First time buyer mortgages

Getting onto the property ladder can be a big step. With our expert support, digital tools and range of first time buyer mortgages, you can make the move to your new home.

Hints and tips for buying your first home

Our first time buyer help pages have everything you need to know when you’re looking for a home and applying for a mortgage.

We cover saving for a deposit, mortgage types, improving your credit score, and much more.

First Time Buyer help

Mortgage Calculator

If you're searching for your first home, you’ll need to find out how much you could borrow, and how much your mortgage could cost each month.

In a minute or two, our online mortgage calculator will give you a rough idea and show you our current mortgage rates.

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Mortgage calculator

Agreement in Principle (AIP)

An Agreement in Principle confirms how much you could be eligible to borrow, before you apply for a mortgage.

  • Show estate agents you’re ready to make an offer on your first home
  • Having an AIP ready if you speak to a Mortgage and Protection Adviser could speed up your application
  • Applying for an AIP has no impact on your credit score

Find out more information about AIPs.

Already started an Agreement in Principle?

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Agreement in Principle

Need some help getting on the ladder?

At Halifax, we have over 160 years experience helping people buy a home. Here are some ways to help you get there quicker:

Mortgages with a 5% deposit

We're proud to support the Government’s mortgage guarantee scheme. You can apply for a first time buyer mortgage of up to 95% of the property's value.

Find out if you qualify

Family Boost Mortgage

No borrower deposit? Our Family Boost mortgage means your family puts 10% of the agreed property purchase price into a 3-year fixed term savings account as security instead.

The property will be all yours, and your family will get their savings back, plus interest, as long as your payments are up to date.

Full details and conditions

Saving for a deposit

Learn more about saving for a deposit and how to get there faster.

We can help you improve your knowledge about deposits, and building good savings habits, even while you’re still renting.

Saving for a deposit

Free first time buyers events

We host free, online educational events with our first time buyer experts to help you understand everything you need to know about buying your first home.

You don’t need to be a Halifax customer or even at the house hunting stage to attend. Everyone is welcome!

Our free events

Government schemes

Help to Buy logo

Halifax supports a range of government-backed schemes that could help you buy a home. These include:

  • Mortgage Guarantee
  • First Homes
  • Help to Buy: ISA
  • Help to Buy: equity loan
  • Forces help to buy
  • Right to buy
Government schemes

Start your mortgage journey

  • Simple to use, step-by-step guide
  • Find the right mortgage deal for you
  • Keep track of your progress all in one place

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Get started

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

Our current offers

Take a look at our special offers. You can qualify for one or both offers, if eligible.

£250 cashback for energy-efficient homes

First time buyers purchasing a home with an A or B Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating could earn £250 cashback.

  • Available to customers who complete on a qualifying mortgage.
  • Maximum loan to value 95%.

The offer can be withdrawn at any time. Exclusions and conditions apply. Find out about the full details of the cashback offers and exclusions

Wouldn’t it be lovely to be mortgage-free?

  • Every month, we’ll pay off someone’s mortgage up to the value of £300,000.
  • There are also 100 monthly prizes of £1,000 cash.

Not having a mortgage to pay each month could make a big difference – could you be the one going through this life-changing moment next month? Find out if you are eligible and how to register. Mortgage Prize Draw rules apply.

Mortgage Prize Draw

Had an offer accepted and ready to get your mortgage?

You may be able to apply online, or you can speak to us over the phone or in branch.

Before you start, make sure you’ve:

  • Applied for your Agreement in Principle.
  • Had an offer accepted.
  • Got your mortgage roll number handy. You can find this on your Agreement in Principle result email.

Apply for a mortgage online

You can speak to us at any point if you need some help.

I’m ready, let’s get started

Already started your application?

Pick up where you left off >

Apply with a Mortgage and Protection Adviser

They’ll guide you through your application from the comfort of your own home.

Call us on 0345 850 0248
(Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm and Saturday 9am - 4pm)

Or, you can book a branch appointment.

What happens next?

  • Applying online

    You could continue your full mortgage application online. We'll guide you through your online application, step by step. And if you decide that you'd like some help, you can ask to speak to one of our Mortgage and Protection Advisers at any point.

    Speak to us

    Book an appointment to speak to one of our Mortgage and Protection Advisers in person, over the phone or on a video call.

    The average appointment time is 2 hours. If you’re applying with someone else, make sure you’re both available because it will save time.

    You can talk to us on a video call or over the phone on 0345 850 0248 (Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm and Saturday 9am - 4pm)

    Find out more about booking a mortgage appointment

    You'll need to:

    • Prepare the documents you’ll need such as pay slips, recent bank statements, details of any financial commitments, and proof of your identity
    • Prepare details of any existing home, life or critical illness insurance policies you have.
    • Have details of the property you want to buy.

