We realise that buying a property can be exciting however often quite challenging, after all it is a big deal. Whether you are a first time purchaser or you are an experienced property buyer we have put together a useful buyers guide that will hopefully help reduce the stress for you.
What can you afford?
Before you start looking at properties you need to know how much you can afford to spend, this will give you an indication of what type of property and price range you can look at. A mortgage adviser with access to a wide range of products is suitable to help as they will search the mortgage market for you. Once you have selected the best deal for you ensure that you receive a copy of your Agreement in Principle (AIP) which confirms that you have been approved to borrow a certain amount of money, this will put you in a strong buying position when you offer on the property that you find. We can recommend a mortgage adviser for you if required. Be mindful that you budget for additional costs such as a survey, Stamp Duty, Land Registry Fees, Searches and removal costs. Many of these costs will be organised and paid for through your solicitor.
Now it gets exciting. You have probably already been browsing the internet sites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation already which is great. You now know what you can afford to spend so you can go and find your next home. Think about the location that you would like to be in and what is important to you, e.g. schools, transport links, amenities and also think about what you would compromise for the right home. Register your details with the local estate agents in the areas of interest, this will prompt you to be notified of suitable properties that match your requirements, it is important to register with these agents so that you are in the know of new properties, as often the good ones go before they make it on the internet.
Choose a solicitor
It is a good idea to get a solicitor lined up before making an offer on a property, it saves time later. Your solicitor will carry out the ‘conveyancing’ which is the legal work that takes place when buying your property. We can recommend local solicitors for you but equally, it is a good idea to speak to your family and friends for their recommendations also. A good solicitor could be the difference in getting the home that you want and experiencing a stressful and expensive process.
Making an offer
Great, you have found the property that you like, now contact the estate agent selling the property and make an offer. The estate agent will require proof of funding which is your Agreement in Principle or if a cash buyer they will require a copy of this in a form of a statement. Ensure that the agent knows your position fully as this could help with your offer going forward in the best light possible, for example if you have nothing to sell and your funds are in place, this should be attractive to the owner selling the property as you are ready to go.
Once your offer has been accepted your mortgage company will arrange for a Mortgage Valuation survey to be carried out on the property. There are a few options of a survey with the most basic a Mortgage Valuation survey which confirms that the price you have agreed to pay for the property is consistent with the market value in the area. You can upgrade to a Homebuyers survey or a Full Structural survey if you wish and these are more detailed.
Exchange of contracts
There are a number of legalities to go through before exchange of contracts takes place, usually taking approximately 6-8 weeks. Exchange of contracts marks the point when the purchase becomes binding for both parties. A date for completion or moving day is arranged and agreed throughout the chain and your deposit funds are transferred which means you can relax a little. We would advise that until the point of exchange try not to get too committed or emotionally involved as there are a number of things that can affect the purchase of a property.
Completion of purchase
Your property purchase is now finalised and this usually comes a week or two after an exchange of contracts. Contact your estate agent once your solicitor has advised you of completion and the agent will advise of where to collect your keys from. Make sure you have arranged to get things connected in your new home, such as TV and internet.
And relax…Pop the champagne if necessary! Now your good friends, family and removal company come in. Pack and label your boxes to make it easier when you get to your new home as each box can be placed in the correct room. Ensure that you have an essential box to hand full of tea and biscuits to keep your team satisfied.
We hope that this has helped you and please contact us on 01626 774629 should you have any questions at all. We would love to help.
Thank you for reading.