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​​​​Buying your first home

Buying a place of your own is exciting - but it can seem daunting too. So many bills to pay, so much financial responsibility. Don't panic and don't overstretch yourself. Do your financial homework before you begin house hunting and stay in control.

Start by working out how much you can comfortably afford to borrow, then you'll know what price range to look at

  • You'll probably need to put down a deposit based on a percentage of the property's value
  • Don't forget the other costs - legal, valuation and survey fees, plus removal costs. Remember to build those into your calculations
  • Find a mortgage that suits you. There are a number of different types so if you're not sure which is right for you, talk to an independent financial adviser for expert guidance.

Don't just look at the monthly mortgage costs, remember you will also have to pay for:

  • Buildings and contents insurance
  • Household bills
  • Council tax
  • Repairs and decoration
  • Service charges if it is a leasehold property.

Many of these bills can be paid for by Direct Debit and you may even be able to get a discount on some if you chose this method.

Kim comments: "I have been lucky enough to buy my first home recently. While it was a nerve racking process, with so many things to be organised, I used a checklist and eventually everything fell into place. It certainly was worthwhile now Jess and I are settled."

Find out how to plan for a house move: Terry and Sal moving home.

Find out more about student accommodation: Becky moving home.

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