    Your Mortgage and Protection Adviser will:

    • Review your income and commitments
    • Ask about your needs and circumstances and then recommend our most suitable mortgage for you
    • Give you an illustration that 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 select which scheme you want.
    • We'll help you to identify your insurance and protection needs, such as home insurance and Life Cover.

    We'll arrange for the property to be valued. This is 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.

    Prepare details of any existing home, life or critical illness insurance policies you have.

  • You can keep up to date with the progress of your mortgage online using Your Mortgage Tracker.

    Each time you use Your Mortgage Tracker, you'll need:

    • your mortgage roll number
    • your mobile phone, so we can send you a secure sign in code by text message.

    We’ve sent you a personalised link to the tracker in your confirmation email, or you can access Your Mortgage Tracker now.

    Your Mortgage Tracker is available Monday to Saturday 6am - 10pm and Sunday 6am - 9pm.

  • 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 Land Tax/Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (properties in Scotland) 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.

    Who's involved:

    • You and the seller, known as the vendor
    • Seller’s estate agent
    • Your conveyancer and the seller’s conveyancer
    • Your lender

    You can use the Halifax Conveyancing Service to compare quotes from our approved panel of up to 200 conveyancing professionals. You can review the quotes and choose a conveyancer based on what matters to you - the price, the firm's service rating or their location.

    Get a quote for your legal costs

    Instead, you can appoint your own conveyancer, or your Mortgage and Protection Adviser can help arrange one during your mortgage appointment using the Halifax Conveyancing Service.

    All conveyancers instructed through the Halifax Conveyancing Service offer a 'no completion, no legal fee' guarantee, so you'll have nothing to pay for the legal work done if the purchase falls through. No legal fee is payable, however if the conveyancer has made payments to Third Parties on your behalf, such as fees for searches, these will still be payable.

  • 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 want to complete the process
    • Set up buildings insurance (It’s not compulsory to buy insurance from your mortgage provider. But you can find out more about Halifax Home Insurance here)

    Who’s involved:

    • Your conveyancer and the seller’s conveyancer

    Once you’ve exchanged contracts (in Scotland concluded missives), you can start to make arrangements for moving.

  • After exchange, your conveyancer will ask you to sign the mortgage deed, 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.

    On the day fixed to complete the purchase your conveyancer will send all the money needed to pay the balance of the purchase price to the seller’s conveyancer. They'll also 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.

  • Once all the paperwork is complete and you've collected the keys, it’s a great time to make sure you’ve protected what matters.

    Home insurance

    You should already have buildings insurance as it is a requirement of your mortgage, but it’s also a good idea to take out contents insurance to protect your household goods and personal belongings.

    Protecting your mortgage

    You may also want to think about protecting your mortgage with our Life and Body Cover. This type of insurance can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you and your loved ones will be able to keep your home, even if something happens to you. It could help to pay off your mortgage in the event of your death, or if you become too ill to work.

    We have options available to Halifax mortgage customers. Our Mortgage and Protection Advisers are on hand to discuss your situation and can help you to find the right level of cover for your needs.

    You can find out more about protecting your mortgage, the cover we offer and how to get a personalised quote by visiting our Mortgage Protection page.

    What you need to know

    Our protection plans are provided by Scottish Widows, which, like us, is part of the Lloyds Banking Group. Scottish Widows protection products have no cash-in value at any time and cover will stop if you don’t pay your premiums.

    If the policy amount has not been paid out by the end of the selected term, the policy will end and you’ll get nothing back. You must be a UK resident aged between 18 and 59 to apply.

Popular questions when buying a home

  • Can I apply for a First Time Buyer mortgage?

    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’ll need a deposit of at least 5% of the property’s value, but if you can afford more than 5%, you can often get a lower initial interest rate.

    We’re supporting the Government’s mortgage guarantee scheme, if you only have a deposit of at least 5% but less than 10%. The scheme is expected to accept applications until 30 June 2025, however, it may be withdrawn earlier. You can apply for a mortgage under the scheme by following our usual application process.

    If you’re planning to put down a deposit between 5% and 10%, to qualify for the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme you’ll need to be: 

    • A first-time buyer
    • Thinking about borrowing less than £570,000
    • Buying a property that isn’t a new build flat
    • Buying a property that isn’t Shared Ownership, Shared Equity, Right to Buy or buy to let
    • Thinking about getting a repayment mortgage and not interest only

    Lending is subject to an affordability assessment, credit score and a full mortgage application.

