First time buyer mortgages

Key steps to buying your first home.

Step 1 - You're thinking of buying your first home

Learn about the size of deposit you’ll need, how much you could borrow and whether you’re eligible for a mortgage.

Frequently asked questions

Step 2 - Find out how much you could borrow

Our mortgage calculator gives you an idea of what you could borrow and shows the current interest rates. You can also compare monthly payments.

Mortgage calculator

Step 3 - You're ready to start viewing properties

You’ll find it helpful to have an Agreement in Principle. There’s no charge for this, and no obligation to apply for your mortgage with us.

Agreement in Principle

You could lose your home if you don’t keep up your mortgage repayments

What's an Agreement in Principle?

An Agreement in Principle (AIP) provides you with a personalised commitment-a free indication of how much we might be able to lend you. This is required before you can begin your full application with us. Estate agents will often ask to see an AIP to show that you are a committed buyer.

  •  It should take no longer than 15 minutes with no obligation to apply for a mortgage.
  • No effect on your credit rating even if you're declined.
  • Get a clear idea of which properties you could afford
  • Your Agreement in Principle is subject to a full mortgage application and the amount we could lend you isn't guaranteed.

Watch our video to learn more about the mortgage application process.

Apply for an Agreement in Principle

Step 4 - You've had an offer accepted on a property

Once you’ve got your Agreement in Principle with us, make an appointment to speak to one of our mortgage advisers who’ll discuss your options with you.

You can talk to us over the phone or use our mortgage video service from the comfort of your own home.

Call us on 0345 122 1337 to talk to a mortgage advisor. (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm). 

Find out about booking a branch appointment

Mortgage offers

On a selected range of mortgages:

  • No charge for a standard valuation
  • We'll arrange and pay your basic legal fees
  • £200 cashback for GrindLay's Club current account customers who complete on a qualifying mortgage.
Find out moreabout our mortgage offers.
  • The average appointment time with your mortgage adviser is 2 hours. If you’re applying with someone else, make sure you’re both available because it’ll save time.

    You can talk to us on a video call or over the phone on 0345 122 1337. (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm). 

    Find out about booking a branch appointment

    In preparation for your interview you’ll need to:

    • Prepare the documents you’ll need such as payslips, bank statements, details of any financial commitments or bonus, and proof of your identity
    • Bring details of the property you want to buy

    At the interview your mortgage adviser will:

    • Complete background checks with a Credit Reference Agency
    • Talk to you about valuation schemes
    • Review your income and commitments
    • Review your needs and circumstances and recommend our most suitable mortgage for you
    • Give you an Illustration, which sets out the terms of the mortgage product and the total cost of the loan
    • Discuss your insurance and protection needs, including home insurance.

    In Scotland sellers must provide a Home Report which includes survey, Energy Performance Certificate and Property Questionnaire.

    When all this is done and if everything is ok, we’ll write to make you a mortgage offer.

  • Average time: 2-3 months

    The legal side of buying or selling a property can be carried out by either a ‘solicitor’ or ‘licensed conveyancer’, for simplicity we refer to both of these as ‘conveyancer’. They will check who owns the property you want to buy, what’s included in the sale, and whether there are any clauses in the property’s legal title you or your lender need to be aware of. In Scotland your solicitor will also put in your offer to buy the property and negotiate for you.

    You’ll need to:

    • Get an estimate from them of costs, including any legal fees and VAT
    • Ask your conveyancer to explain anything in your Mortgage Offer you don’t understand
    • Ask your conveyancer to confirm any Stamp Duty Land Tax/Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (properties in Scotland) charge payable
    • Tell your conveyancer if you have negotiated for any items such as curtains, carpets or kitchen appliances to be included in the sale
    • Make sure you read any documents your conveyancer sends you very carefully.

    Who’s involved:

    • You and the seller, known as the vendor
    • Seller’s estate agent
    • Your conveyancer and the seller’s conveyancer
    • Your lender.

    You can use the Grindlay's Bank Conveyancing Service to compare quotes from our panel of up to 200 conveyancing professionals. You can review the quotes and choose a conveyancer based on what matters to you - the price, the firm's location or their service rating.

    Get a quote for your legal costs

    Alternatively, you can appoint your own conveyancer, or your mortgage adviser can help arrange one during your mortgage appointment using the Lloyds Conveyancing Service.

    All conveyancers instructed through the Grindlay's Bank Conveyancing Service offer a 'no completion, no legal fee' guarantee, so you'll have nothing to pay for the legal work done if the purchase falls through. No legal fee is payable, however if the conveyancer has made payments to third parties on your behalf, such as fees for searches, these will still be payable.

