The 10 steps to buying your new property
Buying a new property is one of the biggest decisions that most of us will ever make. It can seem like a long and intimidating process but all it takes is a little patience and being prepared - there are 10 key steps to buying your new property that will take you from browsing to owning your own home.
1. Establish how much you can spend
You’ll need to consider your annual income, as well as how much you have as a deposit. Review your savings and don’t forget to see if you might be suitable for something like Help to Buy, which is a 20% equity loan provided by the government for eligible properties if you only have a 5% deposit.
2. Look at your mortgage options
The bigger your deposit, the better deal you’re likely to get on your mortgage. Lenders today have strict mortgage criteria to follow so you’ll only be able to borrow what you can actually afford. Mortgage factors to consider include whether you want a fixed rate or variable deal and the income requirements for each lender.
3. Start looking for your new property
Draw up a basic list of what you want (location, bedrooms, size, type of property etc) and then start looking. A good local estate agent always makes a great partner in finding your dream home, especially when it comes to first look at properties that are only on the market for a short period of time.
4. Go to some viewings
The only way to tell if a property is really for you is to go and see it. Take a smart phone so that you can snap some photos and ask lots of questions about the property.
5. Find the right legal support
You can use a solicitor or a conveyancer to complete the purchase process. Conveyancers are often better and cheaper for simpler transactions but anything more complex may require a conveyancing solicitor.
6. Make an offer for the property
How much do you want to pay to make this purchase? Remember that you’ll have to cover your purchase costs too, such as stamp duty and legal fees. When you’re thinking about price, look at what other similar properties in the area sold for, how long the property has been on the market and whether it represents value to you.
Once your offer is accepted you will exchange conveyancer details with the seller and the process of surveys can begin. This could include a range of different investigations – a mortgage lender will probably require a Mortgage Valuation, for example. You can usually rely on a HomeBuyer Report, which is survey suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition but you may also need a full or structural survey for an older property. Your solicitor or conveyancer will also carry out searches against the property.
8. The mortgage offer
At this stage you should receive a mortgage offer from your lender – your solicitor or conveyancer should check this carefully.
9. Exchange of contracts
On exchange, the deposit is paid to the seller’s solicitors and contracts are signed so that both parties are legally bound by the transaction.
10. Completion day
The homebuying process comes to an end on completion day when the mortgage money is paid to the seller and you’ll receive the keys to your new home.
Buying a home can be complex – we have a fantastic range of properties available and can support you through the entire process.