In the first of a series of blogs we’ll be following Anika, a first time buyer, as she embarks on her journey to buying her first home. Today Anika offers an insight into what it is like to have a mortgage appointment and gives an honest view about the steps she is taking to improve her chances of buying.\n\nI’ve spent so many years feeling like I would never get on the property ladder.\n\n'I've spent so many years worrying about my finances and feeling like I would never got on the property ladder. But spurred on by a friend selling a house at a not-to-be-missed bargain pirce, I decided to get my head out of the sand and start looking at what I needed to do to get a mortgage.\n\n'Daunted, I contacted a Financial Consultant and fixed an appointment at my current, rented property. In preparation he asked me to have available my last 3 months’ worth of bank statements, pay slips and two credit checks so we could immediately see where I am.\n\nClick here to view our First Time Buyer Guide >\n\n'Naturally I put off logging onto my bank account and doing the credit checks until the last minute. The credit checks looked ok to me but then I did only glance at them, fearful about what they might say about my last six years of spending and of course didn’t really know what to look for. My last three months' bank statements included December. That statement did not look good due to my Christmas over-spending.\n\nDuring the appointment the FC put me at ease.\n\n'During the appointment the Financial Consultant completely put me at ease and didn’t make me feel foolish for some of my less than sensible financial decisions.\n\n'Lenders generally do still want to see 3 months’ worth of bank statements so I am being more careful than ever watching what I spend. I'm actually quite enjoying being frugal for a change.\n\n'Here are some of the things I’m doing to be a little more careful…\n\n\n\tSwitching supermarkets – I’m really surprised at the difference this has made.\n\tI now also make a list so I don’t buy food that I don’t really need for that week.\n\tTaking a good look at what's in my freezer and cupboards and using up lots of that food.\n\tCooking more meals from scratch – they go further and work out surprisingly cheaper, assuming you have some store cupboard basics already.\n\tMaking packed lunches for work every day.\n\tLooking at some of my monthly outgoings - do I really need Sky Boxsets and Netflix?\n\tChecking a few policies – my car insurance included roadside recovery so I didn’t need a specific roadside recovery membership as well.\n\tAnd this will make most people laugh: I’ve started making my own dog treats instead of spending £20 a month in pet shops.\n\n\nMy biggest piece of advice is: don't be afraid of booking an appointment.\n\n'I’m booked in to view a couple of properties in the next week so I’ll let you know how I go with those but my biggest piece of initial advice is don’t be afraid of booking an appointment with a Financial Consultant like I was. You are in a much better position when you know what you need to do, rather than just worrying and assuming you’ll never get your foot on the property ladder.\n\nUntil next time,\nAnika - First Time Buyer'\n\n\nDo you want to make the first step onto the property ladder? Click here to book an appointment with one of our advisors > \n\n\n\nYOUR PROPERTY MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Embrace Financial Services usually charges a fee for mortgage advice. The precise amount of the fee will depend upon your circumstances but will range from £499 to £999 and this will be discussed and agreed with you at the earliest opportunity.