Buying a property, especially your first home, can be a daunting experience. To help we have put together a small guide.
Working out what you can afford
Buying a property is a big step involving a substantial long-term financial commitment, so think hard about what you can afford. Check out a Mortgage Calculator to help you get a rough idea on how much you can afford. Remember to make allowances for additional costs such as legal fees and stamp duty.
Getting a mortgage
It is vital to secure a mortgage with a lender before starting the search process. Make sure you know all there is to know in order to choose the right mortgage for you. We can put you in touch with a mortgage broker.
Finding the ideal property
Everyone has their own wish list that makes up their ideal property. From transport links to the number of bedrooms, we can help you create a comprehensive list.
Viewings can often be over before you know it. So it's essential you know what you're looking for before you arrive and ensure you remember everything after you leave. Here is a useful Viewings Checklist.
Negotiating and making an offer
Once you have found the property of your dreams the next step is to make an offer. It is important to consider a variety of factors when choosing your price level in order to achieve the right deal for you. Take a step back to logically look at all the things that matter before making your offer. Once you make an offer, make it clear that it's subject to contract and a satisfactory survey.
Offer accepted. What next?
Once the seller has accepted your offer ask them to take the property off the market. They don’t have to agree to this, but doing so will shut out other potential buyers. Now you need to move fast - the seller will want to see progress so try to avoid any unnecessary delays in getting the surveys and other legal work done. Complete the lender's application form and send them the documents they require.
The lender will arrange for a valuation to be completed on the property. The lender will use the surveyor's Valuation Report and other information you provided to calculate how much it would allow you to borrow by way of mortgage secured on the property.
Don't be overwhelmed by the legal side of things. Below are the main steps from offer to completion
- Obtain sellers' responses to questions, such as who owns the boundaries, whether they have had any disputes with neighbours and what fixtures and fittings are included.
- Check copies of any guarantees on the property, details of planning permissions and building regulation certificates.
- Check the seller really is the owner of the property and prepare a report on title deeds for you.
- Check local authority searches and plans for the local area.
- Pay stamp duty tax on the property.
- Arrange registration of title deeds in your name.
Preparing for moving in day
Here are some tips to make moving in day as smooth as possible:
- Use a good removal firm - seek recommendations from friends or get removal quotes. Tip - Look for members of the British Association of Removers who operate a strict code of conduct.
- If possible, try to stagger moving days so you don't have to do everything all in one day.
- This can also give you time to do any essential work to the new property such as carpet cleaning or any decorating that needs to be done before all your belongings arrive.
- Try to avoid Mondays and Fridays which are the busiest days on the roads.
- Save time and cost by doing some of the packing yourself.
- Check out the best value utility contracts for your new property well in advance and read the meters in both properties on moving day.
- Redirect post well beforehand - this is especially essential to protect yourself from identity theft
- If your new place has any appliances left behind, download the instruction manuals from the manufacturer's website.