THE FIRST TIME BUYERS’ TOOLKIT

Purchasing your first property can be tricky – make your life easier by using these handy tools.

Buying a property can be complicated business – particularly when you’re doing it for the first time. But the good news is that there are loads of useful tools available to help first-time buyers tackle every element of getting on the property ladder, from hunting for the perfect pad to working out how much you can afford to spend.

We’ve collected a few useful tools, including some of our own:

Toolkit

Find out how much you could borrow

Before you start eyeing up properties, you need to work out how much you can afford to borrow.

Our mortgage calculator can give you an indication of how much you can borrow based on your annual income and monthly financial commitments. Remember, it’s not a guaranteed offer, but it should help you work out your budget.

You can also use the calculator to work out what your monthly mortgage payments could be. You just need to input the property value, your deposit and the mortgage term.

Get to know your local area

Want to know more about the area you’re considering buying in?

Simply pop the postcode into our Location Finder tool and you can see what amenities there are nearby, from schools to restaurants, displayed on a handy map.

Worried about crime rates? The Crime Statistics website will show you any crimes which have been reported within a mile of your potential new post code.

Check out broadband speeds

Broadband speeds are becoming increasingly important to house-hunters. If you want to make sure you’ll be able to stream your favourite shows without buffering, find out what speeds you’d be able to access using uswitch’s Broadband postcode checker. It’ll also tell you whether fibre optic broadband is available in the area.

Find out how much nearby properties have sold for

Not convinced that an asking price is realistic? You can always check out how much other properties in the area have sold for using the Land Registry’s tool.

Find a solicitor

Once you’ve had an offer accepted you’ll need a solicitor to help complete your purchase. Find one in your local area using the Law Society website.

Find a surveyor

If you’re buying a period property or want to do extensive renovation work on your new home, it’s worth investing in a Full Structural Survey. The HomeOwner’s Alliance’s tool doesn’t just find chartered surveyors in your local area, it’ll estimate how much you’ll have to pay.

Work out how much Stamp Duty you’ll have to pay

Usually, if you’re buying a house worth over £125,000 you’ll have to pay Stamp Duty, with exactly how much depending on the value of the property. However, new rules announced in November 2017 mean first-time buyers don’t have to pay any Stamp Duty on properties worth up to £300,000. For homes worth up to £500,000, first-time buyers only pay Stamp Duty on the amount over £300,000. It can be complicated to work out exactly how much you need to budget, so let the Government’s Stamp Duty Calculator do the hard work for you.

Find a removal company

Need some help moving your worldly possessions from A to B? The British Association of Removers’ estimate tool can help you work out how much it will set you back and you can use the member directory to find removal professionals in your area.

Find out about our range of mortgages