You will always remember buying your first home. This is a huge step and one that comes with a lot of responsibility. It is an exciting time and becoming a house owner is also a big achievement.
But if you are a first-time buyer, you may not know what to expect. This can make it stressful and you may be worried about making a mistake. Let’s go through all of the steps involved in purchasing property so that you can prepare for your journey.
The first step before you can start looking at houses is applying for a mortgage. This is going to involve asking a lender how much they would be able to borrow to you for the purchase of your first home. This is called a decision in principle and this gives you an estimated amount of how much you can spend on a property and what you can afford based on your current salary and circumstances.
During the process of buying a property, there are going to be several ID checks. It is best to have your documentation prepared now so that you can avoid delay at these points in the process. For example, your solicitor and mortgage lenders will want to check that you are who you say you are and carried out an identity check.
The documentation you will need includes your passport and driving licence. You will also have to prove your address, such as on a bank statement or credit card statement. Proof of funds will be necessary, including the last three months of bank statements and to show where your money is coming from.
This step is the most enjoy part. You can visit the houses that you like and find out more about the properties. It is always advised to attend viewings instead of just looking online. This is going to let you see the place in person and feel what it would be like to live there. An estate agent can take you around the property and tell you more about it.
When you are buying a home, you are going to need a solicitor. This should be someone that has training and experience. They are going to take care of all the legal work for you. Choosing somebody you like and trust will make the process a lot easier. The right solicitor can take the stress away from the buying process. They can also explain more about the process and represent you at every stage.
Once you have found the house of your dreams, it will be time to make an offer. This can involve making a verbal offer when you are at the home to the estate agent. This is not an offer that is legally binding. This is showing your interest and that you will make contact later on with your solicitor.
With your solicitor, you will need to decide the right offer. For example, you can offer below or above the asking price. There can be some negotiation with the seller. Make sure that you make an offer based on what is included with the property. For example, find out if any white goods are being left. In addition, knowing the interest in the home can affect your bid.
When your offer has been accepted, this is the time to confirm your mortgage. You will want to go back to the mortgage lenders who gave you the decision in principle. There will be a formal process to complete before carrying on with the purchase of the home. The full mortgage application can be complicated and a financial adviser may make the process easier if you are a first-time buyer.
Up until this point, you only have the seller’s word that the property is in good condition. You will also not be able to see everything when you are attending a viewing. The best thing you can do is have a survey of the property. An expert will carry out an inspection of the property and evaluate its condition. This is going to let you know if there are any major works that are necessary and that could affect the price of the property.
During this step of the process, the exchange of contracts and signed agreements happen. This is when you will be legally bound if they are accepted by both parties. This should only happen when you have your mortgage application confirmed and you are happy with the results of the survey. In addition, you will be required to pay your deposit. A completion date will be confirmed, which will detail when you can receive the keys to your home. This can be around two to four weeks.
This is an important part of the process. You are agreeing to a legal commitment. This means that if you decide that you want to withdraw at this stage, you could lose your home deposit. You might even have to pay compensation.
Just as the name suggests, completion is when the contract is completed and you will be able to move into your new home. During this step, the rest of the money is transferred from your solicitor to the seller. You will be registered as the owner of the house at the Land Registry and you will be able to get the keys and start the moving process.