    Use our mortgage calculator to see how much you could borrow and what your monthly payments might be. Or, to get a better indication apply for an Agreement in Principle.

    You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a mortgage, and your mortgage must usually end before you reach 80 years of age. If your mortgage term extends past your 70th birthday or when you plan to retire - whichever happens sooner - we'll look at your retirement or employment income to make sure that you can afford the monthly payments. If you’re taking out a joint mortgage, we take the age of the oldest person into account.

    Things to know when buying your first home.

    There’s a lot to think about when buying your first home. Our First Time Buyer Guide explains the entire mortgage process in an easy-to-understand way.

    We’ve put together a list of questions we’re asked most often by first time buyers. You can also find these in our First Time Buyer Guide.

    What is Stamp Duty?

    Stamp Duty is a tax you might have to pay when you buy a new home. It’s called the Land and Buildings Transactions Tax in Scotland, and Land Transaction Tax in Wales.

    Not everyone will have to pay this tax. To find out more, visit our Stamp Duty page.

    How much do I need to save for my deposit?

    We'll only lend you a percentage of what the property is worth, so you’ll need to put down some of your own money towards the cost of the property. We call this a deposit. Your deposit should be at least 5% of the property’s value (unless you’re applying for our Family Boost mortgage). If you can put down more than 5%, you can often get a lower initial interest rate.

    As well as your deposit, there are other costs to think about when buying a property and taking out a mortgage. Costs that apply to most buyers include conveyancing fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax/Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (properties in Scotland), 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.

    Use our mortgage calculator to see how much you could borrow and what your monthly payments might be. Or, to get a better indication apply for an Agreement in Principle.

    Family Boost mortgage

    With our Family Boost mortgage, your mortgage payments stay the same for three years, and you don’t need to save for your own deposit. Instead, a family member can put down 10% of the cost of your home, up to £500,000, which they’ll get back plus interest after 3 years (subject to conditions). Learn about the full Family Boost mortgage details and conditions.

    Need help with saving for your deposit?

    Our savings tips page and savings range will help you to start building enough of a deposit to put down on your first home.

    How much could I borrow?

    You can use our online mortgage calculator to get an idea of how much you could borrow. Or, to get a better indication you can apply for an Agreement in Principle, also known 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’ll 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 give 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.

    How does an Agreement in Principle differ from a mortgage offer?

    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. 

    An Agreement in Principle is subject to us performing various additional checks and so is not a guarantee we'll be able to lend you the money, for this you need a mortgage offer.

    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.

    What type of properties will you lend on?

    The property you buy must be located within the UK and loans can only be used to buy your main residential home or for purposes relating to this home.

    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.

    Is there a minimum purchase price?

    While we'll consider many types of property, we've a responsibility to make sure 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.

    What are the risks I should be aware of?

    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 and up. If you owe more than the current value of your home, you’ll 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’ll need to repay.

    What should I consider when applying for a mortgage?

    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 will take you longer to pay off the loan so you'll pay more interest. This means it will 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'll 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. 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 and Protection Adviser will ask you about your preferences and discuss your needs and circumstances before deciding which mortgage to recommend to you.

    How can I speed up the mortgage completion process?

    Return any requested documentation for your mortgage as soon as possible.

    Work closely with your conveyancer to understand timings and next steps in the process – such as local authority search turnaround times.

    Make sure all parties are working towards the same completion date and be aware of any chains you may be in which may impact this.

    Consider any other Third Parties you’ll need to contact and get quotes from (such as removal firms), and make sure they are aware of the completion date you are aiming for.

    What insurance will I need?

    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.

    It’s also important to think about what would happen to your mortgage in the event of your death, or if you are too ill to work. Our expert Mortgage and Protection Advisers can help you to find the right level of cover to protect your mortgage, should the worst happen. 

    Will I be charged any fees?

    This will depend on the mortgage product, there may be a product fee to pay and early repayment charges if you repay early. Any product fees can be added on to your mortgage on completion. There could be other charges and standard costs that 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.

    There are other costs associated with buying a property and taking out a mortgage.

    What happens at the end of my mortgage deal?

    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 decide to move it to a new product for a further period of time.

    What happens if I want to move home in the middle of my mortgage deal?

    It's sometimes possible to take a product with you to a new mortgage - we call this 'porting‘. Your Illustration and offer letter will say if any of your products are portable.

£250 cashback for energy-efficient homes

    • Cashback will be paid on mortgage completion via your conveyancer
    • Customers must have a valid EPC showing on the EPC Register or a certificate confirming the property has an A or B performance rating
    • New Build properties currently in development will not have an initial EPC rating, in this instance customers should obtain a Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA) from the builder.
    • Excludes Buy to Let mortgage applications.