Determine your budget
- Be realistic and thorough with your calculations, this is likely to be one of the largest transactions you ever make.
- Take into account your income, savings, and any equity from existing property holdings.
- If you are planning to release equity to fund your purchase, we can help you to determine a market valuation for your current property, and we can advise you on how to maximise the final sale price.
- Factor in the essential services and taxes that are involved in buying property, most commonly stamp duty, conveyancing, searches, land registry registration, surveys and insurance payments.
Select the right mortgage
- An Independent Mortgage Adviser is best placed to find the right provider with the right product at the right rate for you. They will take into consideration your current situation and your plans for the future, and they will match this against the lending criteria set out by banks and building societies.
- Lenders will conduct a thorough screening process to check that borrowers can afford to meet their mortgage repayments. An Independent Mortgage Adviser will guide you through this process, and support you to complete the relevant paperwork.
Choosing your next home
- Online search facilities can help you to see what’s out there from the comfort of your own home. Create property email alerts to stay informed of newly listed properties.
- Be aware that some of the best properties never even make it on to the larger online search portals. Get to know our team, and we will keep you updated as soon as suitable properties come available.
- Determine your search criteria. What is essential, and what would be a ‘nice to have’. Where do you want to live, what amenities do you need, and what size and age of property are you looking for.
- Visit at different times of day to gain a real understanding of the property and the neighbourhood.
- Note which way the garden faces, and what the parking arrangements are like. Find out what is (and what isn’t) included in the sale price.
- Ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), look up at roofs and chimneys, look at windows, ask what type of heating it is, and ask if there are any guarantees or warranties. Arrange an independent survey to investigate any areas of concern.
- Give us detailed feedback after your viewing, this will help us to truly understand what you are looking for.
- Be as flexible as possible with viewing times, as desirable properties can be snapped up quickly.
- Ask permission before taking any photographs.
- Conveyancing is the process by which the legal transfer of property from one person to another is made. The buyer or their solicitor/conveyancer examines the legal documentation for the property and raises questions in order to approve the contract of the sale.
- Appoint a solicitor before your offer is accepted to speed up the purchase. We can recommend a trusted local conveyancer.
- Once your offer has been accepted, you and the seller of the property will exchange details of your solicitors/conveyancers who will then contact each other to start the process. They are there to advise and guide you through the process, explaining the paperwork and forms and making sure that your purchase runs smoothly.
Making an offer
- Once you have found the right property the next step is to reach an agreement with the seller on the price.
- You should consider how the property compares with others you have seen, how well it meets your requirements, your budget, competition from other interested buyers, and consider what would happen if your offer is not accepted.
Arrange a survey
- There are three main types of survey; a Mortgage Valuation, a Homebuyer Report and a Building Survey.
- If you are taking out a mortgage then your lender will normally insist on a Mortgage Valuation to establish that the property is good security for their loan. You will usually pay for this, but you will not normally receive a copy of the report. We would therefore recommend having your own survey done. A professional survey can help to reassure you that the property is in a good state of repair, and can also highlight any future expenses that the owner may need to undertake.
- A Homebuyer report is ideal for more conventional residential property built within the past 100 years. It includes a detailed visual inspection of all aspects of the property that are available for inspection.
- A Building Survey (also referred to as a full or structural survey) is suited to older properties, or properties that may have different forms of construction or that have undergone major changes. A detailed inspection of all visible areas of the property is undertaken.
Finalise mortgage & insurance requirements
- If you are taking out a mortgage, then you will receive a Mortgage Offer from your lender. This will state the final details of the loan you are receiving.
- You and your solicitor/conveyancer should check this carefully. You may also be required to arrange life assurance to cover the loan and building insurance as you exchange contracts.
Exchange of contracts
- The exchange of contracts is the legally binding part of the process. This is when you hand over a deposit (normally 10% of the purchase price).
- Contracts are exchanged once both you and the seller and your respective solicitors/conveyancers are satisfied that everything is in order. A date for completion is agreed, and from this point on both parties are legally bound to go through with the transaction.
The day of completion
- This is the day the balance of the monies is transferred via the banking system, and the day on which you will get the keys to the property you have bought.
- For most people this is the day that they physically move into the property with all their furniture and possessions. We can recommend trusted local removal firms to help you through this part of the process.
We understand that the process of buying a property can be daunting, and we hope that this summary helps you to understand how it all works. If you’d like to discuss this further with us, we’d be delighted to speak to you and get you started on your way to buying your dream home.