Home-Buying Checklist: Everything You Need to Know
Buying a home is one of the biggest purchasing decisions you’ll make. And although it’s exciting, there are many things you need to do along the way.
In this article, we’ve broken down everything you need to think about when buying a house – to make the process as easy as possible.
Let’s get started…
Step one: Find the perfect property
Everyone has their dream home in mind. But it’s important to consider the following before you start:
Have a good idea about what you can afford, so you can be realistic about your purchase. Typically speaking, you can borrow a multiple of your household income; this depends on the lender as well as your credit score. Speak to a credible mortgage broker who is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, or approach a lender directly to seek advice.
Don’t forget to factor in the cost of Stamp Duty – it’s important to keep it in mind when you’re looking at affordability. If you are buying a property in England or Northern Ireland, you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax if your purchase is over £125,000.
Make sure you have a good look around the area you want to live in. Scout it out, ask around, look at local schools. The local area is just as important as the property when it comes to buying a home.
2. Preparing to apply
You’ve found the home you want to snap up – now’s the time to get everything in order so you can make an attractive offer.
If you need a mortgage, make sure you have an AIP (Agreement in Principle) from your mortgage provider. A good mortgage broker will have access to the best deals, so it’s wise to go through a recommended expert.
Make an offer that’s going to get a big “Yes!” Research local house prices, looking at how much similar properties in the area are selling for.
3. Instruct a solicitor
Your offer has been accepted, and you’re ready to get the ball rolling. You will need to instruct a solicitor. If buying from a developer or agent, they may have a panel of solicitors who you could choose from as they are familiar with the development and would ensure the conveyancing process runs smoothly.
The solicitor will handle all the legal work surrounding the purchase, apply to the local authority for searches and raise relevant enquires and report to you once they are able to.
4. Finalise the offer and mortgage
Typically, your lender (mortgage provider) will carry out their own valuation with an independent surveyor, as they will want to make sure they are lending against the correct value of the property.
However, it's in your best interests to carry out your own survey too, if buying a second hand property.
If your mortgage application is declined as a result of the survey, here’s a helpful article on what to do next.
5. Exchange contracts
Once your mortgage offer has been issued, you can then proceed to exchange of contracts. Providing you are happy with the final report from the solicitors, you will be sent contracts to sign and return.
Before signing the contract, make sure you go through it with your solicitor to check that all the details are correct.
Bear in mind that once the contract is signed, both you and the seller are legally bound to complete on the property purchase.
You need to be happy with the arrangements for items the seller has agreed to leave in the property. You don’t want to get there and find rogue pieces of furniture. One of the pros of buying a new build is that this won’t be an issue!
Now is the time to get buildings insurance in place to cover the cost of potentially rebuilding the property in the event that it is damaged or destroyed.
6. Completion and final steps
You’re almost at the finish line! At this stage there a number of things that need to happen:
Ensure you have signed and returned all relevant documents in order to complete to your solicitor.
The remaining money owed to buy the property is now transferred from your solicitor’s account to the seller’s solicitor’s account.
This is the stage where you’ll have to pay the solicitor’s bill; this can be anything from £500-£1,500 plus VAT.
Your solicitor will then register the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry so it’s all signed and sealed in your name.
And there you go – an easy checklist for you to make sure your house move goes off without a hitch (wherever possible).
Would you like to talk to us about buying a Brookworth home? Get in touch on 01737 236 150.