1. Find a good mortgage advisor- Ideally you should speak to someone who is a 'whole of market' advisor. This is someone who deals with more than 1 lender and can shop around to get you the most suitable mortgage.
2. Get an 'Agreement in Principle' - An Agreement in Principle gives you an idea of how much you can borrow. It also gives you the advantage of being taken seriously by a vendor and that the sale should not fall through due to not getting a mortgage.
3.Make sure you buy a 'home'- When looking for your first house be certain it is somewhere you would like to live for a number of years. Over time house prices usually do increase but your reason to buy a house shouldn't be soley on an investment.
4. Try and have as much of a deposit as you can- Even if you have a deposit that is sufficient to get a mortgage you may get a better rate with a larger deposit.
5.Consider Shared Ownership- There are government backed schemes like Co-ownership if you can't get a sufficient mortgage for your home. This scheme means you may not have to have a large deposit and allows you to part own and part rent your property
6. Don't bust your budget- Try and stick to your budget but if you do go over make sure you factor in all costs eg stamp duty, solicitor fees and other fees. It is always tempting to go over budget for your dream house but you need to ensure you can also afford the mortgage payments if interest rates increase or when a discounted deal ends
7. Protect yourself- Sometimes unfortunatley life doesn't go as planned and it is important to look at all the insurances you will need when you are purchasing your first home. You will need life cover but there are many other insurances that you may consider.
8 Keep an open mind - Buying a first home can be a minefield but if you keep an open mind and have a 'plan b' incase you miss out on that first house. Think what type of house you would like and in what area but also consider other types and areas. Ideally, be flexible and even consider something that may need a little modernisation. Putting your own stamp on a property is half the fun!