There are some key steps to buying a house and understanding these will make the whole process a lot easier!
- Find out what you can afford.
You need to understand what you can afford before you can start the fun part of looking at properties. There are various calculators available online to give you a ballpark figure to get you started but ultimately you will need to sit down with a mortgage advisor to fully understand what you can borrow.
- Make a shortlist.
Once you have an idea of what you can afford you can start looking at properties for sale on property portals or estate agents websites to make a shortlist of properties that you love.
- Start viewings.
Next to you have to view the properties on your shortlist in person to see if they really do tick the boxes that are important to you.
- Sort out your mortgage.
Before you can make an offer, you will need to see a mortgage advisor and choose a mortgage that works for you and your circumstances. At this stage, you will be given a ‘mortgage in principle’ which is kept valid for a set number of days and lets everyone know that you are serious and likely to be able to actually buy the house in question.
- Make an offer.
Once you’ve found your perfect home, you need to make an offer with the estate agent! Obviously you need to bear in mind the asking price when making an offer but there are all sorts of circumstances that could make this price negotiable so decide on what the property would be worth to you and how much you can readily afford.
- Choose your conveyancer.
This is when to instruct a solicitor to actually progress the legal process of buying a house. Your estate agent may have a relationship with a firm already that you can use or you can find one yourself.
A survey is needed now so your mortgage provider, and you, can be sure that the property is worth at least what you have offered.
- Finalise your mortgage.
Time to go back to your mortgage advisor to finalise your mortgage and arrange suitable buildings and life insurance
- Agree a completion date.
Now that everything is in place, it’s time to negotiate a suitable exchange and completion date that suits everyone in the chain.
Exchange contracts and complete. Your conveyancing firm will be busy completing all of the legal aspects of your move in the lead up to this point and you will have filled in many forms! Once the contracts are exchanged, you can breathe a sigh of relief as it’s much less likely to fall through after this point. Completion could be a week or so later or it could even be the same day and this is when the same is complete and legally binding and you can pick up the keys to your new house!