First-time buyers are continuing to struggle to save enough for a deposit on their first home, as incomes stagnate and the cost of living increases.
Those who manage to save up enough then have further hurdles to tackle - what mortgage should you choose? Who is offering the best rate? Where should you buy?
Industry experts offer their tips to get on the property ladder and what to consider before you make the big leap.
1. Shop around - Karen Barrett, Chief Executive at unbiased.co.uk
"We are seeing a number of head-turning deals on the market right now but scratch beneath the surface and you'll soon see the sizeable deposit needed to access them.
"However, first time buyers shouldn't be disillusioned because there are deals out there for people with smaller deposits and with the help of an independent financial adviser or whole of market mortgage adviser you can you get advice on all the products available to you from the whole of the market.
"They will help you to make the right decision according to your current personal and financial situation. To find a professional adviser simply go to www.unbiased.co.uk and enter your postcode."
2. Make sure your credit file is up to scratch - Martin Eaton (Beacon Wealth Management)
"Ensure you have a good credit file. If you do not have credit you could apply for a credit card, use it for one transaction each month and pay it off each month to improve your credit rating."
3. Keep your bank accounts in good order - Ray Boulger (John Charcol)
"Lenders normally want to see bank statements, usually the last three months, and so make sure they are in good order with no unpaid cheques/direct debits or bank charges for exceeding any overdraft limit or going overdrawn without an agreed facility.
Running the account with an overdraft is not necessarily a problem providing the overdraft is not steadily increasing, although it may reduce the maximum mortgage available - but exceeding your overdraft limit or charges for a bounced cheque, or direct debit, most definitely is!"
Use our easy-to-use mortgage calculators to find out how much you could borrow and calculate your monthly repayments.
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