Thursday April 12, 2018
Buying a home is a huge financial commitment and can be daunting, especially for first time buyers. Read our guide below to find out more about the specific steps involved - the process, key stages and of course the fees to expect. The whole process will take approximately two months so make sure your expectations are realistic from the outset. Start at the beginning and -
FIND A PROPERTY YOU LIKE
Before you start house hunting it is a good idea to find out exactly what you can afford to spend, considering how you might cope if your financial situation changes, or interest rates rise. You must be careful not to overstretch yourself. Remember any savings you have need to cover not just your deposit, but all the other expenses such as mortgage fees, Stamp Duty and legal fees too. Come and see us before you start so that you know exactly what you can afford to look for – and avoid later disappointment. Finding the house of your dreams and then discovering you cannot afford to buy it happens more often than you might think. We can also help you to find the right mortgage product – if you need help with finding enough money for a deposit check out all the affordable house buying schemes available. Don’t forget to check your credit report! Once you know what you can afford and have found the property you want to live in then it is time to –
MAKE AN OFFER
Usually (though not always) offer through an estate agent. Fees are payable by the owner of the property so don’t worry about those! Once your offer is accepted then you need to –
ARRANGE A SOLICITOR AND SURVEYOR
The solicitor is essential to handle the legal work and ensure the property title is correctly transferred to you. Typically fees cost from £500 to £1500 so make sure you have enough money to pay them. The Solicitor will also submit searches to the local council to check whether there are any planning or local issues that might affect the value of the property you are hoping to buy. Typically these cost £250-£300. We can advise you on choosing a suitable solicitor.
The surveyor checks the physical condition of the property to make sure there aren’t any problems or defects which might affect it’s value. Your mortgage lender will carry out a basic report which simply verifies that the property is good security for them to lend on – your surveyor will check in much more depth. The most basic survey costs approximately £250 plus VAT while an in-depth building or structural survey will set you back at least £600 upwards depending on the value of your chosen house.
The most stressful part of the process is often the last stage! This is when any re-negotiations might be needed (if there are any essential repairs needed on the property for example that come up on the survey result) and also when any mortgage problems might come to light or if another buyer appears over the horizon. Communication is key here – always stay in regular contact with the estate agent acting for your vendor, your solicitor and mortgage broker to ensure that you everyone knows exactly what is going on. And once all your ducks are in a row you can ask your mortgage adviser to go ahead – and contracts will be exchanged. Keys to your new property are usually collected a week later though this can vary – if all goes according to plan you will finally be able to move into your first home!