home buying process
Finding an affordable property
It’s good to look at the home buying process before starting your hunt for a new home, it’s an idea to work out what you can afford to spend each month and how much you can borrow.
You can use any mortgage affordability calculator to get a guess. But if you want to be a bit more accurate, we suggest you book an appointment. It doesn’t take too long to discuss your affordability with an adviser, and it’ll give you a better idea than a calculator.
Consider how you’ll get by if your financial situation changes, or interest rates rise. It’s important to budget correctly.
Your savings must cover more than just a deposit. You’ll need to consider costs associated with a mortgage and buying a home.
Sound out a mortgage
Start thinking about your mortgage as early as possible. Undertake some research yourself. Perhaps set up an appointment with a mortgage broker to have a general chat about mortgages. Watch out for fees. You can use our appointment booking service.
Having found a mortgage product you like, maybe get a decision in principle.
Make an offer
Having found the home of your dreams, the next step in the home buying process is to make an offer, usually through an estate agent. Estate Agents only charge when you’re selling a property. Estate Agent Fees vary, shop around if you’re thinking of selling.
Arrange a solicitor and surveyor
Your solicitor will look after the legal work of buying and selling. A surveyor will look at the property you’re buying.
Shop around for quotes. Solicitors will tell you how much you must pay. It’s not uncommon for a solicitor to request a deposit upfront.
Your solicitor submits searches to the local council. Searches look at planning or local issues that might affect the property’s value.
Arranged by the mortgage provider. A mortgage valuation just makes sure the property is worth the price you’re paying before approving any mortgage.
Mortgage Valuations aren’t the same as Property Surveys, they aren’t as extensive and will not identify all repairs or maintenance issues necessarily.
Some lenders don’t charge for Mortgage Valuations. It will depend on what type of mortgage product you select.
You should consider getting a Property Survey to help avoid hidden costly problems in the long run.
There are several types of survey available:
RICS condition report – basic survey. It’s most suitable for new-build and conventional homes in good condition. No advice or valuation is given.
RICS homebuyer report – suitable for standard properties in reasonable condition. It’s a more detailed survey, looking thoroughly inside and outside a property. Should include a valuation.
Building or structural survey – comprehensive survey and suitable for all residential properties. A great idea for older homes or homes that might need repairs.
Assuming no problems or delays, you should receive a contract to sign. Make sure you run through the contract with your solicitor before signing the contract. You’ll need to check that you’re happy with what the sellers have agreed to leave in the property. Also, make sure that all your questions and queries have been answered.
When you exchange contracts you and the seller are committed to the sale.
A holding deposit is generally provided to the seller. Ask your solicitor how much this deposit needs to be. It can differ from transaction to transaction.
The difference between your deposit and the purchase price is now transferred from your solicitor’s account to the seller’s solicitor’s account.
Your mortgage provider may have a mortgage account fee. The lender charges this fee for setting up, maintaining and closing your mortgage account.
Pay your solicitor’s bill less any amounts that may have been paid on account. Don’t forget VAT. The sale is then registered at the Land Registry.
If you’re selling a property, you’ll need to pay any estate agent fees. The amount of fee you pay would have been agreed previously. Your solicitor will send this money to the selling agent.
Stamp Duty. Your solicitor will usually arrange this for you