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Your step-by-step guide to buying your first home

Which?’s FREE guide takes you through the process of owning your first home in 5 easy steps.

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Get the help you need

  • Buying your first home is one of the biggest financial commitment most of us will make and it can be a daunting process.
  • The step-by-step guide will help you to see and understand the process of owning your first property from start to finish in jargon free language that you can understand.
  • Starting from calculating affordability to give you a clear idea on how much you can borrow to finding and securing a first time buyer mortgage that’s best for you.
  • Find out about the recent stamp duty changes for first time buyers and how it’s calculated since the 2017 Budget.
  • Which? Mortgage Advisers can explain all the different first time buyer mortgage deals and offers and provide advice on schemes like Help to Buy and Shared Ownership to you.
  • Our FREE guide provides you with all the information you’ll need to get started on your journey to owning your first home.

Mortgage calculators

Get an idea of how much you could borrow and what your repayments might be with our handy calculators.

How much can I borrow? Repayment Calculator Buy to Let Stamp Duty Calculator

About Which? Mortgage Advisers

We’re part of Which?, the independent consumer champion, and we make sure your interests come first. All our advisers are completely impartial and CeMAP qualified - so you can count on their expert knowledge. Watch our short video to meet our team and find out how we can help you get the right deal for you.

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First time buyers

We’re here to help take some of the stress away and help get you onto the property ladder.

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More about the 5 steps to owning your first home guide

This guide is brought to you by Which? Mortgage Advisers. It breaks down the process of owning your first home into 5 easy, simple steps. You’ll find clear guidance on what to expect and consider as well as some stress-free tips to help you get on the property ladder.


Working out what you can afford will have a big influence on the property you can buy and the area you’re looking to live in. Do your sums and be realistic about what you can afford now, and what you’ll be able to afford in the future


A basic principle to keep in mind is that the bigger the deposit you have, the cheaper the mortgage deal you will be able to get. This is because the more money you have to put towards a house, the less of a risk you pose to a lender

Viewing a property

This is an exciting step but there are lots of things to consider when looking at a property- start with researching the area before booking to view properties with local estate agents or housing developers.

Making an offer

If you’ve set on a property, then you’re ready to make an offer but don’t forget some key essentials before making your offer to the estate agent or securing a new build from the housing developer.

The mortgage process

Choosing a mortgage is a confusing business, so it can often be worth using a mortgage adviser, but you need to make sure you find an adviser that’s right for you.A good mortgage adviser or mortgage broker will only recommend mortgages that are affordable and suitable for you. They can save you time by telling you which lenders are likely to accept you.

  • I originally attempted to deal directly with the providers but, as a first time buyer, found this approach time confusing and daunting. Which? made the process more straightforward. They were very helpful, informative and responded promptly to email
    J Barrett
  • As first time buyers we were nervous and unsure about what we were doing, but our Adviser Adam was excellent at guiding us through the process, offering us detailed information and advice. He was friendly, knowledgeable and was able to explain things in simple terms. We really valued the professional service he gave us and I have already recommended him to friends
    Amy S
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