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First Time Buyers Guide to Moving House

Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
29th June 2017 (Last updated on Tuesday 20th November 2018)

Getting a mortgage and buying a house is an exciting but extremely nerve-wracking and daunting time for first time buyers. The process can be overwhelming and the jargon can confuse the shivering life out of you. It’s as if everyone else involved in the process knows more about it than you and it’s their mission to baffle you until you hand over your life savings to live in a shed. But, you needn’t fear, house removal experts Compare My Move are here. This guide will carry all you first time buyers gently through the process of getting a mortgage and moving house.

This article will cover the following points

The Deposit Saving Money What is a Mortgage? Mortgage Deposits and LTV Stages of Applying for a Mortgage Buying your First Home Additional Costs Schemes to Help Putting in an Offer Solicitors and Surveys Contracts Removals Companies Completion

Saving for a Deposit

First thing’s first. If you are looking to get on the property ladder then you are going to need a deposit. We all hate this stipulation, you’re not the only one. But there you have it, those are the rules. The frustrating thing for many first-time buyers is that mortgage payments are pretty affordable but the deposit is the sticking point. At the very least, a 5% deposit is needed and if we are basing this on the UK average cost of a house then you are going to need around £9 – 10,000. This may seem like a gargantuan amount of money but, the reality is, this is a fairly achievable amount to save. But it won’t come easy so follow our tips for saving a deposit and you’ll be golden.

Tips for Saving Money for your Deposit

  1. Go Easy on the Takeaways – Hey, look, we are not here to judge you. You think you’re the only one taking full advantage of the convenience food industry? It’s an easy one to succumb to. We all opt for anything that saves time these days and ordering food to be delivered direct to your door rather than preparing and cooking food yourself after a long day a work is an attractive incentive. As tempting as it may be the have ‘Zanzibar’ bring a kebab direct you your lap, it really does all add up and that’s good money that could be put to better use…. In the long run, your arteries will thank you too, again, like we said, we are not judging.
  2. Cancel Redundant Subscriptions – We are all guilty of paying subscriptions for things or services that we don’t use. Sometimes, in this crazy world, it actually seems like less hassle to pay for something we are not using than go through the rigmarole and even, awkwardness of cancelling. Gyms in particular are real clever in the way they throw together their terms of conditions and in particular, the cancellation process. The aim is clearly for them to make this difficult and/or time consuming so that you would sooner put that off and just continue to pay because that’s the easy option. Don’t fall for that nonsense. If you want to save money then DO Not pay for anything that you do not need. Duh. It’s not just the mind games involved in gym subscriptions that’ll do you wrong when it comes to unnecessary or unused subscriptions. How often have you looked at your bank statement and noticed that you’re still paying for Netflix or your Cinema card but can’t remember the last time you watched anything but Coronation Street? Get rid of them… Even if just for the mean time. … The same goes for anything else you are paying for but not using. It’s just a short-term arrangement… Once you have saved a deposit and you are settled into your new home with your finances nicely balanced out, you can pay for all the unnecessary frivolities you wish.
  3. Cut the Commute – If you are looking to save money but you pay a small fortune on your commute everyday (which, let’s face it…. Most of us do) then you could consider cutting the commute and just switching to a walk or a train/bus/tube journey. The thing is, it could come across as pretty patronising when we write that perhaps you could walk because it could help you stay fit but the truth is, that’s a fact. If your place of work is in walking distance then it really is a good idea to do just that… Just consider it…. You could save a bob or two.
  4. No Booze and Fags – Alright, so this one is easier said than done. If you spend a considerable amount on your little luxuries then you might want to rethink. Even if you think you don’t actually spend an awful lot on alcohol and cigarettes as others you know, they are pricey items so when you actually add it all up, you might be amazed. If you can’t just go a few months cutting this cost out altogether then, at the very least, consider cutting down… That stuff is expensive.
  5. Move Home – So many people now can see that the only real chance they have of saving a deposit is to either continue living at home, or, if they have left, then to move back home to their parents’ house (if they will have them). This is how so many young people manage to get on the ladder. They say that the ‘bank of Mum and Dad’ days are over but that’s only true in the sense that parents can no longer (in general) afford to pay the deposit for their adult children’s first homes. Instead. The way they are now helping is by continuing to house them, either rent free or for a very low rental fee, allowing them to save larger amounts each moth to put towards their deposit.
  6. House Share - If moving home is not an option, rent out a spare room wherever you live! That way, bills and rent can be shared. If this isn’t an option, join a house share – rent is cheaper in a house share, and you can even make new friends and stay sociable! 

Some links for house shares throughout the UK:

 Taking into account the above lifestyle changes to help you save for your deposit, below is a table showing the average monthly and yearly costs of subscriptions and bad habits. The table indicates just how much you could save by making some tiny adjustments to your lifestyle:

Avg Per Month
Avg Per Year
Removal Costs Cta 1 Removal Costs Cta 1 560 Removal Costs Cta 1 360

What is a Mortgage?

For the very basics on mortgages, if you just plain don’t have a pot of glue (and there’s no damn shame in that), then check out our expert article What is a Mortgage.

Mortgage Deposits and LTV

When buying a property with a mortgage, you will need a deposit – a sum of money that goes towards the price of the house you are buying. You will need to have a deposit already prepared before you apply for a mortgage. Your deposit amount will have an effect on the amount you are able to borrow from your lender.

