If you are affiliated with a college, you may be able to take advantage of joint-equity purchase schemes run by some, but not all, colleges. Your college bursar will be able to give you more information.
If you plan to buy a home with a commercial mortgage, you will want to know how much money you will be allowed to borrow. The UK Government's Money Advice Service has a useful online mortgage calculator that will give you an idea of what to expect. A common rule of thumb is that you will be allowed to borrow 4-5 times your gross annual salary, but your monthly outgoing expenses will also be taken into account to check you could afford the repayments. If you have variable monthly income or are on a fixed-term contract, the lender may impose extra conditions or affordability checks.
You will generally be required to pay a deposit with your mortgage lender of between 5-25% of the value of your home. Please note that non-EEA citizens who do not have Indefinite Right to Remain in the UK may be required by their mortgage lenders to make a larger deposit. The higher the deposit you are able to make, the lower your loan-to value ratio (LVR, expressed as a percentage) will be, and usually the lower the interest rate you will have to pay.
A credit check will be carried out as part of your mortgage application. You must have an established credit history in the UK of at least 3 months (non-EEA citizens are often required to have a 12-month UK credit history). This is best done by opening a bank account as soon as possible on your arrival and, if you are eligible, registering on the UK Electoral Roll. For more information, please see Voting and Benefits. You can learn more about how to establish a credit history in the UK by visiting the Money Advice Service's pages on how to get credit for the first time in the UK.
Mortgages can be arranged through your bank, however, they will only be able to offer you their own products. Independent mortgage brokers will be able to see all mortgage products offered on the market by banks, building societies and other financial institutions - please note they may charge for this advice. It is best to compare mortgages either through a broker or using online comparison sites to ensure you are getting the best deal, taking into account the monthly repayment amount and any arrangement fee that may be payable up-front.