House Buying Tips

1. Get your finances in order

Contact an independent mortgage broker to find out how much you can borrow. They are able to research the market place for the best deal and can help you maximise your borrowing power. Make sure to stay within what you can comfortably afford regarding monthly repayments. Obtain information in relation to the different mortgages on offer, and consider whether you want to go for a fixed or variable/Tracker deal. It is important that you get your finances in order for use as a deposit. Don’t forget to account for house purchase set up costs + moving in costs (any good independent mortgage adviser should run you through an estimate of the set up costs) the objective of this exercise to make sure that prior to viewing properties you are fully aware of the costs you will incur during the purchase process.

2. Detail your requirements

Think about what you are looking for in a property – how many bedrooms you require now (or maybe in the near future) whether you need off road/on road parking, how small or large a garden you require. If it’s a flat or house you need and pick certain areas on which to focus your search. Consider all aspects regarding the location you require for example: what are the schools like, is it well situated for transport links and shops? You should¬†list the sort of amenities you desire nearby and what you ultimately want from the property’s location.

3. Start searching for that property

Start looking at the internet and local newspapers, you can also register with estate agents by giving them your requirements regarding the type¬† property you are looking for. If you see a property that you want to go and view, call the estate agent to arrange a viewing. Don’t be scared to view a number of properties as you are unlikely to find the home you want straight away, however don’t despair and definitely do not be tempted into exceeding your pre agreed budget. This is probably going to be your biggest financial outlay you will ever make in your life, so it is worth holding off on buying a house until you find the right one.

4. Make an offer

Once you have indentified a property you really like, you can now make an offer. Prior to this, try to glean as much information from the estate agent as possible. Ask certain questions like, how long the property has been on the market for? If the seller wants/needs a quick sale. It is common practice for the buyer to initially make an offer below the asking price, which can often be accepted. You may want to start below the asking price and negotiate with the agent to find the equilibrium price that both parties are happy with. However if you really want the property and you think it is worth paying the asking price, you may want to offer the full amount straight away. Remember,,,,,,,a house is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it!

5. . Your offer is accepted

Once your offer has been accepted, request that the estate agent take the property off the market. At this point you will need to speak to your independent mortgage adviser again to submit a mortgage application (you will need to provide paperwork showing your income and outgoings). You will also need to consider which type of valuation report to obtain: basic Valuation, Homebuyer valuation or Full structural valuation (for further information on the different types of valuation contact us for a full explanation). Within a couple of days of your offer being accepted the estate agent will issue a memorandum of sale (this will contain all details of relevant parties involved in the purchase process i.e. vendor/vendor’s solicitor/the buyer’s name/the buyers solicitor).

6. Locate and intstruct a solicitor

You will need to find a solicitor, ask for a few (we recommend you obtain 3 separate) quotes or follow up on personal recommendations which is always advisable. Once you have identified the solicitor you wish to use, instruct that solicitor to act on your behalf and give them the details of the property location and the vendor’s estate agent. At this point your solicitor will contact the vendor’s solicitor requesting title deeds to the property and he will start contractual proceedings.

7. Valuation report completed, received by you and your solicitor

Read the survey when it arrives. If there are any issues with the property and you are not happy to carry on with the purchase, then act quickly to let everyone know before you incur any additional unnessecary costs. If you’re not sure of anything within the valuation report, it may be worth you asking your solicitor for their input regarding any potential legal issues that may have arisen. If you do want to continue with the purchase of the property, and the survey advises you to obtain more detailed reports on specific work that needs doing, arrange for that to be done. As a result of the survey, if it states that alot of work will need to be done, you may want to go back to the estate agent and renegotiate on the price that you have originally agreed to pay for the property.

8. Exchange of contracts

After your solicitor or conveyancer has completed all the necessary checks you’ll be asked to sign a contract legally committing you to the purchase. At this point you will need to pay a deposit for the property – usually at least 5% to 10% of the price of the house. At this point you will usually agree a date to complete the sale.

9. Buy buildings insurance

Your lender will require you to have buildings insurance in place for the date of completion. It will quote a rebuild cost in its valuation – this is the amount you need to cover for as a minimum. It is always advisable to consider including Contents cover within the plan, therefore you may wish to obtain quotes for building & contents insurance at the same time. By having buildings & contents with the same provider, this can allow you to obtain a better price than if you were to have buildings cover & contents cover with separate companies. Remember, the only insurance that is mandatory before any lender will release funds is Buildings insurance.

10. Completion

This is when the property finally becomes yours. When your solicitor tells you that the sale is completed you can pick the keys up from the estate agent. and you can move in to your new home!