First Time Buyer Mortgages

Buying your first home is an exciting time but it can also be overwhelming. We’ll help you to navigate through the whole process step-by-step, providing comprehensive advice about first time buyer mortgages and buying a property.

We’ll guide you through the market, outline the steps you should take and make sure you understand the costs. Whatever your plans and timescale, we will be by your side, every step of the way, to support you.

Who We Are

Robin Mortgage Design are a whole of market mortgage & protection brokerage. Mortgage brokers who are 'whole of market' have access to the largest pool of mortgage providers such as banks, building societies and pure mortgage lenders. When you choose us, you’ll be treated as an individual from the very start. We’ll take the time to understand your situation and propose suitable options for your mortgage & protection needs.

On this page, we’ll share information to help you as First-Time Buyers understand how you could get a mortgage and what you can do to prepare for your application. If you’d like to speak with an actual human at any point, then we can get you in touch with your personal mortgage consultant who will be on hand to guide you through every stage of your journey.


Milton Keynes       Essex


What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan secured against a property, usually for a term of between 5 & 40 years. You’ll have to pay back the loan with the most common type of repayment for first-time buyers being a capital and interest mortgage. This is where you make monthly payments which decrease the overall borrowing as well as paying the interest, to make sure the mortgage is paid off at the end of the term. You're charged interest for having a mortgage, so seeking advice from a qualified professional can help you make sure you have the most suitable product for your requirements.

Who is a first time buyer?

A first-time buyer is someone who has never owned a property. If you've ever been named on a property or owned a property in the past, then you will not be a first-time buyer. Some lenders have different criteria for who classifies as a first-time buyer, for example not owning a property for 3 years. Although this doesn't legally make you a first-time buyer, it can mean that you might be entitled to an exclusive deal by that lender. If you're in any doubt about your status, speak to a professional mortgage consultant and a solicitor.

How much deposit do I need?

This is a great question as the size of your deposit makes a big difference in your choice of mortgage providers.

At the start of 2020, there were plenty of options for people with deposits of all sizes from 5% to 50%, but now the options are more limited. The good news is, as a first-time buyer, options are still available. If you only have a 5% deposit you can still buy a property with access to the Help to Buy & Shared Ownership schemes and there are lenders offering family assist products, which are fantastic options for those with 5% deposits or no deposits at all.

If you're not sure what options are available, it’s always best to seek advice from a whole market mortgage broker.

How much does a mortgage cost?

This is a question we’re often asked! The cost of a mortgage can be explained in a variety of ways but here are some things to consider.​

The term of the mortgage: Your mortgage term can be between 5 and 40 years, the longer the mortgage term, the lower your payments become, but the more interest you'll pay. So, taking a longer-term can actually cost you more over the term of the mortgage.

The fees of the mortgage product: Some mortgage products come with fees and these can range from £0 to in excess of £2,000 for setting up and redeeming the mortgage.

Associated fees: These include valuations, legal work and broker fees, etc. All of which should be taken into account when applying for your mortgage. These can again be in excess of £1000.

I have adverse credit can I still get a mortgage?

If you have adverse credit, there could still be options, but this really does depend on your credit history. The best thing you can do is to seek advice from a mortgage adviser and gain access to your credit report. Your dedicated adviser will then be able to let you know your options and when you'll be able to get a mortgage. There are specialist lenders that can help in certain cases, but there are no guarantees.

Here are some of the considerations if you've got a tainted credit history:

Bankruptcy and Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) are widely acceptable once they’ve been discharged for 3 years. If you have a larger deposit to put towards a property, then other options may be available if they were discharged more recently than 3 years.

Debt management plans are widely accepted as long as they’ve been in place for 12 months or more and you’ve conducted the account excellently.

Defaults and CCJs are widely accepted, however, there are many different solutions and options here. So even if you have something outstanding, lenders are willing to take a look.

Missed payments are widely accepted but it does depend on what the missed payments were for, the reason for the missed payments, how many payments have been missed and how long ago they were. Typically, lenders prefer your payments to be no more than two months behind without needing to look at more specialist mortgage products.

Payday Loans are widely accepted if they were paid off over 12 months ago. They can be frowned upon when applying for a mortgage as they are considered a last resort option for borrowing. In all cases, the lender would need to understand why the loan was taken out.

Whatever situation you’re in when it comes to bad credit, it’s always best to get advice from a mortgage advisor, ideally someone who is able to review all your options by searching the whole market.


What is Help to Buy and how can this help me?

The Help to Buy Equity Loan and Shared Ownership options are the two main schemes that are currently supported by the government. They can appear confusing but that is where we can help. We're really knowledgeable about the schemes and can help you to understand what they mean.

Sometimes, it’s easy to believe they are the best or only option available or to think they may not be for you, so we’ll provide you with the factual information you need to decide if one of these options could help you buy your first, last or dream home.

