First-Time Mortgage Advice: 7 Super Ways to Save

Getting onto the property ladder is rarely simple. Mortgages for first-time buyers, for example, require commitment and saving, much like so many other aspects of owning a property. However, with some smart budgeting and utilising government schemes, it is possible to save for your first mortgage and have the joy and benefits of owning your own home.

As it can be such a precarious thing to keep track of, some first-time mortgage advice is always helpful, so here are seven smart ways to save for your first mortgage that any soon-to-be homeowner should stick to.


  1. Budget and Start Saving Straight Away

You need to be committed to wanting a mortgage. This means holding back on any other large purchases, such as a car or even a holiday, unless absolutely necessary. Look at your expenses to see what could easily be cut down on, or eliminated altogether. Budgeting is crucial when it comes to saving for a mortgage; limiting those simple luxuries such as hair appointments and those regular Friday night drinks can make a big difference overall. It’s important to note that you need at least 5% of the property value for a deposit.

However, putting down up to 25% will give you more flexibility on mortgages and property. Aim for an amount closer to 25% in your budget and you’re more likely to save a strong amount of money to get you started.


  1. Use a Help to Buy ISA

If you’re saving for a mortgage and not already using the Help to Buy ISA, you need to do so right now.

There are a number of banks and building societies that offer the ISA, which is specifically for mortgages for first-time buyers. The government will boost your savings up to 25%, with a maximum of £3,000. To receive the full £3000, you will need to have saved £12000. The scheme can make a huge difference when saving for a mortgage and, as money-saving expert Martin Lewis says, “it’s a no-brainer.”


  1. Repay any Outstanding Debt

Any mortgage provider will look at whether you have any outstanding debt such as overdrafts, payday loans, credit and store cards. Your mortgage will be the biggest loan you ever take out, so removing those other debts first will help you immensely and demonstrate to providers that you are responsible for paying loans back. As a new homeowner, eliminating other debt before you get your mortgage will also make it easier to budget and keep on top of mortgage repayments.


  1. Check Your Credit Report

Any lender will look at your credit report and see the strength of it as a key factor in what they offer you, so checking this yourself first should be a priority. You can get a free credit report from a number of trustworthy websites. Find out if you have a high credit score or a low credit score and see how you can improve or maintain this.


  1. Have a Price in Mind

Property prices are wildly different depending on where in the country you want to buy and what kind of property it is. London house prices can differ massively, based on which area you’re looking at. It’s important to have an area in mind, as this will help you determine how much money you need to save for a deposit. Once you decide where you want to move to, you can budget accordingly and figure out how long it will take you to save.

You may find some great deals on house prices because a lot of renovation work is needed. While getting a smaller mortgage for a property like this might be easier, bear in mind that you’ll then need money to renovate the property.


  1. Buy Together

Buying a property with another person is a great way to double your savings for a deposit. For many couples, investing in a mortgage together is a big step and can help considerably with getting onto the property ladder. Buying with a friend is another viable option. For both friends and couples, it’s important to have a thorough discussion beforehand and be clear about the investment in case any disputes occur.


  1. Get Some First-Time Mortgage Advice

Mortgages for first-time buyers can certainly feel overwhelming. There are not only a variety of lenders, but also different types of mortgage repayment schemes and other additional fees such as stamp duty and surveyors. Opting for some first-time mortgage advice from an independent mortgage advisor can help immensely. You’ll be able to talk through which options are available and what works best for you and your finances.


Scott Farrell is the director of Rite Mortgages, offering independent mortgage advice to first-time buyers and plenty more. Scott and the team can help secure mortgages for first-time buyers with bad credit scores, freelance workers and many other situations.

The Importance Of Lists

What an ominous title. But here today I am going to talk to you about the importance of lists. It may sound silly to some who like to live their lives on a whim but I find I am definitely more organised if I have a list. Of course, sometimes I forget to write one or even take it with me but by listing stuff you may find yourself not having to worry about money as much.

What lists do I make?

Shopping List – This one is very basic – I have the basic food stuff on there like pasta, bread, milk, tins etcetera but when it comes to meat and fruit, I don’t tend to use a list and generally just decide on what I want when I get there. I know how much I want to spend on meat so I don’t overspend but it leaves me more choice. Next time I go to the supermarket I actually won’t need to buy any meat because I got a whole load of it for £20 from our local meat van today – much better prices than the supermarkets!

