Step 1 / Find out how much you can borrow?
Call an independent mortgage broker to get an idea of how much you can borrow. He or she will be able to search the market for the best available deal and to help you maximise your borrowing power. But don’t stretch to more than you can meet in monthly repayments and remember to you still have to pay for stamp duty and other fees, and to furnish your new home. Gather information about the different mortgages on offer, and start thinking about whether you want to go for a fixed or variable-rate deal.
Step 2 / Define your search criteria.
Decide what you are looking for in a property, things you can’t live without first and your wants later (i.e: whether you need parking and a garden, how many bedrooms you need, if it’s a flat, whether you want it to be freehold or leasehold, etc…) – and pick an area on which to focus your search. Consider what you want out of the location (i.e: local schools, transport links and shopping facilities).
Step 3 / Begin the search
Scan the internet, visit web-portals like Rightmove.co.uk, Findaproperty.com, Zoopla.com, etc… And register your search criteria to receive daily updates on the current property market. Also call local agents to register your interest and get the agent to start looking for you. Once you find a property you like, call the agent to arrange a viewing. Try to book few viewings at a time to give yourself a broad idea of the area and what’s available on the market at present.
Step 4 / Property hunt
Visit some properties. You are unlikely to find the home you want straight away, so don’t despair and don’t be tempted into edging over your budget. This is probably going to be your biggest financial commitment, so it is worth waiting until you find the right place.
Step 5 / Making an offer
Once you find somewhere you like, make an offer. You may want to start low and negotiate with the agent to find a price that satisfies both parties. But if you want to be sure you get the property you like – and you think it is worth the asking price – you may want to offer the full amount straight away.
Step 6 / Offer Accepted
If your offer is accepted, ask the estate agent to take the property off the market. If you need to find a solicitor, ask for a few quotes and follow up personal recommendations. Sometimes it is best to go with the agents recommended solicitor, he or she might of conveyed some deals in the area or development already and which will assist you with smooth process of yours as well.
Step 7 / Getting a mortgage
Once your offer has been accepted, call your broker or a lender to sort out your mortgage application. At this point you will need to provide paperwork showing your income and outgoings with your proof of address and ID.
Step 8 / Paperwork & Contract
Formally instruct your solicitor to start working on a contract, local searches, etc… He or she should make you aware of any concerns they have over the contract and which could affect your re-sale in the future.
Step 9 / Surveys
Your lender should arrange a RICS surveyor to value the property within a few days of agreeing the lender’s surveyor to put together a homebuyer’s report for you – you will have to pay for that, but not the valuation on top. Read the survey when it arrives. If there are a lot of problems 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 other costs. If you do want to pursue the purchase, but the survey advises that you get quotes for work that needs doing, arrange for that to be done. If a lot of work needs doing, you may want to go back to the seller and renegotiate on the price you are paying for the property.
Step 10 / Exchange of Contracts
After your solicitor 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 10% – 15% of the price (could be 5% if first time buyer). At this point you will usually agree a date to complete the sale if you are buying off-plan then you will be given an estimated completion date.
Step 11 / Organise the move
Start organising how to get your possessions to your new home. This could involve hiring a van and doing it yourself, or asking your managing agent to assist. Either way, you should act fast to give yourself the best chance of finding a company to help when you need at a good price.
Step 12 / Buy Insurance
Your lender will expect 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.
Step 13 / Completion and Move In
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 seller.
Welcome to your new home and happy move in!!!
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