Mortgages for first-time buyers

Our advisers have helped many individuals and families buy their first home. We understand that you could be nervous and may want to ask lots of questions – which are always welcome.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Contact a James Leighton mortgage adviser to understand real options with no obligation.
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Useful and uncomplicated advice

Clear and genuinely helpful

Buying your first home is probably the most expensive purchase you’ll have made to date, so it’s completely normal to be nervous and apprehensive. Our mortgage advice service is designed to make the process easier and less stressful for all buyers, especially those putting their first foot on the property ladder.

We operate an open-door policy whereby first-time buyers are always free to ask their friendly mortgage adviser questions and seek clarification at any stage. Our advisers are passionate about making a difference, which is why all your questions will always be received as an opportunity to help and never an inconvenience.

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    No pressure, no hassle

    Even after you engage with our mortgage advisers, you’re never obligated to progress with our services or secure a mortgage. The power to decide remains entirely in your hands and you’ll never be pressured by us.

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    All first-time buyers

    James Leighton provides fee-free mortgage advice to all types of first-time buyers, no matter what your budget is or your mortgage requirements. No mortgage is too small, too big or too complicated for our professional advisers.

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    Clear communication with ongoing updates

    Your worries can be eased with clear communication and constant updates about the progress of our service. We commit to providing full transparency and timely updates throughout the mortgage process.

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    Whole of market for mortgages considered

    Our advisers search the whole of market for mortgages to find you a suitable deal, which means you won’t miss out on more suitable and advantageous deals elsewhere.

Choose your ideal mortgage

Mortgages come in all shapes and sizes and it’s our advisers' job to recommend a suitable mortgage for your needs based on your personal circumstances, preferences and objectives.

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By your side

First timer?

We understand that buying your first home can seem scary, complicated and confusing. That’s why we have built our client journey, called The James Leighton Way, to make buying your first home as simple, easy and stress free as possible. From the very first conversation you have with our friendly team, we’ll make sure you feel supported, continually updated and that you understand everything, every step of the way. Our goal is that you feel informed, unrushed and relaxed from your initial enquiry, right the way through to the day you get your keys and beyond. Our mantra is that there is no such thing as a silly question, but we understand that trust is earned, so don’t just take our word for it – have a look at our amazing Google reviews.



How much money do I need to save for a deposit for my first home?


Of course, the more the merrier. However, we understand that is easier said than done. The great news is that there are loads of mortgage options and schemes available that will allow for as little as 5% deposit. At the time of writing, there are even some zero deposit options available for some buyers in certain circumstances. Whatever deposit you have, speak to our team to see what mortgage options are available and you might be surprised at what is possible.


How can I estimate how much I can afford to borrow as a first-time buyer?


It’s actually quite difficult to estimate because there are so many factors affecting how much you can borrow, such as employment status, credit rating, size of deposit and age. Consequently, we recommend that you speak to one of our brilliant team, 7 days a week, for a no obligation chat. We’ll help you establish accurately how much you can borrow, how much it will cost per month and therefore what your target purchase price range is. All based on your personal circumstances. It only takes around 15-20 minutes. No documents. No unwanted credit checks. Hassle free.


What documents and evidence do first-time buyers need to supply?


We understand that gathering documents can be a bind but don’t worry, our team are on hand to help and we’ll only need documents if you choose us to apply for a mortgage. As a minimum, we’ll need name and address ID, proof of deposit, proof of income and bank statements showing income and bills.


of all UK property purchases are made by first-time buyers*.

This is reassuring for first-time buyers. It might be daunting, but lots of people successfully manage to buy their first home with no issues.


Sandip ‘Sunny’ Singh - Senior Mortgage Adviser

At James Leighton, we pride ourselves on our dedication to finding tailored solutions for every client, ensuring their aspirations become a reality.

Sunny has been a dedicated team member for over five years and has worked in financial services since 2009. He is determined to help our clients achieve their homeownership dreams.

Sunny Singh
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Case study

Overcoming residency and deposit hurdles for professionals

Client background: Our clients were foreign nationals who had recently moved to the UK on Tier 2 Visas, having resided in the country for just over a year. They were a professional couple, both working as doctors in the NHS, with a combined annual income exceeding £100,000.

The challenges:   

  1. Limited UK residency: The primary obstacle in this case was the clients' brief period of residence in the UK. 
  2. Residency duration requirement: Many lenders usually mandate a residency duration of 2 or 3 years in the country before considering mortgage applications. 
  3. Minimal deposit: The clients' recent arrival meant they could only afford a 10% deposit, further restricting their options.    

What we did:

  1. Initial application: We initiated the process by applying for a Decision in Principle (DIP) through Halifax. Unfortunately, the DIP was declined, primarily due to credit score issues relating to the clients’ limited residency in the UK.
  2. Seeking advice: Recognising the complexities of the case, we sought advice from Skipton's Business Development Manager who reconfirmed our concerns regarding the clients’ length of time in the UK. He also acknowledged the clients' unique profession as doctors in the NHS, suggesting that Skipton might consider a more flexible approach. However, the DIP application for Skipton was also declined due to credit score concerns relating to insufficient credit history.
  3. Finding a solution: Recognising the recurring credit score issues, we continued our efforts to find a solution for our clients. We successfully applied to the Bank of Ireland, utilising their bespoke mortgage range which is specifically designed for professionals who are either on, or slightly outside of, the lender’s standard policy threshold. This bespoke range allowed us to consider the clients' unique situation and tailor a solution that met their specific needs. The Bank of Ireland's willingness to consider the individual circumstances of the clients, rather than solely relying on standard policy criteria, completely transformed the outcome for our clients.

To wrap it up: This case illustrates our commitment to going the extra mile for our clients. By being open to alternative solutions and finding a mortgage product that aligned with the clients' unique situation, we helped our them overcome the challenges of both limited residency and deposit to secure their dream home in the UK. At James Leighton, we pride ourselves on our dedication to finding tailored solutions for every client, ensuring their aspirations become a reality.

We helped them overcome the challenges of limited deposit.

What our customers say

As first time buyers I was recommended James Leighton Financial Services by the house developer. Sam Chung from James Leighton Financial Services was so helpful and supported me through the entire process and guided me. I highly recommend them.

A Thandi