It is not easy getting your foot on the housing ladder, unless your financial situation is in tip-top condition. If you’re among hundreds of thousands of Britons who are struggling to save for a house deposit, there are a few money saving tips you should know about to make the process easier. Here is everything first time home buyers should know.  How much deposit do you need?

Before you begin looking at properties, you must start saving for a deposit. This is generally around 5 to 20 per cent of the purchase price. The more you save, the easier it will be to apply for cheaper mortgages. You can boost your deposit by opening a tax-free ISA account, in which you can save up to £15,240 from 6 April 2016.

Make sure your monthly mortgage payments are affordable

Every first time home buyer should ensure that they can really afford the mortgage payments. It would be wise to set up a budget before you start looking for a house. With strict affordability checks from lenders as well as the rising interest rates, you should make sure you are in a stable financial situation before taking on the responsibility of a mortgage.

money-549161_960_720 Find out about government schemes

As the government is encouraging more people to buy their first homes, they have introduced Help to Buy scheme, which requires you to come up with a 5 per cent deposit and the government will put down a further 20 per cent. There is no interest to pay on this 20 per cent for the first 5 years. This means your mortgage payment will be considerably cheaper.

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Compare removal costs

If you have a lot of furniture to move, consider hiring a van for a few hours rather than using a removal company. Ask your friends or family to help you move your items as a gesture of goodwill and invite them for a beer afterwards. However, if you can afford to use a removal company, make sure you compare their costs first before proceeding.

patio-364255_960_720 Save money on your utility bills

It is never a good idea to stick with the previous owners’ gas and electricity supplier. By switching providers, you can save £100s a year. Although it is still best to compare rates online, you should consider cheap companies such as First Utility for your gas and electricity. This provider’s website contains all the relevant information you need to help you save money, and even get cash back.

Get free furniture from the Web

There are hundreds of good quality items available for free when you take a look at online communities such as Freecycle and Freegle. Rather than selling goods on eBay or throwing their unwanted items away, people choose to offer them to their local communities. Some of the items may be moth-bitten, but there are also good quality goods that you can bag. Just do your research thoroughly before ordering what you need for your new home.