I'm a first-time buyer but my partner isn't - will this affect me?

When getting a joint mortgage with someone else, the process can differ if only one of you is a first-time buyer. We break down how in this Mortgage 101 article.

As a first-time buyer, having a partner who is not a first-time buyer may affect you in a few ways. 

Here are a few factors to consider:

1. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

In the UK, first-time buyers are eligible for stamp duty relief. However, if your partner has previously owned a property, you may not qualify for this benefit as a couple, which will affect the overall costs involved in purchasing a property together.

However, stamp duty is not charged on properties below £250,000, so if your property is below £250,000, you will not need to pay stamp duty even if one of you is not a first-time buyer.

2. Mortgage eligibility

When applying for a mortgage together, your partner's previous homeownership may impact your eligibility for specific first-time buyer mortgage products or incentives. Some lenders offer specialised mortgages with more favourable terms for first-time buyers. However, your partner's homeowner status might disqualify you from these options.

3. Deposit requirements

Your partner's previous homeownership experience may be advantageous when it comes to funding your deposit. If they have equity from the sale of their previous property, they might be able to contribute a larger deposit compared to what you can as a first-time buyer. This will affect your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and the interest rates you can qualify for. 

4. Financial obligations

Your partner's existing mortgage or financial commitments from their previous property could impact your joint financial situation. Lenders in the UK consider both applicants' credit histories and debt when assessing mortgage applications. Your partner's existing obligations might affect the loan amount, interest rate, and affordability calculations.

Speak to a mortgage broker to understand how your different financial backgrounds could impact your mortgage.

5. Homeownership experience

Your partner's previous experience as a homeowner can be helpful when it comes to navigating the UK property market. They’ll have an idea of how the process works and what could potentially go wrong, which stands you in good stead.

It's important to have open and transparent communication with your partner about your respective circumstances and expectations. 

Consulting with a mortgage advisor or broker can provide personalised guidance based on your situation and help you explore the available options.

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