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Did you know the average age for a first-time buyer is 31? Trying to get on the property ladder has never been more difficult. Our colleague Georgia Johnson, who recently joined Social as a Marketing Senior Account Executive, shares her experience of buying her first home.

For many first-time buyers saving for a deposit is a struggle, especially now that lenders will only accept 15%. But thankfully, with support from government schemes like the Help to Buy equity loan and shared ownership, first-time buyers feel they stand a chance. According to the Ministry of Housing 82% of home purchases that used a Help to Buy equity loan were first-time buyers.

In recent months there has been a mini boom in the property market fuelled by cuts in the stamp duty, incentives and lower house prices. Like many others, I have struggled to get a mortgage, but thankfully the Help to Buy equity loan has enabled me to get on the property ladder and buy my first home.

Tips for a first-time buyer

Just what is conveyancing? I knew that I would need a solicitor but why give it a fancy name! As many of you homeowners know solicitors can be incredibly slow at getting back to you and due to the mini boom in the property market, most solicitors are taking on more work than before. I got rejected four times by solicitors just because they didn’t have the capacity. And although I did my research and shopped around, many of the quotes I received were just too high due to the first-time buyer and Help to Buy fees. Something I’d definitely recommend is try to go local when searching for a solicitor, that’s how I managed to find the best deal for me.

The paperwork! In the past few weeks, I’ve signed document after document after document and I am only halfway through the process. Thankfully, having a financial advisor has been a life saver, they have taken care of all my Help to Buy documents. I would strongly recommend booking an initial consultation with a financial advisor so they can help you find out what your best options are.

My next step is to get into the house before Christmas, but for anyone who’s had experience with buying a new build I know you’ll agree this is probably unlikely. I think the best advice I can give to anyone who is in the process of buying their first home is to stay positive. Just keep reminding yourself about what an achievement it is and how rewarding it will be once you finally get moved in. I can’t wait!