Buying a property can be confusing and incredibly stressful. If it’s your first time buying a house then you might feel totally lost, if it’s not your first time then it’s probably been a while since your last purchase and if you are a property developer, well, then you probably know what you’re doing. For everyone else, read our step by step buyers guide; you’ll feel a lot more confident after you do.
Before looking for your property, you need to know:
How much you can afford to spend on monthly repayments.
How much you can afford to put down as a deposit.
How much a lender is prepared to lend you (if purchasing with a mortgage).
Once you have this information, you will be able to calculate the maximum property price for your search.
Now you have your price range you can start to research which areas are going to be realistic for you to live in. When you’re looking online you will quickly get a good idea of what you will be able to afford. The property portal websites like Rightmove and Zoopla are absolutely key in getting a feel for what you want, and you might even find the right place for you directly on there.
Often, people are not fully sure of what they are looking for and may be oblivious that certain types of properties exist within different areas. This is why speaking to a local agent is an absolute must if you want to make sure you’re not going to miss out on an ideal property because you didn’t even know to look out for it.
In many cases, and particularly with first-time buyers, people are tempted only to ask their bank for mortgage advice. Unfortunately, this is often a more expensive way of funding your property purchase, and when moving, every penny saved counts! Based on many years of experience, our expert advice is to speak with an independent mortgage broker who can search hundreds of lenders for you to achieve the best deal. There is no obligation to proceed with using your mortgage broker, and you can always choose to continue with your bank, but having multiple options keeps you in a commanding position. We can arrange for our reputable and trusted independent mortgage broker to give you a quick call – just ask.
Be flexible. Often booking a viewing for as soon as possible, will ensure no-one beats you in making an offer on the property. Keep in mind that in most cases the property you wish to view could still be occupied, and while most sellers are keen to accommodate a viewing; they too have commitments which may prevent you from viewing the property at your preferred time.
Tell the seller what you’re willing to pay and don’t feel bad if it’s not the asking price. What’s the worst that can happen? This is also the time to add any conditions that you have for the purchase. These could be things like having a certain specific work done on the property before you move in, it could be more general about the seller covering costs of work needed from a future survey, or it could be about adding furniture into the deal.
Not all offers are accepted, especially if they are less than the asking price. Sometimes if more than one interested party puts an offer forward, it may start a bidding war, and the property could sell for more than the asking price.
During this process we will keep you fully informed and will give you expert advice every step of the way. If a bidding war starts, then it is easy to let your heart rule your head. Therefore, it’s so important that you have your budget already well prepared in advance, so you can remain calm through any negotiations.
Once the seller accepts your offer, the property is sold subject to contract, and no more viewings will take place.
During this time we just need for the legal checks to be carried out before the contract is finalised
There are different types of surveys you may need or want. The most common three that arise when purchasing a property are as follows:
Lenders survey - Your mortgage lender will usually require a “lenders” survey. Essentially this only considers the value of the property to ensure you are not paying more than the property is worth.
Home buyers survey - This will assess the condition of the property, identify the structural situation, as well as usually advising any potential improvement works that could be required (if any).
Building/Structural survey - This is generally for older properties which are not in a reasonable condition or where major works are planned. This type of survey will identify any structural or condition related issues and advise on the work required to rectify them.
This is the legal process of your solicitor carrying out the statutory checks required for the property and the land you are purchasing. It is crucial to choose a solicitor who is thorough and efficient. Your solicitor needs to work quickly so as not to cause a delay and risk the seller pulling out and selling to another buyer.
While efficiency is vital, this is likely to be one of the most important purchases you will have ever made. Having an experienced solicitor who is also great at communicating complex issues is essential to protecting you from any hidden legal matters. We can arrange for your conveyancing needs to be taken care of by a highly qualified professional. While we have one particular solicitor, we would personally recommend, we also have access to a panel of hundreds of solicitors throughout the UK and would be happy to obtain quotes on your behalf.
This is the point at which you pay your deposit, and neither party can back out without significant cost. Your solicitor and your seller’s solicitor will arrange between themselves to exchange contracts on a date that is agreed in advance between you and the seller.
You make the remainder of the payment (usually via your mortgage lender sending it to the solicitor). Once the payment is confirmed as received by the seller’s solicitors; the keys will be released to you from the agent. The property is now legally yours and you can start planning that housewarming party!