Where should I look to buy if I'm a first-time buyer in the UK?

When it comes to buying your first home, it’s not always immediately obvious where you should be looking. Sure, you can take a look at the areas in and near your rental home – but chances are its going to be pricey.

However, there are some options to help you know where to look to get the best value for money and the perfect first-time buyer property. While they’re never going to be in the most popular part of the town or city you prefer, you might be surprised at what you can afford as a first-time buyer.

New Builds

With so much residential property construction going on around the UK right now, you’d be hard pressed not to find a new build estate or large plot, close to an area you already like. Of course, new builds lack character and don’t require any real work from you when you move in – but for many that’s a plus. It means you get to put the personality into your home, without having to any major DIY!

What many new builds also offer, is the option of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

For Londoners that means you need just a 5% deposit. You can then get an equity loan from the government for up to 40% of the value of the property – which you don’t need to repay for the first five years. So, you only need a 55% mortgage from your chosen lender.

Elsewhere in the UK you can only secure a 20% Government equity loan, but the 5% deposit remains the same.

If you opt to buy a new home through that scheme, then you’ll need to furnish it but many companies offer a choice of bathrooms and kitchens in the price. Although, you will need to landscape any back garden/yard area yourself, as well as buy and fit all the smaller fixtures and fittings like ceiling lights and curtain poles.

Fixer uppers

Another option is right at the other end of the scale – older properties. These can quite often be found in areas that surround more popular spots and suburbs – areas that were perhaps once prosperous, but have fallen into disrepair as trends changed.

If you can spot an up-and-coming area early enough and pick up a bargain fixer upper, then you could find yourself in a sweet spot a few years down the line. That’s particularly the case if you’re able to renovate and improve said property yourself. This is true of both flats and houses.

And, although it is often a lot a of hard work – often plumbing and electrics require a complete update. Not to mention, the roof and some room reconfiguration may be necessary to bring it up to a more modern standard of living. You’ve got a property with history, character and your very clear stamp on it, to boot.

Of course, these aren’t the only two options for first-time buyers, but they can be the two best options, giving you a home in a great location that’s also great value for money. Have a chat with your local estate agent and ask their views on which areas are the next big thing. Or, get in touch with a home builder and find out where their newest projects will be located, to find the perfect place for your first property purchase!

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