Mortgages For Second-Time Buyers

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Home Mortgage Application Mortgages For Second-Time Buyers
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 13, 2024

In this article, we’ll explain all the mortgage options available for second-time buyers, including any specific government schemes, and how working with a mortgage broker can be the best way to secure the approval you’re looking for. 

What is a second-time buyer?

Anyone who has previously owned a property, whether purchased using a mortgage or not and is now looking to buy another one would be classed as a second-time buyer. This is the case regardless of the reasons behind the purchase or how long it may have been between transactions.

It also makes no difference if you no longer own – or are named as an owner – of the property (or properties) you’ve bought in the past.

Can you be a first-time buyer twice?

No. You only qualify as a first-time buyer if you have never owned a house, so you can only benefit from perks like first-time buyer stamp duty relief if it’s the first time you’ve bought a property of any kind. This includes shared ownership schemes or joint ownership with another person and buy-to-let purchases. Even inherited properties.

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What mortgages are available for second-time buyers?

The type of mortgage you’ll need as a second-time buyer will depend on your circumstances. It might be that you’re looking to take on a second property in addition to your current home, either as a holiday home or a buy-to-let investment. In the case of the latter, you’d be looking specifically at a buy-to-let mortgage and potentially interest only rather than repayment.

If you’re looking to simply trade up from your current home to a new one then you’ll likely be sticking with a residential repayment mortgage. For this, you’ll need to decide on whether to opt for a fixed-rate mortgage or a variable rate.

Is the Help To Buy scheme available for second-time buyers?

Unfortunately, the Help To Buy Scheme closed to new applications at the end of March 2023. It was, originally, available to both first and second-time buyers before the government introduced a restriction to purely first-time buyers only. 

Are there any other government schemes available?

The mortgage guarantee scheme, available until December 2023, is run in partnership with specific lenders and aimed at opening up the property market to people with lower deposits. It was originally introduced as a temporary measure in response to the coronavirus pandemic, so speak to your broker as soon as possible if this is something you’re interested in.

The other option is the shared ownership scheme. You can’t own another property at the same time as buying through shared ownership, but if you’re in the process of selling and will have your name removed from the existing mortgage before you exchange then that’s acceptable, even if you’ve bought a shared ownership home in the past.

Deposit requirements

You’ll typically need 10% as a minimum deposit. If you’re simply moving house then the equity you’ve built up in your first property should, hopefully, be able to cover this rather than using savings or other sources. 

Some lenders will consider a 95% LTV second-time buyer mortgage, but you won’t have as many options open to you as a first-time buyer. If a deposit is an issue for you then it’s definitely worth speaking with a mortgage broker first before applying. They can find the most appropriate lenders for you and offer advice on how to make your deposit go further.

Is it easier to get a mortgage if you already have one?

Although strictly speaking the eligibility and affordability criteria for a mortgage will be similar whether you’re a first or a second-time buyer, the fact that you already have a mortgage may make it easier to get another one.

One reason for this is that you will have established a track record and shown that you are able to make your monthly remortgage payments consistently and on time. This is more of an unknown when you’re a first-time buyer and so always brings a slightly higher risk.

As a current homeowner, you should also hopefully find that you have built up some equity over the time you’ve owned the property, meaning you may be in a stronger position in terms of your deposit for your next home. Having a lower LTV (loan-to-value) can make it easier to access the best interest rates and to secure a mortgage as you’ll be seen as lower risk.

How to get a mortgage if you’re a second-time buyer

When you’re ready to make the move from your first to your second home then follow these three important steps before you begin your mortgage application.

Find the right broker

Most brokers will talk about having access to the whole of the market, but not every broker will necessarily have the right mix of skills and experience to be best placed to help you as a second-time buyer. Get the right broker and they’ll be able to guide you through every step of the process, finding you the best rates, saving you time and, potentially, some money too.

Finding the right broker can feel in itself like a huge task though, which is why we offer a free broker matching service. Make an online enquiry and let us do the hard work for you here.

Take stock of your current financial situation

Before your broker starts their research they’ll need to know exactly where you stand financially in order to approach the right lenders. The key things here will be to get an up-to-date valuation of your current home and an accurate balance of your existing mortgage. From here you can work out exactly how much cash you’re likely to release from the sale and how this could translate to a deposit for a new home. Your broker will look at this alongside your income and other financial commitments to see how much you might be able to borrow.

Check your credit record

Having maintained a first mortgage will be a big tick on your credit file but it’s still important to check your current details as things may have changed since your first mortgage application.

You should also double-check your credit record for any inaccuracies that need to be corrected before you go ahead – you don’t want to run the risk of having a mortgage application declined as this could leave a mark on your record and make it harder to get credit in the future.

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Which lenders are available?

Unless there is something very specific about your circumstances, such as bad credit, you should find all of the usual high street lenders have a range of mortgage products to suit second-time buyers.

Having a lot of choices doesn’t necessarily make a decision easy though, so it’s still always a good idea to use a broker to help you pin down exactly which mortgage is right for you. A broker can also help to find specialist lenders if you have any particular issues around credit or affordability.

Are rates higher or lower for second-time buyers?

This will largely depend on your individual circumstances, but in general, if your second purchase is a residential move, then with plenty of equity available – along with a good credit score – you should qualify for the best interest rates as there will be more lenders available for you to consider.

If your second purchase is for investment purposes then this will depend on a number of other factors such as the rental income you can command on the property (if it’s a buy-to-let or holiday home), landlord experience and the size of the deposit you have available.

Transferring your current mortgage to a new home 

If you’re moving house then it’s possible to move your existing mortgage across to your new property – this is known as mortgage porting and can be useful if you’re still on an existing mortgage deal, which would incur a fee if it is ended prematurely. 

Typically, moving house involves upgrading to a property valued higher than your existing one.  If this is the case, you can simply apply for a second mortgage in addition to your existing one to cover any difference in borrowing required. If it’s a cheaper property you can simply move your existing mortgage across (subject to the lender agreeing to the new loan-to-value parameters) or pay down the amount with any equity released when the sale is concluded. 

Speak to a broker experienced in second-time buyer mortgages

With so many choices available for second-time buyers it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed. A broker is invaluable in helping you work through all the options and find the best combination of rates and terms to suit you.

Give us a call at 0808 189 2301 or make an online enquiry and we can take a look at your personal circumstances, consider your needs and match you with the right broker for you. Our broker matching is a no-obligation service, and we don’t charge you a penny, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

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Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility and affordability criteria then you can have multiple mortgages, either for residential properties or as buy-to-let. If you have two mortgages because you have a second home then you’ll need to nominate your main residence.

This will depend on the value of the property and whether you’re moving home or buying a second one (the rates will be slightly higher if that’s the case). 

Our dedicated article on stamp duty and how much it costs will outline everything you need to know. 

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

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Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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