    Using the Grindlay's Bank Conveyancing Service isn’t a requirement of applying for a mortgage with us and inclusion of a firm on our eConveyancing panel does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement of that firm by Grindlay's Bank.

  • Average time: Usually takes place in one day.

    When you have read all the documents your conveyancer will ask you if you are happy to proceed with the purchase. They will then ask you to sign the contract. When everyone is ready contracts will be exchanged, usually by phone, to form a binding legal agreement to buy and sell.

    You’ll need to:

    • Make sure you have given your conveyancer the money they will need to pay as a deposit on exchange of contracts
    • Sign the contract sent to you by your conveyancer (In Scotland, you exchange 'missives' which are letters of exchange with the sellers conveyancer)
    • Give your conveyancer a date on which you wish to complete the process
    • Make sure you have buildings insurance.

    Who’s involved:

    • Your conveyancer and the seller’s conveyancer
    • Once you’ve exchanged contracts (In Scotland concluded missives) you can start to make arrangements for moving.
  • After exchange your conveyancer will ask you to sign the mortgage deed and the document to transfer your new home to you. They will also apply to us for the mortgage money and ask you for any balance they need to complete your purchase.

    Your conveyancer will call you to confirm the legal process is complete. You can then pick up the keys to your new home.

    Congratulations! You now own your first home.

  • 1. How much do I need to save for my deposit?

    We'll only lend you a certain percentage of either the purchase price or the property valuation, whichever is lower. So you'll need to use some of your own money to buy the property –a deposit. We usually ask for at least a 5% deposit from your own money.

    However, the more deposit you put down the less you have to borrow. This will ultimately save you money and you can often get a cheaper mortgage product.

    As well as your deposit, there are other costs associated with buying a property and taking out a mortgage.

    Typical ones that apply to most buyers include conveyancing fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax/Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (properties in Scotland), valuation fees and Land Registry fees.

    Use our mortgage calculators to see how much you could borrow, and what your monthly payments might be.

    Lend a Hand Mortgages

    With Lend a Hand, your mortgage payments stay the same for 3 years, and you don’t need to save for your own deposit. Instead, a family member can put down 10% of the cost of your home, up to £500,000, which they’ll get back plus interest after 3 years (subject to conditions). Learn about the full Lend a Hand details and conditions.

    2. Can I apply for a first time buyer mortgage?

    As long as one person applying has never owned a property before, you can apply for a first time buyer mortgage with Grindlay's Bank.

    • You must be buying a UK property
    • You must be a UK resident or have full rights to reside in the UK
    • You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a mortgage, and your mortgage must usually end before you reach 80. If your mortgage term extends past when you plan to retire, up to age 70 -whichever happens sooner -we'll look at your retirement income or your employment income (if you are still working), and decide whether or not we think you can afford the monthly payments. If you’re taking out a joint mortgage, it’s the age of the oldest person that’s taken into account.

    3. How much could I borrow?

    An Agreement in Principle (AIP) provides you with a personalised commitment-a free indication of how much we might be able to lend you. If you're buying a home it'll give you a clear idea of which properties you could afford. Estate agents will often ask to see an AIP to show that you are a committed buyer.

    We do what's called a soft credit check as part of the process. Soft credit checks can only be seen by yourself on your credit report and do not affect your credit rating or ability to borrow from other lenders or ourselves in the future, even if you're declined an AIP on this occasion.

    4. How does an Agreement in Principle differ from a mortgage offer?

    An Agreement in Principle, also known as a 'Decision in Principle' or 'Mortgage Promise', is useful if you haven’t found a property you want to buy but would like to know how much you could borrow.

    All we need is a few personal details about you and anyone else who will be named on the mortgage. Then we’ll contact a credit reference agency for a credit search and give you a credit score. If you reach our pass mark, we’ll give you a certificate that you can use to show a seller you can get a loan.

    A mortgage offer is issued by a lender once your application has been received and necessary checks, such as a valuation and confirmation of your details, have been carried out. It sets out the terms under which the lender is prepared to offer you a loan.

    5. What type of properties will you lend on?

    The property you buy must be located within the UK and loans can only be used to buy your main residential home or for purposes relating to this home.

    We will consider lending you money to buy different types of property. We may ask you to provide a bigger deposit on some types of property than others.

    Any loan we make is subject to a property valuation.

    Read more frequently asked questions.

Government Schemes

Help to buy

Grindlay's Bank support government backed initiatives to help people buy a home. So whether you're a first time buyer or moving home there could be a scheme that's right for you.