When it comes to embarking on the journey of buying your first home, it's completely normal to feel overwhelmed. But the good news is that it doesn't have to be filled with costly mistakes. By following some proper planning and taking a few precautions, you can avoid the common pitfalls that many first-time buyers encounter. So, let's dive into six helpful tips specifically tailored for first-time buyers like yourself:

Obtain an Agreement in Principle

Before you start house hunting, it's crucial to assess your mortgage options. Take the time to obtain an 'agreement in principle' from a mortgage provider. Also known as a 'decision-in-principle' or 'mortgage promise', this certificate will give you a realistic idea of your borrowing capacity and budget. It's important not to skip this step, as failing to secure an agreement in principle might result in disappointment if you find your dream property but can't secure the necessary loan.

Start Your Mortgage Application Early

Keep in mind that there isn't a fixed timeframe for mortgage approval. While most applications are processed within 18 to 40 days, delays can happen. That's why it's recommended to start your mortgage application as soon as possible. By doing so, you'll avoid rushing into an offer on a home and have ample time to navigate the mortgage process smoothly.

Choose the Right Solicitor

The solicitor you choose can make a significant difference in the timeline of your home purchase. A good solicitor can expedite the process, helping you move into your new home sooner. Don't hesitate to ask your local team for recommendations on the best solicitors in your area. They will have the insight and knowledge to guide you in making the right choice.

Importance of Research

Before you even start viewing potential properties, take the time to define your priorities for the area you wish to live in. Consider factors such as transportation links, green spaces, primary schools, and amenities. Understanding your needs will streamline the selection process and ensure that you make an informed decision. If possible, spend some time in unfamiliar areas that you're interested in to get a sense of the atmosphere and assess transportation links.

Risks Involved in Purchasing a "Non-Standard Property"

It's important to be aware that certain property types may complicate obtaining a mortgage. Lenders may hesitate to approve loans for flats above shops, areas with high-density renting, or commercial premises due to potential issues like noise, smells, and security concerns that are beyond the owners' control. Additionally, new-build homes may have stricter lending criteria. It's important to keep these factors in mind and be prepared for any additional requirements or challenges that may arise.

Ask questions

While it's tempting to make an offer on the first seemingly perfect home, rushing in blindly can result in costly renovations and long-term expenses. Prepare a list of questions to ask during viewings. Test windows, doors, lights, and water pressure, and don't be afraid to look beyond furniture for any hidden defects. Enquire about the sellers, their tenure at the property, and their motivation for moving. Knowing how long a property has been on the market can also be advantageous, as sellers might be more open to accepting lower offers for a quick sale. Need guidance on what questions to ask during property viewings? Our experienced estate agents are here to help and provide the necessary support.


Remember, buying a home for the first time is a significant decision, and being well-informed is key to making the right choices. By following these tips and arming yourself with knowledge, you'll be better equipped to navigate the home buying process confidently. Good luck with your exciting journey of finding your first home!