Bills list – Know what bills are going out when. I have a list on my phone and in my diary so I know what is due out when and also add to this if I know any one off bills are due out.

Income list – Obviously if you are self employed, this is pretty self explanatory as you need to keep a record of your income for tax purposes. However, even if you are employed and tax is sorted through your employer, it is handy to know what you have coming in so you can work out how much is going to bills, savings, general spends.

Spends list – I am a nightmare with this and never remember to do it – but this is basically listing what you are spending on with the money from your general spends. This can help you to easily identify where you are losing the most money (when I was in retail, it would have been Costa Coffee) and you can go about sorting it out.

Do you use lists? Do you think they have an importance in everyday life?

Treating Yourself On A Budget

It’s hard to believe but we’re already in December;  that time of the year that we all either love or loathe. Regardless of how we feel  about it, we all tend to end up having to be quite tight with our budgets once Christmas comes knocking but I want to give you a few ideas that will let you still treat yourself, even when the money isn’t flowing.

A lot of these things will be obvious but at a time, such a Christmas, we often forget about treating ourselves; in the rush of present buying, present wrapping, card writing, decorating, food shopping and plenty more as well, we forget that sometimes we need to just step back and have a bit of time for ourselves, or spend a little money on ourselves just to get that ‘feel good’ factor. Thankfully there are Plenty of ways to do that without having to cut back on your present buying or having less tinsel on your tree.

Firstly Shopping Trips – Now not everyone enjoys shopping but if you do you know how dangerous it can be when you’re low on funds. That said it doesn’t have to mean that you can’t shop at all, you just need to be shopping savvy. Shops like Poundland, Wilkinsons and Primark may have bad reputations but they’re absolute treasure troves if you’re wanting to treat yourself without breaking the bank – Pop in to Poundland for a nice scented candle, some chocolate and even a dvd, maybe a trip to Primark for some nice new fluffy slippers and suddenly you’ve got a much nicer evening and the joy of retail therapy all for £5.50!

And what about Date Night? Never, ever, forget about Orange Wednedays – If you’re not on Orange then find a friend who is and ask them to send you their code if they’re not using it. The cinema is So expensive but if you Really want to see a film then getting it BOGOF is going to make a massive difference. Also check out voucher sites as they often have vouchers for restaurants, similarly if you collect Tesco Clubcard points you can get some fantastic vouchers to go towards a nice meal out.

If you’re normally someone who likes to go on nights out to see your friends then maybe you can consider a Luxe Night In instead. Why’s it Luxe? Well you’re going to spend a little more than you would, normally, on a night in but it’s still going to be Much less than you would on a night out. If everyone brings a drink, a dvd, a bag of pop corn or sweets and a bottle of nail polish then you can have a great night in. The host can cook some cheap oven cooked pizzas and garlic bread (which everyone can chip in for and which can be surprisingly nice if you get them from the fresh rather than frozen section, and Still very cheap) and then you can all swap and use someone else’s nail polish to mix things up, maybe bring some face masks as well and you can have a pamper session, watch some different films as everyone’s brought something different and eat some tasty food all for a Very small amount.

In a more general sense never forget 3 for 2 offers, if you’re a beauty junkie, like me, then Boots and Superdrugs’ offers are just fantastic and that’s not to mention reward points too – I can have a whole shopping trip just on reward points if I’ve saved up a bit! And don’t forget to use sites like Topcashback, you can earn plenty throughout the year and then when the more frugal months hit you’ve got some money saved so you can still look after yourself whilst buying lovely things for everyone else!

As well as money saving sites there are also streaming sites such as Netflix and Love Film, if you’re a movie buff then maybe, instead of buying dvds, you can subscribe to one of these services and still enjoy your favourite films without breaking the bank.

There’s so many ideas once you put your mind to it – I think the most important thing to remember is that, even during the festive period when you’re trying so hard to please everyone else, it’s ok to take some time out or spend a little bit of your budget on yourself!

 This is a guest post by Laura from Petit Moi Big World.