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First Time Buyers Guide

South Kensington Street

Taking on a huge new venture like buying your first home can feel like navigating a minefield. Having to meet your different lenders criteria, finding the right lender, making an application and obtaining the final offer all ontop of actually getting yourself a good rate! We specialise in making this process as easy as possible with your own personal mortgage adviser who will stay by your side the whole way through. We have tried to put together a few helpful bits and pieces below to give you an idea of what to expect.

When deciding what makes a perfect property, think about the following things:

  • The area.

  • Type of property, whether a house, flat or bungalow.

  • Is the property detached, semi or a terraced house?

  • How many bedrooms.

  • Garden/Garage space.

  • How close to work and family.

  • Available schools if required to cover yourself for future plans.

  • Distance to shops and amenities.

  • Available transport options such as trains and buses to get to and from work.

  • Will you be able to afford council tax, household maintenance, and utility bills on top of the monthly mortgage repayments (you can get an idea of this from the local council website).

Once you've got a feel for what you're looking for, you need to contact several estate agents, add yourself to mailing lists and regularly contact them for updates on new potential properties and of course, make sure you're kept in the loop as there are many buyers, with the same desires as you. Doing these things should indicate to your agent that you are a serious buyer, meaning they will want to keep your details to hand for a potential property.​

Found a property of interest?

Make sure you've viewed a few! Get a feel of the various types of property, ensuring you're seeing all of the options available. Make a pro's and con's list to compare each property, to help avoid unnecessarily reviewing. Take a tape measure to check the spare room is big enough for the snooker table and a camera to capture anything that wasn't on the estate agents photos. Photos are a fail-safe in reminding you of those slight objections, repairs, and the best bits.

When making your offer, take into account how competitive the market is. If the property on offer will need extra money for repairs leeway could be given. To avoid a bidding war, when there are several other keen buyers that you are aware of, try to offer as close to the asking price as you can, as the highest bid may well exceed this. If you are lucky and there are limited bidders, you could be lucky and have your offer accepted at less than the asking price. Your agent will confirm to you in writing that the offer is accepted, but please remember the offer is not legally binding until the seller and yourself exchange contracts.​


Mortgage Firsts

You have found your dream home and your offer has been accepted. Your lender is going to want proof you can maintain the monthly repayments for the term. They will require such things as:

  • Evidence of income (usually 3 months payslips or 2-3 years account for the self-employed).

  • What current commitments you have in the form of credit cards, hire purchase, and loans.

  • Any dependants you are financially responsible for.

  • 3 months bank statements.

  • Information from credit reference agencies.

  • They could ask for your employers reference.

  • Proof of identity such as Passport and Driving Licence (They usually require one photographic and one address-based.


Joint applicants are another way to split the cost and get onto the property ladder. Lenders take both incomes into account, possibly ensuring you a higher mortgage offer, and with a higher raised deposit, lowering the interest rate on terms.

Help to Buy

For a breakdown on ways Help to Buy can be used when getting a mortgage check out our article, A Guide to Help to Buy


Self Employed

If you are looking to implement a mortgage and you are self-employed, this can sometimes prove a little more difficult than for applicants who are employed. Following recent changes to mortgage lending criteria in light of the recent mortgage market review, the criteria applied by many lenders has now become even stricter. Lenders have had to amend the way that they assess mortgage applications.

When you’re self-employed you need a lender who can look at the bigger picture, assessing each case individually. Nowadays a lot of lenders will ask for completed accounts covering your last two or three years of trading. In some limited cases, there are some mortgage lenders who will consider your application based upon just one years accounts. This can prove very helpful for the following:

  • New business owners.

  • Entrepreneurs whose business profits have fluctuated.

  • ​Company Directors who choose to retain profits within their business.

  • ​Existing business owners who have switched status from Sole Trader to a Limited Company.

The mortgage schemes that are made available to self-employed customers are the same products with the same interest rates as those available to employed customers.

At Greymere Finance, we are mortgage specialists who can help you with all of this. Using our knowledge and experience, we will present the application on your behalf to the lenders who will look at your situation based on its own merit.



We are committed to finding the right mortgage package for your individual circumstances whatever they may be. Factors such as initial deposit may affect interest rates. Without a doubt the higher the deposit raised, the more access you will have to products. There are some good offers with a 5% deposit that will give you a push on the ladder, but the higher the deposit to begin with the lower the interest rates you are likely to see.

Please be aware due to COVID-19 lending criteria has changed and there are few lenders now offering 5% deposit mortgages. Those willing to lend will now usually ask for security from family members to stand against the mortgage for a set number of years. This can be discussed in more detail with your adviser.

Getting the best advice from our advisers who can review multiple schemes from across the market and finding a good deal that is catered to your individual needs is priceless. What looks like a good offer to the general public could actually leave you worse off in the long run, when taking into account the various product fee's charged by some Mortgage lenders and their schemes.


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