued. We'll check the valuation report to make sure the property is worth enough to offer the loan you've asked for.
In Scotland, sellers must provide a Home Report which includes survey, Energy Performance Certificate and Property Questionnaire.
When all this is done and if everything is okay, we’ll write to make you a mortgage offer.
6. You'll need to get a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer
The legal side of buying and selling a property can be carried out by either a 'solicitor' or 'licensed conveyancer', for simplicity we'll refer to both of these as 'conveyancer'. They’ll check who owns the property you want to buy, what’s included in the sale, and whether there are any clauses in the property’s deeds you or your lender need to be aware of. In Scotland your solicitor will also put in your offer and negotiate for you.
You'll need to:
• Get an estimate from them of costs, including any legal fees and tax
• Ask your conveyancer to explain anything in your mortgage offer you don’t understand
• Ask your conveyancer to confirm any Stamp Duty charge payable
• Tell your conveyancer if you’ve negotiated for any items such as curtains, carpets or kitchen appliances to be included in the sale
• Make sure you read any documents your conveyancer sends you very carefully.
• You and the seller, known as the vendor
• Seller’s estate agent
• Your conveyancer and the seller’s conveyancer
• Your lender
7. You're about to exchange contracts
Average time: From appointing your conveyancer to reaching this point usually takes 2-3 months
When you’ve read all the documents, your conveyancer will ask you if you’re happy to proceed with the purchase. They'll then ask you to sign the contract. When everyone is ready, contracts will be exchanged, usually by phone, to form a binding legal agreement to buy and sell.
Before exchanging contracts, you’ll need to have:
• Transferred the deposit to your conveyancer’s account
• Signed the contract to buy the property sent you by your conveyancer (in Scotland, you exchange 'missives' which are letters of exchange with the seller's conveyancer)
• Given your conveyancer a date on which you wish to complete the process
• Set up buildings insurance.
• Your conveyancer and the seller’s conveyancer
Once you’ve exchanged contracts (in Scotland concluded missives) you can start to make arrangements for moving.
8. You can pick up the keys to your new home!
After exchange, your conveyancer will ask you to sign the mortgage deed and the document to transfer your new home to you. They'll also apply to us for the mortgage money and ask you for any balance they need to complete your purchase.
Your conveyancer will call you to confirm the legal process is complete. You'll be able to pick up the keys to your new property and move in.
Congratulations! You now own your first home. We'll send a letter to your new address to tell you the mortgage has started.
Need to talk to us?
You can speak to one of our mortgage advisers in person, or chat things over on the phone.
Call us on 08458 50 37 05
Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm and Saturday 9am-4pm.
Come into branch - you'll need to book an appointment beforehand
How much do I need to save for my deposit?
Can I apply for a first time buyer mortgage?
How much could I borrow?
How does an Agreement in Principle differ from a mortgage offer?
What type of properties will you lend on?
Is there a minimum purchase price?
What are the risks I should be aware of?
What should I consider when applying for a mortgage?
What insurance will I need?
Will I be charged any fees?
What happens at the end of my mortgage deal?
What happens if I want to move home in the middle of my mortgage deal?
We'll only lend you a certain percentage of either the purchase price or the property valuation, whichever is lower. So you'll need to use some of your own money to buy the property – a deposit. We usually ask for at least a 5% deposit from your own money. However, if you can pay more, you can often get a cheaper mortgage product.
As well as your deposit, there are other costs associated with buying a property and taking out a mortgage. Typical ones that apply to most buyers include conveyancing fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax, valuation fees and Land Registry fees. There are often unexpected costs too in buying a property, so it's a good idea to have a reserve fund to cover them.
Halifax supports a range of government backed initiatives to help customers to buy their home.
As long as one person applying has never owned a property before, you can apply for a first time buyer mortgage with the Halifax.
- You must be buying a UK property
- You must be a UK resident or have full rights to reside in the UK
- You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a mortgage, and your mortgage must usually end before you reach 75. If your mortgage term extends past your normal state pension age or your expected retirement age – whichever happens sooner - we'll look at your retirement income to work out whether we think you can afford the monthly payments. If you’re taking out a joint mortgage, it’s the age of the oldest person that’s taken into account.
