If you think that you'll never get a first foot onto the UK property ladder, think again! This readable guide shows you how to buy your first home without having to borrow more than you can afford. Clued-up first-time buyers will understand the pros and cons of a wide range of alternative routes to home ownership, from the legal intricacies of buying with friends to part-rent part-ownership schemes. It's the biggest financial decision of your life and it's tough at today's prices, but if you're prepared to compromise a little then there are plenty of options.
Melanie Bien is personal finance editor of the Independent on Sunday. She also writes and edits the paper's property section. For the past seven years, she has written about property for a variety of national newspapers, magazines, and Web sites. She has also written several books and pamphlets to accompany television programmes on property makeovers and design, buying, renovating, and selling property. She is also author of Buying and Selling Property For Dummies and co-author of Renting Out Your Property For Dummies. She lives in East London with her boyfriend Andrew and their two cats, Wilma and Lulu.
Introduction. Part I: Stepping onto the Property Ladder. Chapter 1: Becoming a Homeowner -- Even If Money Is Tight. Chapter 2: Doing Sums: Looking at Financial Aspects. Chapter 3: Finding Budget-Friendly Dwellings and Neighbourhoods. Part II: Show Me the Money! Chapter 4: Negotiating the Mortgage Maze. Chapter 5: Getting a Mortgage with a Guarantor. Chapter 6: Making the Most of Being a First-Time Buyer. Chapter 7: Using Your Future Earning Power to Get a Mortgage. Part III: Finding the Right Property and Making an Offer. Chapter 8: Dealing With Estate Agents and Handling Viewings. Chapter 9: Looking at the Ins and Outs of Offers. Chapter 10: Conveyancing in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Chapter 11: Buying Property in Scotland. Chapter 12: Buying a Wreck or Building Yourself. Part IV: Alternative Ways of Home Buying. Chapter 13: Reducing Your Repayments via an Offset Mortgage. Chapter 14: Taking in a Lodger. Chapter 15: Renting Out Your Home to Cover the Mortgage. Chapter 16: Buying with the Help of a Housing Association. Chapter 17: Getting Assistance Because You're a Key Worker. Chapter 18: Purchasing Your Council Home. Part V: The Part of Tens. Chapter 19: Ten Things a First-Time Buyer Needs to Know. Chapter 20: Ten Tips for Dealing with Estate Agents. Chapter 21: Ten Contacts Every Homebuyer Needs. Appendix: Resources. Index.