First-time buyers’ guide to getting a mortgage

February 19, 2024

how to get a mortgage in the UK as a first-time buyer

As a first-time buyer, it’s natural for you to feel daunted, intimidated, or simply confused by the property-purchasing process.

No matter how much advice and guidance you might receive from friends and family, there’s nothing quite like buying your first home.

Fortunately, the experienced team of mortgage advisors at UKMC is on hand to clear the confusion and boost your confidence.

To help you learn more about how to get a mortgage in the UK as a first-time buyer, simply carry on reading to discover our complete guide – filled with easy-to-follow steps and handy tips.

How to get a mortgage as a first-time buyer

Getting a mortgage as a first-time buyer doesn’t have to be a complicated and confusing process.

Instead, our down-to-earth team aims to make things as simple as possible by explaining the key steps and what you need to do at each stage to make progress.

Seek support with your deposit (if needed!)

To ensure you’re not missing out on any vital money-saving schemes, it’s important to explore every deposit support option available to you as a first-time buyer.

This includes the government’s mortgage guarantee scheme which aims to increase the availability of 95 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage deals, allowing first-time buyers to put down a lower deposit and become homeowners faster.

To learn more about the various schemes available to you as a first-time buyer, as well as the pros and cons of using one of these schemes to acquire your first home, it’s important to consult a professional mortgage advisor.

Use a mortgage calculator

Once you’ve determined the size and source of your deposit, we recommend using a mortgage calculator to find out how much you could potentially borrow from a lender and how much your mortgage is likely to cost each month for your ideal home.

You need to know the market value of your ideal home, your monthly income (or joint income if applying with a partner), the loan or deposit amount, the type of loan you’d like, and your chosen repayment period.

However, it’s important to bear in mind that mortgage calculators (regardless of which one you use) do have their limits and don’t ask for all relevant information.

As a result, they should only be used to provide an estimate of how much you’re able to borrow.

For a more accurate idea of how much a lender is likely to allow you to borrow, you must discuss your requirements and personal circumstances with a mortgage advisor or obtain an official Agreement-In-Principle (AIP).

Unlike a mortgage calculator, an experienced mortgage advisor or lender will take into account more of your outstanding and ongoing payments, such as credit card and loan balances.

Apply for an Agreement-In-Principle

To determine whether you’d be accepted for a mortgage, it’s important to get an AIP, also sometimes referred to as a Mortgage Promise, Mortgage in Principle (MIP), or Decision in Principle (DIP).

This is an official statement provided by a lender detailing how much they’re willing to lend you based on an extensive range of questions they’ve asked you. At this point, you can start seriously looking at properties as sellers and estate agents will you see you as a more serious buyer.

This stage is often viewed as the first step in obtaining for a mortgage, but first-time buyers can get a better indication of whether they’re likely to qualify for a mortgage by seeking deposit advice and using a mortgage calculator first.

For a clearer idea of what you can afford as a first-time buyer, please feel free to contact UKMC to obtain your Agreement-In-Principle.

Obtain a formal mortgage offer

Once you’ve found your first home and your offer has been accepted, you’ll need to contact your broker again to apply for a formal mortgage offer. This is because an AIP is not a legal document and as a result, you’re not guaranteed to be loaned this amount.

With a formal mortgage offer, you’ll have peace of mind that your chosen lender is happy to loan the amount you require. You can only make a full mortgage application once your offer on a house has been accepted.

Secure your mortgage deal

After your offer has been accepted, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage.

You can either contact a lender, like a bank or building society, directly, or reach out to a specialist mortgage advisor to help you find the best deals from a variety of different lenders and liaise with your chosen lender on your behalf.

A good mortgage advisor can suggest the best mortgage deals for first-time buyers thanks to their vast experience in this industry and greater market knowledge of existing schemes and lenders.

As a result, first-time buyers can often save themselves plenty of time, money, and hassle by using a mortgage advisor to help them find the most suitable mortgage for their circumstances.

At UKMC, for example, we search thousands of mortgage deal products to help you secure the best deal for your first home.

All we require is a quick call and some basic information to get the ball rolling, so why not contact our friendly team today to see how we can help?

Conduct property survey and searches, exchange contracts, and complete

After securing a mortgage deal and having your offer accepted, there are many steps that need to be taken before you can complete. This includes having a property surveyor survey the property and enlisting help from a solicitor to carry out the relevant searches.

At UKMC, we’ll get in touch directly with your chosen solicitor to assist with this part of the process, and our completions team we’ll even be on hand to ensure everything’s moving in the right direction.

If you’re satisfied with the results of the survey and conveyancing searches, you can then exchange contracts and complete.

Seeking professional first-time buyer mortgage support?

Concerned about the size of your deposit or struggling to choose between a fixed or variable mortgage deal?

Here at UKMC, we understand that being a first-time buyer can feel incredibly daunting. Fortunately, we’re here to help you make sense of the various government schemes designed to help, ever-changing mortgage interest rates, and even the entire home-purchasing process.

Instead of baffling you with mortgage jargon and steering you towards a particular mortgage lender or deal, we adopt an honest and authentic approach by assessing your specific requirements.

We’ll review your options on your behalf, identify the pros and cons of each arrangement, and advise you as to which deal could be best for you. At every stage of the house-purchasing process, our friendly and knowledgeable team is on hand to help.

Based in Warrington, we can provide face-to-face support for customers across Cheshire, but we’ve also helped first-time buyers across the UK to secure the right mortgage deal to suit their specific needs.

If you’d like to learn more about how to get a mortgage as a first-time buyer or the first-time buyer services available at our family-run business, why not arrange an appointment with one of our expert UKMC mortgage advisors today?

To get in touch, you can either call us on 01925 573328, email your enquiry to, or request a call back at a more convenient time using our online contact form.

UK Mortgage Centre is a trading style of Refresh Mortgage Network Limited. Refresh Mortgage Network Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN – 826982. Registered in England & Wales: 11614569. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up the mortgage repayments. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of buy-to-let mortgages. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate will writing and taxation and trust advice.