Am I A First Time Buyer?

Are you a First Time Buyer? We have compiled the most important information and tools you need when embarking upon the property ladder.

24 August 2021

Buying your very first home can be fairly daunting; after all it’s likely to be the biggest purchase you have ever made. Where do you start? What do you need to know? Conveyancing Expert have a wide range of advice and information to help you get started.

Conveyancing Expert are a well established and highly trusted Conveyancing Solicitors Manchester. If you are looking for the best Solicitors for moving house give us a call and let us see how we can help.

First of all, it might be wise to check that you are , actually in fact, a first-time buyer.

How Do I Know If I'm A First Time Buyer?

A first time buyer is someone who has never owned a home or had a mortgage taken out in their name at any point previously. However, qualifying for first time buyer status is a bit more complicated than that. Different lenders have their own guidelines as to who qualifies whilst the Government also has its own rules as to who receives the stamp duty exemptions associated with being first time buyers.

If you think you fit into this grey area and aren’t sure whether you are classed as a first time buyer or not, we will explain who exactly qualifies below. Then you can take a look through the information we have compiled to help you with your first property purchase.

Who Qualifies For First Time Buyer Status?

Being a first time buyer is a very desirable position to be in in the property world because first-time buyers have no chain of course and their position is usually far less complicated than those who do. It can take away a lot of the stress for both buyers and sellers of property. Here are the ways in which you can qualify for first time buyer status:

  • You are a single person who has never owned a home before (this includes a home in any other country), you will be regarded as a first-time buyer. 
  • You are a couple wanting to buy a house together and NEITHER of you have ever previously owned a home in any country.
  • You have owned a commercial property before but not a dwelling you qualify as being a first time buyer. Sos technically, yes, you own or have owned a property in , however, the rules about first time buyers involve properties that have been used as homes. So if you own a commercial property such as a shop/salon/office etc, you are still a first time buyer.
    • Be aware though, if the commercial property you own, or have owned, has living quarters attached/included in the building, you are NOT a first time buyer.

Who Is Not A First Time Buyer?

You are not a first time buyer if:

  • If you own or have owned a dwelling/home that you inherited. The rules involve who has owned property, not necessarily bought property.
  • You own a home that has been given to you as a gift. Some people are given houses by kind relatives; these people are no longer first time buyers.
  • You are part of a couple who want to buy a house and one of you falls into either of the two categories above, you will not qualify as first time buyers on your purchase.
  • You have never owned a home but plan to buy one as a landlord (ie: buy-to-let) then you are unable to take advantage of the Government’s stamp duty exemption rules.


Before you go house hunting, it is essential to know how much you can spend before you get carried away. Arrange an appointment with a mortgage adviser who will have access to the entire mortgage market. Initially this should not cost you anything and will provide you with how much you can afford as well as a useful insight into the process and requirements of obtaining and repaying a mortgage.

There are various types of mortgages available and your adviser will discuss the differences between them and, by taking various details from you, will be able to help find the right type of mortgage for you.

Furthermore, running a home is expensive and it’s easy to overlook something. These are some costs to be mindful of.

  • Deposit
  • Monthly mortgage payments
  • Survey costs
  • Legal fees for buying a house
  • Removal costs
  • Building and contents insurance
  • Furnishing and decorating costs
  • Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees
  • Stamp Duty (Land and buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland/Land Transaction Tax in Wales).

The most important part of purchasing a home is making sure you can afford all your costs and repayments. It is essential that you put together a budget and assess the affordability before you start looking for a property and applying for mortgages.

Here are a few further things to bear in mind.

  • Budget

It is always tempting to look at houses you might not be able to afford… just in case. However, it is very important that you don’t overestimate your affordability or you could lose your home due to not being able to keep up with the repayments. Don’t forget to consider the legal fees for buying a house and other costs

  • Finance

Once you have budgeted, organise your finances and apply for a mortgage in principal. Shop around for the best deals and make sure you have a good credit rating.

  • Location

Do you know what area you want to buy in? Town or rural, new build or victorian semi? Location is everything. If you are not that familiar with the area you are moving to check out transport links, schools, shops and of course, pubs!

  • Keep An Open Mind

Don’t write off potential homes on first glance or you might miss out on what turns out to be your dream home. Maybe it has peeling paint and an overgrown garden. But just think about how it will look with your belongings and new decor.

  • Ask Questions

Is there a service charge? What is parking like? How old is the boiler? What are the neighbours like? Why are you moving? How often is the rubbish collected? Is it a high speed broadband area? Make a list even as you are bound to forget something.

Conveyancing Expert are your local and online Conveyancing Solicitors based in Manchester. If you are looking for expert Solicitors for moving house drop us a line and let us see how we can help.



To discuss any of the above or if you have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 794 7799.
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