Simple steps to follow when buying your first home

Buying a house in the UK can be a daunting process, especially if you are a First Time Buyer with no experience in this sector.

The first thing you should do is save money for the Deposit. This is a crucial step and a savings account like Help to Buy ISA and Lifetime ISA could be a big help here.

The minimum you put upfront is 5%. A good thing to remember here is the larger the deposit, the lower the interest will be. The banks usually work with a 5% threshold here (5%, 10% 15%…).

After you have the deposit it’s time to decide whether you want to instruct a Mortgage Advisor, or you want to do the research yourself.

With comparison websites it’s relatively easy now to do your own research. You can check on:

If you’re not comfortable with doing the research yourself and believe you need extra help you can instruct a Mortgage Advisor.

  • Advantage: they may have access to other offers you can’t find online and they also have experience and know the market, which can make a difference while negotiating the house price.
  • Disadvantage: they may charge you a fee. Some of them don’t as they also get paid by the lender, however most of them can charge something between £300 and £600.

Please see below the steps you will have to go through after you find the home you wish to buy:

1. SOLICITOR:

  • Instruct your solicitor and send him your photo ID and your proof of address
  • Your solicitor will send you a purchase questionnaire that you have to sign and send back
  • Your solicitor will then check the length of your chain

2. FUNDING:

  • Send your solicitor your proof of funds
  • Send your solicitor your gifted deposit letter, ID of gifter and proof of funds (if applicable)
  • Get your mortgage in principle, book your mortgage valuation, and get your mortgage offer (this will be done by the Mortgage Advisor if you decide to instruct one)

3. SURVEY:

  • Book a RICS Building Survey or Home Buyers Report
  • Additionally, you can book an Electrical and Gas report if the seller does not already have them
  • Send your survey results to your solicitor

4. PROPERTY SEARCHES:

  • Order your property searches through your solicitor
  • After the solicitor returns them you can order additional searches (if required)

5. CONTRACTS & ENQUIRIES:

  • You will receive your Draft contracts from seller through your solicitor
  • Check and sign the Fitting & Contents and Property Information forms
  • Send your solicitor any questions you want answered from the seller and he will raise the legal enquiries
  • Close your Help to Buy or Lifetime ISA and inform your solicitor
  • Get a building insurance quote (if buying a freehold)

6. EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS:

  • Send your solicitor your signed documents (do not date!)
  • Pay your Solicitor your Deposit
  • Get a removals quote (or search the Internet or Facebook for cheaper alternatives)
  • Put in place your buildings insurance (if buying a freehold)

7. COMPLETION:

  • Ask your solicitor to draw down your mortgage the day before completion
  • The bank will transfer your completion money to the solicitor
  • Collect all keys to the property, check the property is empty, vacant and the agreed fixtures are left for you. Instruct your solicitor if you find any unwanted things that the seller left behind
  • Take note of meter readings (gas, electricity, water)

POST COMPLETION:

  • Change utilities providers and order your broadband
  • Update your address/contact details
  • Change GP and dentist
  • Your solicitor should register you for Property Alerts at the Land Registry

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