Though lenders typically favor experienced landlords and property owners, securing a buy-to-let mortgage as a first-time buyer is feasible. It’s a viable option to enter the property market, particularly if you currently reside rent-free, for instance, in your parent’s home or employer-provided accommodation.
Can A First-time Buyer Get A Buy To Let Mortgage?
Certainly, but as a first-time buyer venturing into the property market for investment purposes, you’ll face additional challenges. Buy-to-let mortgages, tailored for property investment, cater to those not seeking residence. Being a first-time buyer means you lack a proven homeowner or landlord track record, presenting a higher risk to lenders. This might result in difficulty securing desired terms or affordability. Many providers, if they cater to first-time buyers at all, typically:
- Require a larger-than-average deposit.
- Apply higher interest rates.
- Demand a higher projected rental income to cover repayments.
Factors like age, credit score, employment type, and income also influence the lending process.
Should first-time buyers invest in buy to let?
Entering the property market as a first-time buyer through the buy-to-let route holds practical advantages:
- Strategic Investment Beyond Local Affordability:
If purchasing within your current area seems financially challenging, exploring property investments in other regions while continuing to rent locally provides an alternative entry onto the property ladder.
- Long-Term Stability of Real Estate Investment:
Real estate remains a relatively stable and secure long-term investment. While property values may fluctuate, historical trends indicate a general increase over time, making it an attractive option for prospective investors.
- Income Potential and Profit Margins:
The rental income from a buy-to-let property can serve as a substantial income stream. Leveraging a lower buy-to-let mortgage rate enhances the potential profit margin, making it an appealing option for those looking to build a property portfolio.
- Meeting Rental Demand:
In a market where many individuals cannot afford to purchase homes, the demand for rental properties remains high. Becoming a landlord presents an opportunity to fulfill this demand and generate income through renting.
However, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential challenges that come with being a landlord. Seeking advice from an expert mortgage broker specializing in buy-to-let properties can significantly alleviate the stress associated with navigating this process. Their insights and guidance can help you make informed decisions and navigate potential pitfalls effectively.
What criteria will I need for a buy to let mortgage?
Buy-to-let mortgage lenders have diverse criteria, but for first-time buyers, meeting specific requirements is essential:
- Minimum 25% deposit.
- Satisfactory income and affordability verification.
- Employment verification.
- Minimum age requirement, typically 21 or 25 with some lenders.
- Consideration of credit history.
What documents will I need to apply?
As a first-time buyer, lenders scrutinize your application more thoroughly. Providing ample supporting documentation is crucial for a successful application. Typically, lenders request:
- 3-6 months’ wage slips or accounts (for self-employed individuals).
- Employment contract verification, especially for new job positions.
- Address history documentation, such as utility bills, tenancy agreements, or bank statements.
- 3-6 months’ bank statements.
- Landlord reference if you’ve rented in the past year.
Additionally, evidence of potential rental income is necessary. An ARLA-qualified letting agent’s or a qualified surveyor’s valuation suffices. Lenders require this as your rental income should be 125-140% of your mortgage, depending on the lender’s specific criteria.
Should I get an interest-only or repayment mortgage?
Many landlords prefer interest-only mortgages over repayment mortgages due to their lower monthly payments. With interest-only, you pay only the loan interest, making it more cost-effective than repayment mortgages, where both the loan and interest contribute to higher monthly expenses.
While a repayment mortgage results in full property ownership once repaid, the elevated monthly payments reduce potential rental profits. As a first-time buyer, both buy-to-let mortgage types are accessible. The choice between them hinges on your specific investment objectives.
Buy to let mortgage rates for first-time buyers
First-time buyer mortgages typically feature lower Loan-to-Value ratios (LTV) compared to buy-to-let mortgages. Residential mortgages can go up to 95% LTV, while buy-to-let mortgages usually start at 75% LTV. This substantial difference adds to the ease of becoming a homeowner compared to a landlord.
Choosing between a buy-to-let and a residential mortgage requires careful consideration of cost variations and structural differences. While it’s possible to secure an interest-only mortgage for a residential property, such options are limited, as not many lenders provide them.
How much deposit will I need?
Most buy-to-let mortgage lenders mandate a minimum 25% deposit. As a first-time buyer seeking a buy-to-let mortgage, your deposit may be higher, although exceptions exist.
How much can I borrow?
Lenders evaluate affordability for buy-to-let mortgages differently than residential mortgages. Underwriters prioritize the potential rental income from the property, a key factor influencing mortgage approval. While factors like credit scores play a role, the emphasis on projected rental income remains a significant determinant in the approval process.