A deposit will be money you have already saved up prior to your mortgage which will usually be around 10% of the property value. However, this will largely depend on your mortgage’s LTV.

Your Loan to Value (LTV) may sound complicated, but it’s simply the amount of your home that is secured by a mortgage. For example, a property worth £200,000 with an LTV of 80% would need a deposit of £40,000. The remaining £160,000 of your home will be secured against the mortgage.

Stages of Applying for a Mortgage

Applying for a mortgage will usually come in two parts – the first is a basic evaluation of how much you will be able to afford in repayments, alongside which type of mortgage you are looking for and the kinds of rates you are happy with. The second stage is a more thorough check on your income and financial background.

Stage 1 – Mortgage in Principle

At this early stage, your mortgage provide will ask you a series of general questions to get a sense of the type of mortgage you are after, as well as your financial situation. This information will then provide you with a mortgage in principle which is an indication of the general amount of money your lender will be prepared to lend you.

Your lender will give you information about your product, their services and any charges that will be applicable.

Stage 2 – Finalisation of the Mortgage

This is where you will begin your official application. Your lender will conduct a full assessment of your financial situation and background. Alongside this, you may also be asked about any financial commitments or plans in the future that could impact your repayment process.

You will need to provide proof of your income as they assess your application.

If you are successful with your application, you will then be given a 7-day reflection period to make comparisons and assess your offer. You have the right to waive this period if you are looking to speed up the application process.

You will need to provide proof of your income as they assess your application.

If you are successful with your application, you will then be given a 7-day reflection period to make comparisons and assess your offer. You have the right to waive this period if you are looking to speed up the application process.

Mortgages aren’t as complicated as they seem once you get past the jargon. Unless you are a financial professional, it is recommended to seek advice on mortgages before applying. This can be done with a mortgage broker or independent financial adviser.

Taking out a mortgage may seem a little daunting with the prospect of repaying a loan for the next 25 years, but you will have a new home to make your own at the end of it.

Once you are ready to move into your new home, don’t forget to use Compare My Move to get free quotes from trusted removals companies and save up to 70% on your moving day costs.

Buying your First Home

For top tips on questions to ask and what to look for when viewing prospective homes, check out our House Viewing Checklist. Buying your first home is a huge milestone and a very exciting time. However, the legal aspects and contracts you have to sign can make the process feel daunting, complicated and expensive.

To make the process easier for you, we have created this guide which will break down each stage of buying your first home. When it’s simplified, you can get a clear idea of what to expect, giving you peace of mind and motivation for you to get started!

That being said, remember to do your homework and research each of the stages we outline for you so you can get the best deals and rates possible when you buy your dream home!

Removal Costs Cta 2 Removal Costs Cta 2 560 Removal Costs Cta 2 360

Additional Costs to Consider

Saving up for your deposit and paying your mortgage are not the only costs involved with buying your first home, so keep this in mind when you’re in the home buying process.

Here are some of the extra costs involved:

  • Lenders will charge you for the mortgage agreement.
  • The lender could also charge for the cost of assessing the value of the property you intend on buying.
  • You need to hire and pay for a surveyor to ensure the building is structurally sound.
  • The cost of a survey varies, depending on the thoroughness of it. They can actually end up saving you money on repairs in the long-term, though.
  • It is recommended that you hire a property solicitor to manage the legal aspects of the home buying process.
  • Once you exchange contracts and own the new property, you will want to organize removal services.’s partners offer free quotes on removals and can end up saving you 70% on your removal costs.

Schemes to Help

Buying a house is extremely expensive, but there are government schemes available to help first time buyers. Keep in mind, they vary between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Help to Buy is a useful scheme if you have a smaller deposit, and helps first time buyers as well as existing homeowners. It gives you the opportunity to buy a new or existing home with a 5% deposit, but there are limits on the value of the property you buy, which also vary across the country.

Putting in an Offer

Once again, make sure you do your homework. Decide what kind of property you want – a flat or house? How many bedrooms? When you have decided, you can make an offer, which usually goes through an estate agent.

However, before you make the offer, try to find out if the owners are hurrying to sell the property or if it has been on the market for a long time – they may be willing to negotiate and accept a lower offer.

Keep in mind, if there are any issues with the survey of contract, you aren’t obliged to proceed with the deal.

When your offer has been accepted, you can then formally apply for your mortgage.

Solicitors and Surveys

Your solicitor will take care of the legal and administrative work associated with transferring the property over to you, as well as arranging the stamp duty, contacting the land registry, and check for planning or local issues. Check out our guide to everything you need to know about Property Surveys for more information.


Once you confirm with your solicitor that they are happy with the property, the exciting part comes next – you can finally sign the contract and exchange with the sellers, and then pay the deposit!

Removals Companies

Around the time of exchanging contracts you should receive your moving date, it’s a good idea to book your removal company as early as possible to secure the date you need and avoid disappointment.


At this point, the property is legally yours and you can pick up the keys and deeds to the house – but you also have the aforementioned costs to cover. Other than that, congratulations, you are a home owner!

Getting on the property ladder can be quite daunting, but when you break down the process of buying a house, it’s not as complicated or scary as it seems. Remember to do your research to find the best deals and rates, and go through each step, one at a time. By following this guide, you will be buying your first home in no time.