Help to Buy Shared Equity Loan

These loans help you to buy a new build property with as little as a 5% deposit. The government top up your deposit with an additional loan to the value of up to 20% (or 40% in London) of the property’s value market value. This loan is not free and after 5 years you will start to pay it back at a specified rate of interest. It is important to remember that the loan is a percentage loan, so if the value of your property goes up or down, so will the value of the loan.

With the new rules, these loans will only be available to first-time buyers and the value of the property if affected by its location in the country.

Help to Buy Shared Ownership

This scheme helps you to buy a share of a new or old property. You will normally buy a share of between 25% and 75% of the overall value.

You will then pay the mortgage for your share of the property and pay rent for the remainder, which will also include service charges.

5 things to consider when looking at shared ownership​:

  1. What is your monthly budget for property associated costs?

  2. You may still be responsible for the upkeep of the property

  3. You are not guaranteed to be accepted

  4. You must not own or be party to any other property

  5. Can you buy additional shares in the property? (staircasing)

So how does the house buying process work?

If you are considering the purchase of a property, you should always seek advice from a qualified mortgage adviser. They will guide through the process and make a recommendation based your preferences and affordability. This is always a great first step to ensure you can view properties with confidence.

A decision in principle is the first step to getting a mortgage. At this stage, lenders will evaluate your finances and credit history to be sure you can support the mortgage. Once agreed, you can then move to the next step of the process. The decision is not a guarantee of a mortgage, as you are still subject to underwriting and a valuation on the property, but it is definitely a positive step.

Now you have approval for the mortgage, you can start to seriously consider the properties you want to buy. Once you’ve found the one, you can make a formal offer to the agent who is selling the property and provide your agreement in principle to show that you are able to proceed. If your offer is approved, let your mortgage adviser know.

Your adviser will now review the mortgage and protection options again and once you are happy, will submit the application to the lender on your behalf. During the application process, there may be some fees payable, such as the cost of a valuation. At this stage, your adviser can instruct a conveyancer on your behalf, if you haven't appointed anyone.

At this step of the process, the lender will review all your information to make a formal decision on whether or not to offer the mortgage. You will need a valuation to be carried out, which the lender will arrange, but you can upgrade this if you would like a more in-depth report. This process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, but you should be kept up to date with the progress throughout.

This is a really exciting step for any buyer and a positive step closer to owning the property, as the mortgage provider has agreed the requested loan. You’ll now be provided with an offer document and copies will be sent to all the relevant parties. The mortgage offer will generally be valid for 3 to 6 months and can usually be extended if required.

Behind the scenes your chosen conveyancer will be doing all the legal searches on the property, liaising with your lender, our team and the vendor’s conveyancer. They provide a hugely important part of the process, so it’s always best to choose someone you can trust. If you are unsure about which conveyancer to use, please let us know and we can recommend someone from our trusted network.

The exchange of contracts is the final commitment when purchasing your property and usually only takes place when the whole chain is ready and all legal work is complete. You’ll agree a completion date, which can be simultaneous or at a later date, and then finally you complete! This is when you pick up the keys to your brand-new home.

Why use a mortgage broker?

This is a really good question. Like most occupations, people can be very good at what they do with some being the ‘jack of all trades. But normally, if you want something doing you choose an expert. A mortgage broker is no different.

Mortgages and associated services is what we do, and we have the experience, knowledge, and qualifications to help secure your mortgage from the whole of the market, not just a select panel, like some agents, comparison sites, and single ties such as banks.

So, if you’d like honest, unbiased advice, suited solely to you, then a mortgage broker is just what you need.

Ready to get in contact? Fill in our simple form or speak with a mortgage adviser directly by using the details below.

Call us

0330 242 8363


The information contained in this website is subject to UK regulatory regime and is therefore intended for consumers based in the UK.

Not all forms of mortgage lending such as certain Buy to Lets are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority along with some additional related services, such as Conveyancing. A full disclosure document will be provided to you.

If you are considering securing additional debts against your home: Think carefully about securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other debt secured on it.

Some links on this website will take you to third party websites. Robin Mortgage Design have no control over and are not responsible for the content of other sites.

*some services are by provided as a referral to a third party company. No personal information will be shared with such companies without your prior permission. Robin Mortgage Design have no control over these companies and cannot be held accountable for their service or advice.

Robin Mortgage Design is a trading style of Robin Partnership Ltd whom is an appointed representative of HL Partnership Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  The registered Office of Robin Partnership Ltd is 22 South Street, Castlethorpe, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK19 7EL. For more information please refer to the FCA register

Robin Mortgage Design charge a broker fee which is only payable on mortgage offer. The precise amount will depend upon your circumstances however a typical fee is £395.00 and the maximum that could be charged is £1,495.00

Original on Transparent