First time buyer guide

Our First Time Buyer Guide is one of the many ways we can help you navigate the exciting but sometimes overwhelming process of buying your first home.

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As a first time buyer, you are probably making the most expensive purchase you've ever made. Given that you’re also completely new to the home buying process, buying your first home can seem incredibly daunting.

We’ve helped countless first time buyers successfully buy their new homes, so we have the expertise to help guide you through your first house purchase.

Our experienced Sales Executives will be on hand to help you every step of the way, but this First Time Buyer Guide will also be useful to help you take your first step onto the property ladder.

Are you ready to buy your first home?

Most first time buyers get an enormous amount of satisfaction and pride out of putting the key in the door of their new home for the first time, even though it might not always be an easy journey.

Of course, there are quite a few reasons why Britain is a nation of aspiring home owners…

  • Your monthly mortgage payments are an investment in your biggest asset. 
  • Property prices have historically always risen. Whilst none of us have a crystal ball, investing in property now could make you a profit in years to come.
  • You’ll own your home at the end of your mortgage term, and then you can live there free of charge.
  • You have the power! Not only can you choose how to decorate your home, you can also be in control of when things get fixed, and which electricity supplier you use.
  • There is no landlord to unceremoniously end your lease when you’d like to stay. It’s your home, and you choose how long you live there.

So, you think you want to buy?

Well, there’s a few other things you need to think about before you start house hunting.

First of all, you’ll need a deposit for a mortgage before you can seriously considering buying your first home. A mortgage deposit will be at least 5% of the value of your new home, but is likely to be more like 10-20%. So on a £200,000 house, a 20% deposit would be £40,000.

Sound like a lot of money? Then it’s worth knowing that there are several First Time Buyer Schemes available for people who only have a 5% deposit.

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If you have saved a deposit, then you can find out if you are able to get a mortgage. Taylor Wimpey works with trusted Independent Financial Advisors who understand our business but work for you to get you the best deal on a mortgage.

Whether you can get a mortgage or not will depend on your household salary, your credit rating, and the size of your deposit. An experience IFA will be able to tell you what options are available to you.

Consider how being a home owner will affect you

Before you get carried away thinking about colour schemes and wallpaper, make sure you’ve seriously considered how buying your first home is going to impact on your life.

When you own a home, you’ll have regular monthly outgoings, a permanent base, and you may have to give up some luxuries to ensure you pay the mortgage.

Even if you’ve got a deposit and can get a mortgage, you should also ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do you have a permanent job?
  • Are you planning on staying in the same location?
  • Are you happy to take on the responsibility of owning a home?
  • Can you comfortably afford to pay the monthly bills as well as the mortgage?
  • Are you prepared to forgo your luxuries if needed?

Answered yes to all of these questions? Then you’re probably ready to take the plunge and buy your first home, so read on!

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Choosing Your First Home

Research phase of buying your first home

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Once you know how much deposit you have and how much you’re likely to be able to borrow to buy your first home, you’ll be able to start thinking about where and what you’d like to buy.

To kick off your market research, you can Search Our Website to find out what’s available in the area you want to buy. You could also do your homework on large property websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

To a large extent, the location you are looking at buying in and the amount of money you have to spend will determine the price and type of property you will be able to buy.

You should also consider whether you want your first home to be a flat or a house; an period property or a new build.

Don’t forget, there are many benefits to buying a new build home from the security of a two year new homes warranty to the luxury of being able to choose all your own brand new fixtures and fittings.

Set a realistic goal

If your research reveals that the three bedroom house in the upmarket part of town that you’ve got your heart set on is not available within your budget, then you may have to compromise.

When trying to decide what you can compromise on, consider which aspect of your home search is most important to you.
Many people think that location is the most important aspect of buying a home. If you’re desperate to live in the location of your choice, then think about the following:

  • Could you buy a flat instead of a house?
  • If you’re looking for a two bed flat, think about whether you really need that extra bedroom. It could be adding thousands to the price.
  • Do you need to have a garden or a parking space?
  • Could you set up a work space in a corner of a room?
  • On the other hand, if the size of your home is really important, then think about whether you could consider making some compromises on the location? Is there a nearby up and coming property hot spot that offers similar transport links and local amenities at a cheaper price?
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If you really can’t compromise on either the location or the size of your home, then maybe you need to think again.

  • Could you postpone buying your first home and take time to save a larger deposit so that you can afford a larger home?
  • If you’re not already, then could you buy a home with a friend, sibling or partner to help you afford the home of your dreams in the location you want?

