A guide to buying the house you rent

It’s nice to have a place you can call your own, and home ownership offers greater security than renting. Let’s take a look.  

Shakila Hashmi From the Mortgages team
minute read

1. Understand the costs of owning a property

Owning a home means you’re responsible for its maintenance and any repairs – when you’re renting, these costs are covered by a rental agency or private landlord.

Plus, there are costs involved in getting a mortgage. These include:

  • Deposit - as a minimum, you should aim to save 5% of the value of the property you want to buy.
  • Stamp duty - applies if you’re buying a home in England or Northern Ireland that costs more than £125,000 (or £300,000, if you’re a first-time buyer). In Scotland, you might need to pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, while in Wales it’s the Land Transaction Tax.
  • Mortgage lender fees - these can cost anything up to £2,000.
  • Legal fees - payable to a solicitor (or conveyancer) for a range of legal services.

2. Speak with your landlord

Once you’re sure you can afford the costs of owning the property you’re renting, get in touch with your landlord. If you have a private landlord, simply ask if they have any future plans to sell the property and express your interest in buying if they do.

If the house you rent is managed by a company, you might want to ask for a face-to-face meeting. If you get a positive response, it may be time to explore your options on the mortgages market. Your next step could then be to secure a decision in principle on a mortgage.

3. Take you first steps towards a mortgage

At Compare the Market, we have a range of options to help you find a great-value mortgage. You could start by trying our mortgage calculator. Once you’ve established a savings target, you could then work out a budget.

Our mortgage eligibility checker can indicate how likely it is you’ll qualify for a mortgage before you apply. The good news is that running an eligibility check through our website won’t leave a mark on your credit report. A lender looks at your report to help them assess how likely it is you’ll be able to pay them back each month. If you have a low score, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score.

Finally, you could start a mortgages comparison and find out the interest rates and terms you might be offered.

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