Oxford has long been one of the most desirable places to live in the UK if not the world and property prices reflect this fact so how does a first time buyer enter the Oxford property market and find a home to buy that fits within their budget? Read on to learn some hints and tips on making your first time buyer mortgage go as far as it possibly can.

Understand Your Budget

Before you waste any time looking at properties you can’t afford it is essential you get an exact idea of how much you can afford to spend on your shiny new Oxford home. There’s no use spending all your Saturdays looking at town houses on Bradmore Road or Northmoor Road when your budget will only stretch to a studio flat in Osney Mead.

By far the easiest way to do this is to speak to an independent mortgage broker who will be able to understand your position and give you an exact figure of how much you will be able to borrow. A mortgage adviser would need to know how much deposit you have, your income and committed expenditure, the condition of your credit history and a variety of other factors in order to give you a fairly accurate picture of your realistic budget.

It is then possible to get a decision in principle from a bank to confirm they would be happy to lend to you and exactly how much. This is kind of like a pre-application application (my wife and I once ate in a restaurant that brought us a small taster dessert before the actual dessert, we called it a pre-pudding pudding!) and allows the lender to assess your situation and consider whether they would be happy to lend to you. If they like what they see they will give a decision in principle (DIP) meaning you are, in principle (i.e. if everything you have told them is accurate and true) acceptable for a home loan to buy your Oxford property.

Widen Your Oxford Property Search Criteria

Most people have a picture of their ideal home in their mind, they then try to superimpose that picture onto any properties they see in order to try to imagine themselves living there. Quite often, though, this makes it very hard to see the potential in a property, and so could mean people miss out on properties that could tick all their boxes because they can’t see through the odd décor or clutter they see there.

So try to have an open mind about properties and areas that may not, at first, float your boat. It is often much cheaper to buy a property in need of work or that is in a state of disrepair, with the money you save you can refurbish the bathroom or put in a new kitchen with the aim of creating your dream home and a profit whilst you’re at it.

Consider Areas Around Oxford

Oxford property prices are some of the highest in the world but there is much better value to de found in some of the surrounding areas. For what you might pay for a small one bedroom flat in Oxford you might be able to buy a 3 bedroom house in Bicester. Or perhaps a cottage in Witney if you need to be a bit closer.

Some other areas that are pretty close to the Oxford Spires but offer better value for your money are Kidlington, Abingdon, Bicester, Banbury and Headington to name just a few.