It’s easy to see why first time buyers dread the M-word. The lifelong burden, the income drainer, the huge responsibility that people worry about is often branded as a monster. However if you choose a mortgage that suits you well, and is realistic to repay, it really doesn’t need to be such a big deal. We’ve got some expert tips and advice to help you choose your first mortgage, to make the smart move onto the property ladder.

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Know Your Budget

Although a mortgage lender will ultimately decide whether they think you’re in a position to take their loan, it’s important to work out your budget before you start applying for any. Instead of getting lost in the figures and percentages, using a mortgage calculator will allow you to work out in real terms how much your payments will be, to establish your budget from the start.

Help to Buy

Struggling to save up a big deposit but want to get on the housing ladder? The Help to Buy scheme  is designed to give first time buyers a leg-up, providing equity loans for new homes, and mortgage guarantees for existing ones, with the aim of making you a more attractive and trustworthy prospect to mortgage lenders.

Fixed or Variable?

When choosing between different mortgages, don’t just be drawn in by the figures. A variable mortgage with a slightly lower rate than a fixed one might be appealing now, but you’ll be vulnerable to fluctuations if interest rates rise, especially if you are on a tight budget.

Ask for Advice

Your parents, friends and family may have their own experiences to share of getting and maintaining a mortgage, but this financial commitment is an extremely personal one depending on individual factors. So instead of relying on Google or what your nearest and dearest have to say, pop into your local estate agent for expert advice with no obligation. 

Only Apply When You’re Ready

In the excitement of buying your first home, don’t rush into any applications until you’re fully informed on what you can afford, what the payments will be, and which companies are offering the best deal for you. Not only will it slow down the process if you change your mind later down the line, but applying for lots of mortgages in a short space of time can affect your credit rating too. So be a smart shopper and don’t dive in at the deep end.

It’s important to do your research on this long-term financial commitment before you make any moves. However by taking the time to properly look into the offers available, as well as your own financial situation, you’ll feel confident that you have made the right decision when you do finally apply. For more professional mortgage advice, visit your estate agent and a friendly advisor will be able to help you get your head around the subject. Then you can bite the bullet!

This feature was written by Smelly Gilmour-Grassam, you can follow her on Twitter at @KellyGGrassam. Kelly is from Yorkshire and she wrote this article with helpful information from ADM Residential.