Buying Property Guides

Find information about how to buy a home, a house or a flat as well as legal, financial and environmental advice.

  • picture of a new homes developmentNo matter what their age or background, anyone who is thinking about buying their first home knows that that the biggest stumbling blocks are amassing a deposit and finding a mortgage.

    One person acutely aware of this is 27-year-old designer Heena Rai, who was the first person in the UK to get her application through successfullly for a NewBuy mortgage, the loans system running alongside FirstBuy that enabled her to pay just a 5% deposit, but that's available both to first time buyers such as Heena and existing home owners.

    The scheme was created to give a leg up on to the property ladder for first time buyers on joint or sole incomes of less than £60,000 a year and who are able to put down a 5% deposit.

    Low interest loans

    In return the government is providing a low-interest loan to make up the deposit to 20%, and three mortgage lenders have signed up to offer 75% mortgages. It is not clear yet whether the scheme will have an upper limit for property values.

    FirstBuy, which will apply only to those buying new homes, is to be funded jointly by the government and some 100-plus house builders.

    Huge sum

    FirstBuy comes in the nick of time. Recent figures from lender the Halifax reveal that the average deposit is now £34,000, a huge sum for anyone starting out in life and particularly for postgraduates weighed down heavily by student loans.

    This figure underlines how, as the government has realised, first time buyers are being asked to put down deposits of up to 20% in order to access the best mortgage deals.

    Those who only have five per cent deposits saved up are being priced out of the market and, for example, are being asked to pay interest rates of up to six per cent – way more than the three per cent or those with large deposits, a difference of £280 a month based on a repayment loan over 21 years.

  • how to buy a house

    how to buy a house

    If you're looking to buy a home , get all the information you need, from how to search for property, to legal and surveying requirements and much more.

  • Potential costs of buying a home

    Potential costs of buying a home

    Buying your first home is one of the most exciting experiences of your life, but it's also a whole new world, filled with strange administrative requirements and, of course, expenses.
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    Prime property guides: the Huf Haus

    The iconic timber and glass structure of Huf homes may have changed Britain's view of prefabs forever.
  • viewing property helpful hints

    viewing property helpful hints

    Before you attend property viewings, read our viewing checklist for advice on questions to ask and what to look out for at the property.

  • Guide to chain free property

    Guide to chain free property

    Most houses on the market are dependent on a sequence of other property sales and purchases. Chain free indicates a property with no such sequence.
  • how to buy a property off-plan

    how to buy a property off-plan

    It can be a very lucrative strategy to buy a property off-plan if you get it right. Get tips and advice on how to maximise your chances of success.

  • how to buy land

    how to buy land

    Whether for redevelopment or new build purposes, buying land can be a sound investment if you know what to look for and how to get the best from the experts.

  • how to buy commercial premises

    how to buy commercial premises

    Moving into your own premises is an exciting part of the growth of any business. Our guide will help you through the process from start to finish.

  • guide to HIPs when buying

    guide to HIPs when buying

    If you're buying a home after 14 December 2007, you will be able to view a Home Information Pack for each property. Find out more about HIPs .