You can use our online calculator to get an idea of how much you could borrow. Or, to get a better indication we can provide you with an Agreement in Principle, also know as a 'Mortgage Promise'. We'll start by asking about your income, for example your basic salary and any regular overtime or bonuses. We'll also ask about your regular outgoings, for example credit card or personal loan repayments, and we'll take these off your income. After that, we make a further allowance for average day-to-day living expenses. This allows us to see how much we think you can afford for your mortgage payment each month.
As part of our process of assessing whether we think you can afford the loan, we'll ask your permission to contact a credit reference agency. They can give us information about:
- how you've conducted your finances in the past
- how many credit commitments you've got and how long they will last
- whether you've kept the payments up to date.
We'll use credit scoring to help us decide whether to lend you money. Credit scoring works by awarding you points based on the information that:
- you give us about yourself
- we already have about you, if you've an existing relationship with us
- is on your credit file at the credit reference agency.
We use this information to provide an indication of whether we'll lend you money and if so, how much we'll be willing to provide to you as a mortgage.
An Agreement in Principle, also known as a 'Decision in Principle' or 'Mortgage Promise', is useful if you haven’t found a property you want to buy but would like to know how much you could borrow. All we need is a few personal details about you and anyone else who will be named on the mortgage. Then we’ll contact a credit reference agency for a credit search and give you a credit score. If you reach our pass mark, we’ll give you a certificate, so that you can show the seller you can get a loan. Other lenders will be able to see that we've made an enquiry about you, but this should not affect your ability to get a loan from them.
A mortgage offer is issued by a lender once your mortgage application has been received and the necessary checks, such as the property valuation and confirmation of your details, have been carried out. It sets out the terms under which the lender is prepared to offer you a loan.
We'll consider lending you money to buy different types of property. We may ask you to provide a bigger deposit on some types of property than others. Any loan we make will be subject to a satisfactory property valuation by a surveyor of our choice.
While we'll consider many types of property, we've a responsibility to ensure that a property is suitable security for a mortgage. As a result, we'll not lend against properties where the lower of the valuation or purchase price is below £40,000.
A mortgage has one key difference to other loans - it's secured against your home. If you can't keep up with your monthly repayments or you get into financial difficulties you should contact us straight away so we can give you the help you need.
Remember, house prices can go down as well as up. If you owe more than the current value of your home, you will be in negative equity. If you need to move home and sell your property, and if its value has dropped below what you paid for it, there may be a shortfall between the amount you owe on your mortgage and the amount you get for the sale which you will need to repay.
Mortgages can last for a long time, so it's important you get the one that's right for you. You'll need to think about such things as the type of loan, how long you want it for and what type of product you'd like.
Methods of repayment - there are three different ways of repaying your mortgage. These are repayment, interest-only, and a combination of repayment and interest-only.
Mortgage terms - mortgage terms of up to 40 years are available. How long the mortgage lasts will affect your monthly payments and the total cost of the mortgage. With a repayment mortgage, the longer the term, the lower the monthly payment. However, it'll take you longer to pay off the loan so you will pay more interest. This means it'll cost you more over the life of your mortgage. With an interest-only mortgage, the length of the term makes no difference to the monthly payments because these are only paying off the interest charges and not the loan itself. With an interest-only mortgage your mortgage term needs to match the time when you will have enough money in your repayment plan(s) to repay the loan.
Mortgage products - we may have different types of mortgage products with different types of interest rates. These change from time to time and we'll give you details of the current range when you apply.
Product incentives - from time to time we may offer mortgage products that include an incentive. The interest rate for products with incentives may sometimes be slightly higher than for products without incentives. So you'll need to consider whether the incentive available at the start of the mortgage is more important to you than the slightly lower interest rate you may get during the product rate period without the incentive.
Your mortgage adviser will ask you about your preferences and discuss your needs and circumstances before deciding which mortgage to recommend to you.
It's a requirement of your mortgage to have buildings insurance. This covers the bricks and mortar, fixtures and fittings. It's also a good idea to take out contents insurance as well - this protects all your possessions in your home, from furniture to jewellery.
