The Buying Process
Buying a house actually comes down to a series of different actions. And it is vital that they happen in a certain order, otherwise you could hold up the process for both yourself and everybody else in your chain.
1) Do the maths
Before you even start browsing Rightmove, it is essential that you get all of your financial ducks in a row. You will need a deposit before you can do anything – the days of 100% mortgages are long gone – and the bigger the deposit, then the better the mortgage rate. Once you have saved a suitable deposit, 5% of the property price being the bear minimum, then you will need to get a mortgage agreed in principle. Only then are you allowed to start shopping! You will also need to budget for other fees and taxes, such as stamp duty, a solicitor, the survey, the searches and removals.
2) Sell your own home
If you have a house to sell then it is vital that you have an offer accepted on it before you go looking at other properties. If you go on viewings when you aren’t actually in a position to proceed then you will simply be wasting your own time, as well as the vendors and the estate agents. You also run the risk of being severely disappointed if you find the property of your dreams, only to not be able to buy it.
3) Start researching
Now that you are in a position to move you can start researching your ideal home. It is likely that you already have a location in mind, but often our dream area and our budget don’t actually marry up, so it’s always worth extending your search radius. Also line up properties to view that aren’t necessarily what you think you want but that fit in your budget – sometimes a property will surprise you.
4) Go on viewings
Now is the time to line up as many viewings as possible from all the properties around your budget and in your search area. It is vital that you don’t write anything off before you have seen it in the flesh! What looks great on paper may turn out to be disappointing, and something that seemed nondescript online could actually tick all of your boxes…
6) Commission a survey
Once your offer has been accepted then you will need to commission a survey. If you are getting a mortgage then your mortgage provider will arrange this, if you are purchasing in cash then you will need to arrange it yourself. You will have a choice of a basic mortgage valuation, a homebuyers report and a full structural survey – the property will dictate which is most suitable.
7) Commission a solicitor
You need a conveyancing solicitor to buy and sell any property in the UK. Your estate agent will have some that they can recommend, as will your family and friends. It is always a good idea to use one that comes highly recommended, as the speed of your solicitor results in how quickly you will be able to move. Even good solicitors will need a phone call from you once a week just to give them a gentle chase up…
8) Finalise your mortgage
Get in touch with your mortgage provider now and let them know that you have had an offer accepted and the exact amount that you are purchasing for. You will now need to formally complete the mortgage application.
9) All systems go
Once you have the results from the survey, and both yourselves and your mortgage provider are happy with them, then its all systems go! You could be in your new home from as little as four weeks from this point in, so you need to be proactive. While your solicitor is busy working away behind the scenes on your searches and legal stuff, you need to be having a major sort out! Get rid of as much stuff as you can at this point – there is no need to pay to have it moved just to throw it away once you get to your new place.