Ultimately, you need to decide which of your property search criteria is non-negotiable and which would be an added bonus. We’d recommend that you cut out any properties that don’t meet your “must have” criteria but don’t get hung up on the “nice to have” aspects of your prospective first home.

Getting to know your new home

Once you think you’ve found somewhere you’d really like to buy, make sure you thoroughly get to know the property and the surrounding area.

Think about the details:

  • How long will it take and how much it will cost for you to get to work?
  • Are there any maintenance charges on the property?
  • How much are energy bills and council tax?
  • Are there amenities such as shops and transport links nearby?
  • Does the property need any maintenance work such as a new roof?
  • Is there likely to be any upcoming development in the area?

If you’re buying a new home from us, you can ask our trained Sales Executives as many questions as you like about the local area, the development and the property you are interested in buying.

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Preparing to buy your first home

The costs of moving home

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Once you’ve found your ideal first home, you can get serious about buying. There are quite a few costs associated with buying your first home.

Aside from the mortgage deposit, you need to factor in a wide variety of costs including stamp duty, solicitors fees, and removal services.

Take a look at our guide to the Costs of Moving Home for more details.

It’s worth knowing that we sometimes offer special deals to first time buyers where we pay your stamp duty or solicitors fees to make life a bit easier for you. 

Ask the Sales Executive at the development of your choice for more details.

The costs of living in your home

Make sure you remember to consider the ongoing cost of living in your new home. Energy bills, council tax and insurance costs all add up to a sizable chunk of your monthly outgoings.

Whilst the mortgage company would have assessed whether you can afford to live in your new home already, it’s a good idea to take control of your outgoings.

Set up a monthly budget, taking into account your salary plus any additional income such as commission or bonuses.

Then factor in all of your outgoings including:

Essentials Non-essentials
Mortgage Socialising
Insurance (buildings, contents, life) Luxury items including clothes & technology
Gas, electric and water bills Holidays
Council tax  
Phone bills  
Food bills  


Of course, you can search for the best deals on energy and food bills, but in general “essential” items are a relatively fixed outgoing.

You could make savings by cutting back your spending on non-essential outgoings, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for this before you buy your first home.

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Making an offer on your first home

What to think about when making an offer

If you’re confident that you can afford to buy your first home, it’s time to make an offer. 

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Of course, your offer will be guided by your own budget and the level of demand in the area.

The value of properties can be affected by a range of factors. Before you make an offer, think about:

  • The position of the house
  • Whether the property needs to have any maintenance or decoration work
  • Whether a fitted kitchen is installed.
  • Whether the property is freehold or leasehold
  • What fixtures and fittings will be include

If you are buying a new home from us, you may be able to choose which fixtures and fittings you have installed in your new home – and you even get a two year warranty on your fixtures and fittings. Many fixtures and fittings are built in as we construct your new home, so you’ll have more choices the earlier you reserve.

After the offer has been accepted

If your offer on your new home has been accepted, then congratulations! You or your IFA can tell your mortgage lender to start the buying process.
The lender will do a mortgage valuation of the property you want to buy. You may decide to pay for a homebuyer’s survey or even a full structural survey.

If you buy from Taylor Wimpey you have the assurance of not just one, but two warranties. The Taylor Wimpey 2 year warranty guarantees items supplied as part of your new home, covering defects caused by our faulty workmanship or materials. You also get an NHBC 10 year structural warranty.

You will also need to find a property solicitor or conveyancer who will carry out the legal aspects of the house-buying process on your behalf, including any surveys.

Take a look at our guide to the Home Buying Process for more details and how we can help you with this process.

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Moving into your new home

Preparation is key

Whilst taking ownership of your first home will be exciting, the actual move itself can prove to be stressful. Make life as simple as possible by fully preparing yourself in advance for the move to your new home.

We’d recommend making a list of things you need to do, and we’ve put together a Moving Checklist to start you off. For example, if you are currently renting, you will need to take meter readings and inform the council of your move so that they know that a new tenant will be liable for paying the bills.

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On moving day itself, make sure you have kept your clothes and essential items for the next couple of days in a separate box.

If you’re moving to a new build property from Taylor Wimpey, you won’t need to keep cleaning materials and the vacuum cleaner with you because your new home will be given a sparkling clean before you move in!

If you'd like to find out more about how we can help first time buyers to buy, then why not come and speak to one of our experienced sales executives? Just search for a development of your choice to book an online appointment.

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