The Autumn budget offered an unexpected bonus for those looking to get their foot on the ladder, thanks to the scrappage of stamp duty for first time buyers. The new scheme sees the abolition of stamp duty on properties below £300,000, plus further relief for purchases up to £500,000 in more expensive locations, such as London.
Terry Holmes, Director, Beresfords believes that 2018 will see a strong upturn in sales from first time buyers. He says: “Many buyers have been living at home with mum and dad saving as much as they can to buy their first home, but having to raise the cash for both the deposit and stamp duty fees has pushed owning their own home out of reach. Our branches have reported that now the turkey and tinsel is over first-time buyers are out and buying property.”
He believes that if first time buyers are savvy now is a great time to buy. Here’s his top tips on how to make that vital first step onto the property ladder:
- Take advantage of the government’s scrappage of Stamp Duty for first time buyers it will save you thousands of pounds, but remember all good things do come to an end, so now is a good time to buy.
- Many big builders are now building more first-time buyer ‘affordable’ properties within their developments, so don’t overlook new build thinking it will be too expensive. There’s also some great deals to be had with developers too.
- Research what Help To Buy could do for you. So far the scheme has enabled the sale of nearly a ¼ million properties – 80% to first time buyers. The scheme is due to finish in 2021 and there were concerns pre-Autumn budget that this would be scrapped, so my advice would be to look at what Help to Buy can offer ASAP.
- Shop around for your mortgage, there’s great choice on the market for first time buyers, so make sure you get the very best deal, or better still speak to an independent mortgage adviser who will do the hard work for you.
- If your budget is stretched, consider moving further away from London to get more for your money. Or, look at a property that needs some tender loving care, if the property’s problems aren’t structural it’s amazing what a lick of paint and a new kitchen will do to an apartment or house. It’s always wise to find a property that you can build equity in to help you progress up the ladder.