You may want to look into insurance to protect your mortgage for example Life Cover and Critical Illness Cover.
You may be charged a mortgage account fee which is an interest-free fee charged on new mortgage completions. Depending on the mortgage product, there may be a product fee to pay. You'll need to check our current rates for full details. Any product fees can be added on to your mortgage on completion. There could be other charges and standard costs which you may have to pay during the course of setting up your mortgage. You'll be charged interest on any fees, charges and standard costs added to your loan.
When you take out your mortgage, you arrange to have a fixed or variable rate product for a period of time. At the end of this time, the product will end and your loan will usually be transferred to one of our lender variable rates. At this point, you may choose to move it to a new product for a further period of time.
It's sometimes possible to take a product with you to a new mortgage - we call this 'porting‘. Your Key Facts Illustration and offer letter will say if any of your products are portable.
Special offers for first time buyers
Get two months mortgage interest back with us.
We’re dedicated to making life easier and more affordable for our first time buyers.
That’s why we’re giving our customers two months mortgage interest back when they take out a mortgage with us.
- Available to first time buyers who take out a qualifying mortgage between the 5th January and 8th March 2015
- We’ll refund 62 days mortgage interest up to a maximum of £1,000
- The refund will be within 60 days of completion and will go directly into the bank account that pays your mortgage.
Please be aware this offer may be withdrawn at any time.
Offer excludes: Shared Equity (including Help to Buy: Equity Loan), Shared Ownership, Equity Support mortgages, Buy To Let mortgages and applications through Halifax intermediaries.
Make your move with a 5% deposit.
At the Halifax, we believe that people who give extra should get extra in return.
We also understand that moving home can be quite a challenge to say the least. To give our customers a helping hand, we’re offering a range of mortgages to first time buyers and home movers with just a 5% deposit.
Which means it’s now even easier to make your move with Halifax.
5% deposit available to first time buyers and home movers on properties up to £600,000. Fees may apply. Offer excludes: Remortgages, Shared Equity, Shared Ownership, Negative Equity, Buy To Let and Right to Buy mortgages. This must be the only property you will own.
Take out a Halifax first time buyer mortgage and we'll reward you with £150 cash back if you hold a qualifying Halifax current account.
To qualify you'll need to:
- Hold a Halifax Reward Current Account OR
- Halifax Ultimate Reward Current Account OR
- Any BoS Current Account OR
- Switch your current account to us using our dedicated Current Account Switch Service and do one of the above.
Current accounts are available subject to status to customers aged 18 or over who are resident in the UK.
The £150 cashback is paid through your conveyancer on completion of your mortgage. Please note that this offer is not available on the following selected mortgages: Large Loans (£1m +), Buy to Let, Consent to Lease, Negative Equity, Product Transfer, Further Advance, Shared Equity, Shared Ownership, Halifax Concessionary Staff Scheme & third party applications through mortgage brokers or intermediaries.
These are our current fixed rate mortgages available today for first time buyers. There'll only be certain deals which fit your deposit and mortgage amount. When you apply for a mortgage, our mortgage advisers will ask you about your needs and circumstances and then recommend our most suitable mortgage for you.
