Back to Blog

A guide to mortgages for first-time buyers

Posted 5/01/2024 by Alex Moore
Blue front door

The prospect of purchasing your first home is rather exciting, but we understand that being a first time buyer will present some challenges. Don’t let getting onto the property ladder turn into a stress. We’ve pulled together what you need to know going forward with your property ownership journey.

Getting your deposit ready

Before you can get a mortgage, lenders will expect a deposit from you. How much that deposit may be will depend on what property you are interested in. That means how much its market value is, the area it’s in, the size, and more. Different mortgages may require more or less of a deposit too.

You can expect the absolute minimum deposit to be 5%, but rates are typically higher. Your chosen lender will offer you a deposit percentage.

If you can afford to pay more than how much they are asking, you can expect to have smaller monthly payments. It also increases your chances of being asked in the first place.

Knowing how much you can afford to borrow will make searching for your ideal property more realistic. You can use our mortgage calculator online right now to figure out how much you could expect to pay each month on a property that you’re interested in.

Picking the right lender for you

You should always explore the various options that could be available to you when choosing which lender to borrow from. Some lenders offer preferential rates and cash back for first time buyers only, so it’s important to look at everything being offered to you.

Our trusted partner Embrace Financial Services will check over 70 lenders to make sure you can explore all your options.

It’ll take their advisers just 15 minutes to get real mortgage options and a Mortgage in Principle at the same time. Book your initial appointment today to be rest assured you’re getting the right deal for you.

Governments schemes to help you get on the property ladder

There are several government schemes currently in place to help first time buyers purchase their first home. Here are some of the options available.

Mortgage guarantee scheme

First introduced in 2021 and now extended through to 2025, the mortgage guarantee scheme ensures first time buyers can get 95% loan to value on properties worth up to £600,000. That means you’d only need to pay a 5% deposit on your mortgage.

It also protects the lender as the government will compensate them if you miss payment, encouraging them to take on more first time buyers.

To find out if you’re eligible, visit the government webpage to find out more.

First homes scheme

With the first homes scheme, you may be able to buy a property for 30% to 50% less than its market value. For a property to be eligible under this scheme it must be a new build home by a developer, or a property that has previously been bought by someone through this scheme.

Buying a new build home has numerous benefits, so if you’re interested in a new build property visit the government’s webpage to see if you’re eligible.

Shared ownership

Another option is rather than taking out a mortgage to cover the entire property, you can purchase a share of the property’s market value. By doing this you’d share ownership of the property with the landlord, and then pay rent on the remaining shares to the landlord.

The property you’re interested in must be a new build property, a property that’s being resold via the shared ownership resale scheme, or it fulfils your specific needs. That means if you have a long term-disability and need a property with certain accessibility, a property meeting your needs would be acceptable under this scheme.

Find out more about the shared ownership scheme on the government’s website.

Lifetime Individual Savings Account (ISA)

A lifetime ISA is a savings account that usually can’t be withdrawn from without a charge until you’re 60 years old. However, one of the clauses that let you withdraw without a charge is if you’re using the money to buy your first home.

You can deposit up to £4,000 each year into your lifetime ISA and the government will add a 25% bonus to your savings, up to a maximum of £1,000 per year. Keep in mind that if you want to withdraw from your lifetime ISA to pay for your first property, you must be taking out a mortgage on property worth £450,000 or less.

If you’re interested in a lifetime ISA, visit the webpage on the government’s website for more details.


When purchasing your first home we understand why it might seem daunting at first, but you shouldn’t let any stress take away from the excitement of moving into a property you can call your own.

Book your first appointment today to start planning your future, appointments can be over the phone, face to face or via video call, or you can request a callback at a time that suits you.

Book my appointment now


Your initial mortgage appointment is without obligation. Embrace Financial Services normally charge a fee for their services; however, it is payable only on the submission of your mortgage application. The fee will depend on your circumstances but the standard fee is £549. Complex cases usually attract a higher fee. Embrace Financial Services will discuss and agree the fee with you prior to submitting any mortgage application.

Please be aware that the information provided within these archives has been pre-published, as of the date published on each article. The information contained within, including references to taxation, legislation, regulation, or any other issues or concerns may no longer apply.

Alex Moore

Reeds Rains E-marketing Executive

Signup for Updates

Get the latest news from Reeds Rains direct to your inbox

Signup for Updates

Get the latest news from Reeds Rains direct to your inbox