Organise your Finances
Start the process by checking your credit record as if you are applying for a mortgage the lender will always make credit checks with credit reference agencies and it’s good to know what they will find and if there are any errors which need to be rectified.
At the start of the process it is a good idea to set aside money for the costs of buying your new home. Stamp duty, removal costs, building insurance, surveyor’s fees, mortgage fees and conveyancing fees can be quite costly and it will be a lot easier to have the money ready for these before you begin.
Many lenders now offer competitive mortgages so it is worth having a look round and comparing what is on offer. Some lenders require just 5% deposit. The lenders and the government also have different schemes available helping people along the property ladder.
Looking at properties
When you ready to start looking for your new home, it’s a good idea to make a list of what is essential for you to have and also ways in which you can compromise. It is also best to look slightly over the top of your budget and slightly out of your chosen area.
When you’re ready to view the property, write down a list of questions you would like to ask about the property. These may include: The council tax band and the cost, who the neighbours are, etc.
Making an offer
When you’ve found a property you sure you want to buy, it’s time to make your offer. Speak to the estate agent and let them how much you’re willing to pay. This is also an ideal time to let the agent know about how you’re funding the purchase whether mortgage or cash, what position you’re in whether sold subject to contract or have nothing to sell and also anything else the agent should know such as your ideal timescale.
Choose your solicitor and surveyor
You may already have a conveyancing solicitor if you are selling a property so now is the time to instruct them for your purchase too. If not, most estate agents can recommend a solicitor to use but it may also be worth asking friends and family for recommendations.
Your solicitor will prepare searches to investigate the property and the both the land the property sits on and the land around it. They will also liaise with the seller’s solicitor for the signing of contracts, transfer of money and the confirmation of the moving date.
Most people instruct a surveyor too. They will do a survey of the property, highlighting any possible issues that may need attention or confirming the property is safe and without issues. There are two types of survey, a homebuyers report or a full building survey. Choosing which one to have will usually depend on the age and condition of the property.
At exchange, your preliminary deposit will be transferred to the seller and you should arrange home insurance for the new property and removals for moving day.