First-time buyer looking for the best mortgage lender? Why it’s all about the deal

9th October 2019

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If you’re a first-time buyer you might be wondering who the best mortgage lenders are.

With around 100 lenders in the UK, there’s certainly a bewildering amount of choice.

They range from the big six, such as Barclays and Nationwide, to smaller more specialist lenders, like Kensington, Aldermore, and Precise.

But if you’re looking for a suitable mortgage, it’s not just about finding the right lender.

It’s much more important to look for the most suitable deal for your circumstances.

It’s all about the deal

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, or about to buy your fifth home, there’s no one-size-fits-all best lender.

It all comes down to finding the right mortgage deal for your needs and circumstances.

You might have a friend who’s a first-time buyer who’s just got a great deal from NatWest, for example.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that NatWest will have a great deal for you. This is because it’s likely that your personal circumstances will be completely different from your friend’s.

Indeed, there’s a whole host of things to factor in when looking for the right mortgage.

Some of them include:

  • the size of your deposit compared to the value of the property (LTV)

  • how long you intend to stay in the home

  • if you want your monthly payments to stay the same

  • help from the Bank of Mum and Dad

  • pay rises, bonuses, or inheritances

Too much choice can be confusing

Lenders regularly add and remove mortgage deals from the market, so it’s difficult to know precisely how many mortgage deals are out there at any one time.

But there are at least 12,000 mortgage deals offered by lenders in the UK.

Not only are there thousands of deals, but each lender has its own criteria that you’ll need to meet before they’ll offer you a mortgage.

Lenders don't even define a first-time buyer in the same way. One lender might define them as someone who’s never had a mortgage. Yet another might define them as someone who hasn't had a mortgage for a certain number of years.

Nationwide, for example, defines a first-time buyer as someone who hasn’t had a mortgage for the last three years.

How to find the right deal for you

If you want to eliminate the hassle of finding a great deal, a mortgage broker could be the way forward.

Brokers have lots of deals at their fingertips and some lenders only offer their products through brokers.

A broker will take into account your personal situation as well as all the different criteria that lenders have.

Then they’ll suggest what they think could be a suitable deal for you and explain why.

“There are lots of different considerations that go into working out what the best mortgage is for you, from the size of the initial fee to whether your rate is fixed, and for how long,” said Prakash Patel, a Mortgage Adviser at Trussle.

“That’s why the right mortgage for you could be vastly different from the right mortgage for your parents or your friends. Everyone’s different, and so are their mortgage needs.

“A broker can help you work out what you need from a mortgage, and then compare thousands of products from lots of different lenders.

“While there may not be a single ‘best lender for first-time buyers’, a broker will help you find the best lender and product for your circumstances.”

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