Your 10 Step Guide To Buying A Home
Getting onto the property ladder can feel like a daunting prospect and the whole process can seem overwhelming and complicated. Here at The Property Buying Company, we are passionate about homebuying and we have compiled our official step by step guide to getting onto the property ladder!
1. Preparing to buy
Contact a mortgage broker who will be able to advise you on how much you will be able to borrow, what deposit you need, and financial steps to put in place to put yourself in a strong position for a mortgage application.
You can then secure an AIP (agreement in principle), some estate agents won’t let you view a property without this. An AIP is not legally binding, but it is an indication of how much the mortgage lender will lend providing the details you have given are correct.
2. Viewing properties and making an offer
Once you have your AIP and understand how much deposit you need to secure your property, you can start viewing properties within your budget, and get ready to put an offer in.
3. Instruct a solicitor
When buying your home you will need to instruct a solicitor to handle the legal side of your home move. You will usually do this once you have had an accepted offer on a property, or if you are buying a new build this stage follows reserving your home.
4. Getting your mortgage: How long will this take?
Your mortgage application can be anything from a few days to up to 3 weeks. As a rule of thumb, we say allow up to 3 weeks for your application to be processed and a decision to be made.
Your mortgage lender will visit the home to get an accurate valuation for your mortgage application. This is a valuation survey, which is separate to any property surveys your solicitor will arrange for you.
Your solicitor will usually instruct a conveyancer to do any surveys on the property that are needed to complete the legal process of buying your property. Whilst these can take some time, it’s so important to understand if there are any issues with your property, or the surrounding areas, drainage, and water systems.
6. Agreeing a completion date
Depending on your solicitor and who you are buying the home from, you will usually agree a completion date before exchanging your contracts, although it’s not unheard of to exchange before agreeing a completion date, we usually see this a lot with new build homes
If you are in a chain in your buying process, this can be particularly challenging trying to align each buyer to complete on the same date. All being well, this means you can begin to arrange any furniture deliveries, moving vans, and days off work.
7. Paying the deposit
Paying your deposit - gulp! The day your life savings disappear from your bank account but also the day you finally secure your home, closely followed by exchanging your contracts, making the transaction legally binding.
8. Exchanging contracts
Signing and exchanging contracts makes the transaction legally binding. You will do this before your completion date, around one week before. You will sign a contract, and your solicitor will transfer the deposit to the seller's solicitor.
If you pull out of the sale past this point there are financial consequences for doing so as you would then be in breach of contract. If the seller backs out, they are liable for any costs you have incurred and visa versa, don’t worry, this is rare!
9. Completion statement
Once you have exchanged contracts you will receive a completion statement, this is the final documentation detailing the money you will have to pay on or before your completion date, this includes your solicitors fee. Sometimes, your deposit and solicitors fee is part of one invoice that you will pay at the same time.
10. Moving day!
The day has arrived, you will await the call you’ve been waiting for all this time. Depending on your solicitor you will usually receive a call mid-morning to lunch time / early afternoon to let you know you have completed and can go and pick your keys up.
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