Search site

She’s an estate agent AND a first time buyer-here’s what she has learned about getting on the property ladder

27 Jun 2014

Rachel Spencer, senior sales negotiator at our Northfield Avenue branch has recently become a brand new homeowner.  The experience has taught her a great deal about the buying process.  Here she shares what she has learned.


As an estate agent working with solicitors and surveyors to get the sale through to completion (what we call “sales progression”), I never fully understood just how emotional the whole process really is until I went through it myself.  It has really opened up my eyes to the emotions which are included in buying a property. My dad always said to me there’s three things in life that will be the biggest things I do:

1)      Buy a property

2)      Get married

3)      Have a baby

Buying a property was one of the most nerve-wracking, yet exciting things I’ve ever done – definitely scarier than jumping out of a plane with a parachute on my back.  (Editor’s note: Yes, you read that right – Rachel has done a charity skydive!)  I think as an agent I am now a lot more emotionally invested in my buyers as I know how much of a struggle and stress it can be, but I am living proof that it is totally worth it!

How do you get started to get yourself on the property ladder like Rachel?

Here are the first steps to take to prepare for buying property for the first time:

Save for a deposit

You’ll need to save at least 5% of the purchase price of the home you want to buy to get a mortgage.  Try using an online percentage calculator to tell you how much you need to save.  For example, if you wanted to buy a property for £210,000 you would need £10,500 as a deposit. The larger your deposit, the better mortgage deal you will be able to get.

Here are 12 ideas for how to save for a deposit for your first home.

Put together an accurate budget of all your outgoing costs.

The financial regulator put into place new rules regarding mortgages as of April 2014.  The new rules are designed to make sure lenders don’t lend consumers more than they can realistically expect to pay.  As part of the application process you will need to show the lender evidence of any outgoings and prove your income so getting all that information together at the outset will make the process easier.

Find an independent, whole of market mortgage broker to guide you through the application process

With the new lending rules, having expert guidance through the mortgage application process is more important than ever! And with there being wide speculation that interest rates will rise this year, you need to make sure you get the best mortgage deal.  That means, not taking the first mortgage that a high street bank offers you.  Just as you would comparison shop for car insurance, make sure to comparison shop for mortgage deals.  Independent, whole of market mortgage brokers often have access to deals that high street banks don’t, so that combined with their expert help with applications will mean they are your best ally. 

Budget for the other costs of buying a home

As well as a deposit you’ll need to think about additional costs involved in buying a property including solicitor’s fees, stamp duty, removal costs etc.


Read this article on budgeting for moving costs.

Still not sure you can buy your own home?

Think about other options like the Help to Buy Scheme or shared ownership.  Click the links below to get more info:

Find out more about how the government Help to Buy Scheme works.

Learn more about how shared ownership works.

Are you ready to start looking for your first property or want free advice from an independent whole of market mortgage advisor? Give us a call on 020 8799 3371 or email us.

Not quite ready to take that first step?  Ask us your questions via Twitter@northfieldslive or via our Facebook page.  Tell us what we can do to help you to buy your first property.