First time home buyer tips

If you’re thinking about buying or building your first home, then, of course, it’s important to make an informed decision.

Know your budget

Making sure you can meet your future home payments is probably the most important part of successful home ownership.

  • First step – save for a deposit 
  • Ideal deposit = 25% of the value of the home
  • Total borrowings should not exceed 40% of monthly revenue

After you’ve worked out how much you can borrow to buy or build your first home, you also need to research your utilities. Ask your real estate agent to find out what the home's energy bills have typically been. No nasty surprises that way. Be sure to budget for the cost of moving in, as well as any repairs or maintenance costs. Think about upkeep and landscaping, too. Have you budgeted for the finishing touches - decorating, furnishing, appliances, security and so on?

Explore our partner discounts

Work out what you need to build

While purchasing a plot of land, don’t forget to think about the important facets of your daily life, that is work, schools, shops, commuting. You’ll need a professional architect to draw up some plans. What construction company are you going to use? Have you registered for a building permit? You’ll need electricity and water on site before you start building, so get in touch with the Central Water Authority (CWA) and Central Electricity Board (CEB). Have you budgeted for the finishing touches - lighting, flooring, decorating, security, air con, eco-friendly utilities and furniture and appliances?

How to choose the right plot of land/apartment or house?

Once you have spotted a promising plot of land for your new home or found the house that you like, it’s good to:

  • Explore the entire site at different times of day
  • Examine the lie of the land/orientation of the property’s main windows and doors, based on wind direction and light

The shape and other characteristics of the site will influence your choices regarding the architecture and layout of your home. Other aspects to look out for are earth features like hills, rocks, trees, dominant architectural styles, appropriate routes of access to the site and whether the house is north or south-facing.

Choosing the right architect

It’s fundamental to establish a relationship of mutual trust between you and your architect, so be very clear from the start about the home you want to build to suit your lifestyle and budget. It is best that your architect is located near the place of your future construction, so that regular site visits are possible.

An architect can give you expert advice on design and better optimisation of space, the work will be carried out in accordance with building regulations and standards, and you can work out your budget/spend accurately.

How to get the authorisation to build

When you apply for a building permit, complete the appropriate forms and go to your municipality with your identity card. Your registration must be accompanied by all the documents indicated on the forms to be considered. The registration section of the Planning service can help you with any questions regarding the building permit.