- First time buyer mortgages up to £1 million
- First time buyer mortgages over £1 million
- Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee products
|Term||Initial rate||Halifax Homeowner Variable rate thereafter||For the remainder of the term from||The overall cost for comparison is||Product fee||Deposit||Early Repayment Charges until||Mortgage amount|
|2 years||1.59%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||3.9% APR||£1,995||40%||31/05/2017||£200k-£1m|
|2 years||1.69%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||3.8% APR||£495||40%||31/05/2017||£0-£1m|
|2 years||1.89%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||3.8% APR||£0||40%||31/05/2017||£0-£199,999|
|2 years||1.99%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||3.9% APR||£1,995||25-40%||31/05/2017||£200k-£1m|
|2 years||2.24%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||3.9% APR||£495||25-40%||31/05/2017||£0-£1m|
|2 years||2.44%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||3.9% APR||£0||25-40%||31/05/2017||£0-£199,999|
|2 years||2.64%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||3.9% APR||£495||20-25%||31/05/2017||£0-£1m|
|2 years||2.84%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||3.9% APR||£0||20-25%||31/05/2017||£0-£1m|
|2 years||2.94%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||4.0% APR||£495||15-20%||31/05/2017||£0-£1m|
|2 years||3.14%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||4.0% APR||£0||15-20%||31/05/2017||£0-£1m|
|2 years||4.59%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||4.3% APR||£495||10-15%||31/05/2017||£0-£750k|
|2 years||4.79%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||4.3% APR||£0||10-15%||31/05/2017||£0-£750k|
|5 years||2.94%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||3.7% APR||£495||40%||31/05/2020||£0-£1m|
|5 years||3.14%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||3.8% APR||£0||40%||31/05/2020||£0-£1m|
|5 years||3.49%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.0% APR||£495||25-40%||31/05/2020||£0-£1m|
|5 years||3.69%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.0% APR||£0||25-40%||31/05/2020||£0-£1m|
|5 years||3.69%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.1% APR||£495||20-25%||31/05/2020||£0-£1m|
|5 years||3.89%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.1% APR||£0||20-25%||31/05/2020||£0-£1m|
|5 years||4.24%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.3% APR||£495||15-20%||31/05/2020||£0-£1m|
|5 years||4.44%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.4% APR||£0||15-20%||31/05/2020||£0-£1m|
|5 years||5.29%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.8% APR||£495||10-15%||31/05/2020||£0-£750k|
|5 years||5.49%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.8% APR||£0||10-15%||31/05/2020||£0-£750k|
|Term||Initial rate||Halifax Homeowner|
Variable rate thereafter
|For the remainder of the term from||The overall cost for comparison is||Product fee||Deposit||Early Repayment Charges until||Mortgage amount|
|2 years||2.69%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||4.1% APR||£1,995||40%||31/05/2017||£1m-£5m|
|2 years||3.09%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||4.2% APR||£1,995||30-40%||31/05/2017||£1m-£5m|
|2 years||3.39%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||4.2% APR||£1,995||20-30%||31/05/2017||£1m-£2m|
|5 years||3.59%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.2% APR||£1,995||40%||31/05/2020||£1m-£5m|
|5 years||3.98%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2020||4.3% APR||£1,995||30-40%||31/05/2020||£1m-£5m|
Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee products - Available for properties with a purchase price up to and including £600,000
These fixed rate products support the Government’s Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee Scheme. To qualify for one of these products it must be the only property you'll own.
Help to Buy excludes: Remortgages, Shared Equity, Shared Ownership, Negative Equity, Buy to Let and Right to Buy.
|Term||Initial rate||Halifax Homeowner Variable rate thereafter||For the remainder of the term from||The overall cost for comparison is||Product fee||Deposit||Early Repayment Charges until||Mortgage amount||
|2 years||5.19%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||4.4% APR||£495||5-10%||31/05/2017||£0-£600k||No MAF**|
|2 years||5.39%||Currently 3.99%||31/05/2017||4.4% APR||£0||5-10%||31/05/2017||£0-£600k||No MAF**|
Our rates are only guaranteed for applications made today. We reserve the right to change our product range at any time.
** No Mortgage Account Fee (MAF) payable.
How to apply
Get an Agreement in Principle
You’ll need to complete an Agreement in Principle with us before you can start your full mortgage application. It tells you whether we can offer you a mortgage.
We'll ask you to provide a few personal details about you and anyone else who will be named on the mortgage. We'll contact a credit reference agency for a credit search and give you a credit score. If you reach our pass mark, it'll give you an indication of how much we could lend you.
To complete your Agreement in Principle, you'll need the following:
- Address details for the last 3 years
- Employment and income details for the last 18 months
- Any outstanding financial commitments
There's no charge for this and no obligation to apply for a mortgage with us.
Begin your full mortgage application
Once you've completed your Agreement in Principle, you'll need to speak to one of our qualified mortgage advisers. Your mortgage adviser will ask about your needs and circumstances and then recommend our most suitable mortgage for you. They'll discuss the next steps in the application process and answer any queries you may have.
You can speak to one of our mortgage advisers in person, or chat things over on the phone. You can call us on 08458 50 37 05 or come into branch but you'll need to book a branch appointment beforehand.