We explore the top mistakes first time buyers (and even seasoned ones) should steer clear of to ensure a smooth and successful journey towards finding their dream home.

Skipping a mortgage in principle (MiP)

Getting a mortgage in principle should be your first port of call when househunting. An MiP is a preliminary estimate of how much money a lender may be willing to loan you for a property, and could help give you an edge in competitive markets, as well as a sense of what you can afford. 

Ignoring hidden costs

Focus on the total cost of ownership, not just the sticker price. Factor in once-off completion costs, potential taxes (such as stamp duty), and moving costs, as well as ongoing expenses such as buildings insurance, and potential maintenance expenses (if it’s a fixer upper). Aim to stay within 25-30% of your gross monthly income for total housing costs.

Forgetting about the neighbourhood

Your home is just one piece of the puzzle. Research the neighbourhood's crime rates, school quality, amenities, and proximity to work or public transportation. Visit the area at different times of the day and week to get a true sense of what the community is like.

Not thinking about the future

While a starter home might be ideal initially, consider future plans. Will you need space for a growing family or room for an ageing parent? On the other hand, you might have children moving out soon, and so you might opt for a downsized property. Choosing a home with some flexibility for future needs can save you the hassle and expense of moving again soon.

Skipping the survey

While not a legal requirement, getting the property surveyed is a must. A survey can uncover potential hidden problems like structural issues, electrical hazards, or plumbing leaks. It empowers you to negotiate repairs or walk away altogether, potentially saving you from costly surprises down the road.

Going solo

Making use of mortgage advisers and estate agents is vital in the homebuying process, especially if you’re a first time buyer. They can navigate the complex buying process, liaise with lenders, advocate for your needs during negotiations, and connect you with essential services like surveyors and solicitors.

Ignoring red flags

Question everything. If you are spotting things during surveys and viewings that put you off, make sure you question it. Ignoring certain red flags because you are excited about other aspects of the property can lead to repercussions in the future, such as added costs. Be wary of structural issues, such as damp, uneven floors, and a history of repairs. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the property isn’t up to scratch.

Rushing the homebuying process

Buying a house is likely to be one of the most important decisions you ever make. As with any of life’s biggest decisions, you have to ensure you do your due diligence. Be patient, take advice from professionals, and make sure the property is the right fit for you. By rushing or compromising, you could end up with a property that isn’t a good match.

Avoiding these mistakes

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can significantly increase your chances of finding a house that meets your needs and budget, and that you'll be happy to call home for years to come.

Make the homebuying process easier by speaking to one of our expert mortgage advisers. With access to some deals that can’t be found on the high street, we can help you find a mortgage that suits your unique circumstances.


Want to know if there's a better deal for you?

Let us monitor your current mortgage, giving you peace of mind you’re on the right deal, every month. This monitoring can be extra handy during a period in which interest rates change frequently.

  • We’ll compare your mortgage against thousands of deals
  • Send you a monthly home report
  • We’ll notify when a better deal is available

The best part? You don’t need to pay anything.

Please note: This mortgage monitor does not constitute mortgage advice.


Start monitoring now

Related Articles

Purchasing a home from your family - everything you need to know

Thinking of buying a home from a family member? Here’s what you need to know about how you can do it, including the advantages and disadvantages.
Read more

From renting to homeownership: how the MyMAB app can help you buy a house

Looking for an app to help you get on the property ladder? Look no further than the MyMAB app.
Read more

Looking for a new build home this bank holiday?

The August bank holiday is just around the corner, and for many prospective homebuyers, it presents the perfect opportunity to start the exciting journey of searching for a new build home.
Read more

Important information

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.