Our guide to buying your first home in your 30s

Dec 02, 2021
Buying a House in Your 30s

There’s no right or wrong age to be a first-time buyer because the key principles of buying your first home don’t change. However, if you’re in your 30s, you may be looking for different things in your home than if you’d been looking to buy in your 20s.

As well as a suitable location and decent commute times, first-time buyers over 30 may find they now have very different priorities. It could be wanting a private garden for relaxing, an open-plan kitchen for entertaining friends, or even a dedicated home-working environment. If you have children (or hope to start a family) extra room, good schools and the safety of the neighbourhood may suddenly be more important factors. If you’re ready to find your perfect new London home, our guide to home buying is the best place to start. Explore our home buying guide >

How much money do I need to save?

If you’re in your 30s, it stands to reason that you’ve had more opportunity to save than if in your 20s. Most mortgage providers will expect you to have at least a 10% deposit. Up to a point, the more you can set aside the more likely you are to access the most competitive mortgage deals. However, there are schemes like Deposit Unlock that could help you get on the ladder with just a 5% deposit.

Unless you’ve received a windfall, gift or inheritance you’ll likely need discipline when saving for your deposit. You might consider renting a cheaper place or scaling back on your spending where possible – gym memberships, subscription services and dining out can be good places to make savings.

It can be a good idea to save by setting up a direct debit into your savings account, so you treat it like a bill that has to be budgeted for.

How can I make my money go further?

If you don’t have a large deposit, you do still have options. There are several schemes designed to remove the obstacles to buying your first home. These include:

Deposit Unlock

This scheme allows you to access competitively priced mortgage products with a deposit of just 5%, on newly built homes.

Learn more about Deposit Unlock >

Lifetime ISA

You can save up to £4,000 into your Lifetime ISA each year, and the Government will add a bonus of 25% up to £1,000. This type of ISA allows you to hold cash savings, stocks, and shares.

See Our Low Deposit Schemes >

Where should I look to buy?

Finding the right property in the right place is a key aspect of buying your first home at any age. What may have been a priority in your 20s might not be what you’re looking for now.

You might be ready to trade nightclubs for a nice local. Good schools and green spaces might be more important than fashionable shopping and pop-up restaurants. Having a garden or space to entertain might be something you simply won’t compromise on. You may even want somewhere big enough for a family to grow into.

Start by identifying areas that suit your needs then make a visit to those neighbourhoods to get a real feel.

How can I improve my finances?

When you’re ready to buy your first house , your mortgage application asks for bank statements and pay slips (normally going back at least two years) to check your income and outgoings. Providers want proof that you’ll be able to afford your monthly repayments so if, for example, you’re planning on going self-employed you may consider waiting until you’re on the property ladder.

Before you apply for a mortgage, it’s a good idea to pay off any debts, avoid using your overdraft, and delay applying for other forms of credit (like new credit cards or financing for large items).

You can also register with credit reference agencies for free, to see the information they hold on you. This includes details of every credit account you have and any missed or defaulted payments from the last seven years. Mortgage providers check these records too, often basing their decision to offer you a mortgage on your credit report.

How do I choose the right mortgage?

If you’re not sure how much you’ll be able to borrow or would like somebody to talk you through the different mortgage options, you might consider a mortgage adviser. If you want to buy a new home, a new homes mortgage adviser (NHMA) could also be a good option.

With a range of schemes and offers available to first-time buyers and those buying a new home, your NHMA can explain your options and could help you secure a competitive mortgage.

Mortgage providers take your income into account. If you’re buying in your 30s, you’re likely to be further into your career and earning a higher salary – which may mean you could borrow more compared to your 20s.

In your 30s you still have a lot of working life ahead of you. A possible advantage of applying later in life is that you may be able to secure a longer mortgage term than the typical 25-year length. That’s useful should you want to reduce the monthly repayments and spread the cost.[

When should I buy my first house?

According to, the average first-time buyer in the UK is 33 years old. In London, the average age is 35. But the best time to buy your first home is when it’s right for you. When you have a deposit saved, a stable income, a desire to own and a good understanding of what you’re looking for, you’re ready to start searching.

At Barratt London, we create flexible, open-plan living spaces throughout a range of beautiful developments, all across London.

Find your perfect new home >