First time buyer guide you've got the keys
Buying a home is a long term commitment. That’s why our commitment to you doesn’t stop there. We’ll now talk you through some of the next important steps.
Once you’re in your new home, the next milestone will be your first mortgage payment.
We'll let you know how much your first payment will be, shortly after your mortgage is complete.
How much will my first payment be?
It's normally more than your regular monthly payment. That's because it includes an initial interest payment. This covers the interest for the days between the date you move in and the end of that month.
For example, if you complete on the 15th, interest will be charged from the 15th to the end of the month. We’ll add this to your standard monthly payment for the following month. This is why your first payment will be more than normal.
When do I make my first payment?
Your first payment will always be in the month after you complete your mortgage.
It will normally be on the day of the month you’ve asked us to take your mortgage payments. However, if you complete less than four working days before the end of the month, we’ll move the payment to the 10th of the following month.
This is to give us enough time to make sure we take the right amount. Here’s an example of how it works:
First payment date
First payment date
First payment date
If your first payment taken on a different date to what we agreed, it will go back to the normal date the following month.
Want to change your payment details? Borrow more? Check your current balance? There are a few ways you can do this.
Checking your balance
The easiest way to check your mortgage balance is to sign in to Online Banking. If you haven't registered yet, it only takes a few minutes. And you should be able to sign in straight away.
Once you’re making regular mortgage payments, you might find that you can pay a bit more off each month. Or you may want to make a one-off payment, which is easy to do online.
Our mortgage overpayment calculator can give you an idea of how overpaying on a mortgage could save you money by reducing the amount of interest charged.
Getting help with payments
Things happen to us without warning. Perhaps you can’t work because you're ill or lose your job. If so, it could be hard to for you to meet your financial commitments and you may need some help.
If you find yourself with money problems, contact us straight away so we can give you the help you need.
Whatever happens, don't ignore the problem.
When you've had your mortgage more than six months, you might be able to borrow more. You could use the money to pay for home improvements or to make a special purchase.
The maximum amount you can borrow in total, with your existing mortgage and additional borrowing, is 85% of your property on a repayment basis (75% on an interest-only basis).
Switching your deal
You may be on a fixed rate mortgage now, but when your fixed rate deal comes to an end you will move onto our Halifax Homeowner Variable rate.
When your Halifax mortgage deal is ending, or once you’re on one of our lender variable rates, you may want to think about choosing a new mortgage deal as it may save you money.
Making other changes
Over the life of your mortgage, you may need to make other changes. For example, changing your name, or adding or removing people named on your mortgage account.
For more information or help with managing your mortgage, please read our guide to managing your mortgage.
Tips to make your home more efficient
Here are some ways you can do your bit for the environment, and improve the energy efficiency and value of your home.
- Smart meters save energy and reduce your bills. Meter readings are sent automatically to your supplier, and you can set a limit on how much you spend on energy.
- It may be cheaper to do smaller jobs, like sealing the gaps between floors and skirting boards, yourself.
- Check the energy efficiency of new appliances. Compare their energy use by looking at the bottom right of the energy label, where ratings go from dark green (most efficient) to red (least efficient).
- Replace halogen bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are a quick and cheap way to improve EPC rating. If the average household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £35 a year.
- Cutback your washing machine use by just one cycle a week and save £5 a year on energy. For dishwashers, use the energy-save or economy setting.
- Use a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap and save £25 a year.
- Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need and save around £6 a year.
- Set your heating and hot water to come on and off when needed, with the right temperature for each area of your home.
Homes of the future
- Solar panels collect the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity, which can then be used to run household appliances and lighting.
- Cut your electricity bills. Sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the installation, your electricity costs will be less.
- Ground source heat pumps use underground pipes to extract heat from the ground, which can then be used to heat radiators, under floor or warm-air heating systems, and your home’s water.
- Wind turbines use wind to generate electricity and have a number of benefits:
- Cut your electricity bills. Wind is free, so once you’ve paid for the installation, your electricity costs will be less.
- Cut your carbon footprint. Wind electricity is green renewable energy and doesn't harm the environment.
It always feels like there’s so much to do when you move home. Here's a list to help you remember the things that are easily forgot.
The big move
- Decide if you’re going to employ a removal firm or do the move yourself.
- If you’re hiring someone, get a few quotes. And don’t forget to check their insurance.
- After all, they’ll be responsible for the safe transport of your belongings.
- If you’re hiring a van and doing the driving, everyone who might drive it will need to be insured.
Do you really need three toasters?
- It might be an idea to start clearing out anything you haven’t used for a while – there’s no point in moving junk from one loft to another.
- Decide what you won’t be taking with you. You can recycle the rest or take it to a charity shop.
- Start collecting what you'll need to pack up your life, like newspaper, boxes, bags and tape.
- Begin to pack away the stuff you won't need between now and moving day.
- You’ll have buildings insurance sorted. But if you haven’t arranged cover for your contents, get in touch with your existing provider or find new cover. Make sure it starts from the day you move into your new home.
- Let your power and broadband suppliers know you'll be moving to a new address.
- Make it easier for yourself when you arrive: clearly label what stuff needs to go in what room.
- List everyone who needs your new address and send it to them.
- Make sure your mail gets forwarded to your new address for a while after you move.
- Pack a box of essentials so you can eat, drink or feed the pets when you get to your new home.
- Grab a bag and pack it with all you’ll need to get through the first night in your new home, like toilet paper and some clean nightwear.
- Read the gas, electricity and water meters and let your suppliers know.
- Check everywhere before you leave your old home for the last time. Don't forget to look in the loft and the garden.