First Time Buyer Guide | NatWest

Your first home. Keys on hook

Your first home

Everything you need to help you get a foot on the ladder

Looking for an Agreement in Principle? What is an Agreement in Principle?

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

NatWest mortgages are available for over 18s.

What can you afford?

Mortgage Agreement in Principle

An indication of whether we could lend you the amount you need to borrow.

Mortgage calculator - our mortgage rates

See our rates and work out what your mortgage might cost each month

Savings Goal Tool

Use your NatWest savings account to start a savings goal towards your deposit

Agreement in Principle explained

What is an Agreement in Principle?

If you’re on the lookout for a property, a mortgage Agreement in Principle (or an AIP for short) is a helpful way to test the water to find out how much you could borrow. It will also give you a rough idea of the value of the property you could buy, and what your monthly repayments may look like.


Getting an Agreement in Principle doesn’t mean you’re committing to apply for a mortgage, but it can be a good idea to get this in place before you start going to view properties.


That way you can show you’re a committed buyer to estate agents, and you can act quickly if you think you’ve found your dream home.

How do I get one, and what will I need?

The process takes around 5 minutes and requires some personal information including:


  • Details of your income and financial commitments like monthly credit card payments or child maintenance
  • It will take into account your credit score and credit history
  • And the value of the property and your deposit


What is a soft credit check?


As part of the process of getting a Agreement in Principle, we do a soft credit check.  Soft credit checks can only be seen by yourself on your credit report and don’t affect your credit rating or ability to borrow from other lenders in the future, even if you're declined an Agreement in Principle decision at first.


Benefits of Agreement in Principle


Its a 'soft' search that allows you to do some research before making your application, as you can complete multiple Agreement in Principle’s online, without an impact on your credit rating.  It’s still a reliable way to check what decision you would get when putting in a full application for a mortgage product, as it will check the same sort of data as a ‘hard’ application. However, as it is only ‘in principle’ until you have an offer, the amount could change. 

What happens after I complete an Agreement in Principle?

Now you’ve got the proof that you could potentially get a mortgage, you can start showing you’re a serious buyer when searching for your home.


Once you’ve found ‘the one’ you’ll be able to show your mortgage Agreement in Principle to the estate agent, and once you’re at that stage you can be ready to start your full mortgage application. 

Get an Agreement in Principle

How can we help?

Help to Buy: ISA

Saving to buy your first home can be a challenge, but now there’s a way you can get a helping hand.

With the Help to Buy: ISA, when you purchase your first home the UK Government will pay you a bonus of 25% of your closing savings balance e.g. £50 for every £200. So you could get up to £3,000 towards your first home.

More on Help to Buy



Cashback Mortgages


Take out a first time buyer mortgage with us and get £500 cashback, paid to your solicitor on the day of drawdown of the mortgage.

Offer can be changed or withdrawn at any time. Early repayment charges may apply. Max LTV 90%.

About cashback mortgages



Home Insurance

Did you know you need buildings insurance when buying your first home?

Owning your home is likely to be your biggest life purchase, it's important you have the right level of home insurance cover.

Whilst you do not have to take out a policy with NatWest, why not take a look at our options?

More about home insurance



Starting to plan

Wise Guys

5 must have apps to aid your property search

From finding out the best mobile network provider in an area, to detecting the damp and moisture in potential properties, we have a look at 5 helpful apps for first time buyers.

Watch other Money Bite episodes

NatWest's Millennials Home Buying Survey

Did you know that 69% of Millennials believe they will have saved enough money for a deposit in the next 5 years?

The results of NatWest's Millennials Home Buying Survey reveals how young people view the current UK housing market in 2015, discusses the challenges that first time buyers face and the idea of generation rent.

Read the highlights of the Millennials Survey

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First time buyer tips

We've gathered a few tips from people that have bought their first home



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