This year, more homes look set to be bought and sold across London, in part due to the growing economic confidence that has followed in the aftermath of the General Election. Whatever your financial situation, there are steps you can take to enter London’s housing ladder. As a first-time buyer, it helps to know the right tools and tricks available to help you get an extra leg up. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Boosting Your Deposit Savings

The most challenging step for most first-time buyers in London is scraping together enough for a deposit. While the standard amount asked for down payment across the UK is 10% of the asking price, it is common for mortgager providers in London to request 20% down. With the average London house price now standing at over £500,000, that’s a big chunk of change. Consider using Help to Buy or Lifetime ISAs, as these will ensure that whatever you save is topped up or even matched by the government. 

2. Be Smart When Choosing a Location

Everyone knows that location is everything, but there is more to it than the distance to Charing Cross or the nearest tube station. If you want to benefit from a good location and reduced costs, more research is necessary. You should look at planned infrastructure in your area, as you may benefit from added transport links after you move in. Look at the regeneration potential of certain neighborhoods, as well as areas that look like ‘hidden gems‘ that aren’t yet too expensive. 

3. Use a Broker Service 

This one is crucial for first-time buyers. In London especially, you should not settle for the first mortgage provider that you stumble across. Finding the right mortgage provider for your financial situation will save you hundreds of pounds a month, as well as ensuring you have a mortgage plan that you can actually manage. You don’t need to shell out thousands in brokerage fees – Londoners these days can use a free online mortgage advisor that will help match them to the financial product that suits them best. 

4. Pick the Right Type of Home 

When navigating London’s property market, one way to look for a bargain is to search for certain types of homes. Research has shown that, in the capital, some home types are far more expensive than others, despite offering little difference in terms of quality or location. For example, converted period homes and former council houses typically offer the best value for money, while new-build highrise apartments often command the highest asking prices. Keep things like this in mind when searching for your home. 

With these simple steps, you’ll be able to afford a piece of London to call your own in no time.