What are the rules for where I want to live?
- Read this guide on how to buy a home:
- Learn the difference between freehold and Leasehold purchases:
- A freehold property means you own the property and land outright, whereas a leasehold property means you only own the property for a fixed number of years. You have the right to live in that property, but you will to follow any rules laid down in the terms of the lease. Flats are often leasehold, but houses can be too. Read the linked article below for more information:
- Involved in buying a house
Searching for a house?
- Think about what you can afford
- Consider mortgage option and obtain an ‘agreement in principle’ from a mortgage lender to understand your budget
What are your requirements?
- Think about your size, location or price requirements – be as flexible as you can to maximise your options
- Consider whether you would go for a freehold or leasehold purchase
- Consider whether you have any specific requirements to your situation
Look for your property?
- Research what property you are looking for
- Book a viewing for a house before making an offer
Making an offer?
- How many buyers are involved?
- How competitive is the process?
- What might you need to pay?
- Make sure you know what type of offer is required: sealed bids, verbal bids, written bids.
Make an offer
- Negotiate with the potential seller(s)
- Think about finding a solicitor at this stage to assist you with the offer process
Exchange and Completion?
Arrange your mortgage:
- Research your mortgage options and apply - the application process will take around 18 to 40 days to be accepted. If you already have an agreement in principle this will help.
Property searches and survey
- Your solicitor arranges property searches and raises enquiries with the relevant parties on your behalf.
- Your lender will arrange for a mortgage valuation - note that this is not a property survey, which looks in detail at the building condition. You will need to arrange a survey if you want one.
- A guide to homebuyer surveys
- Review all documents and certificates required
- Your solicitor will advise you when you are ready to exchange contracts
After this, you and the seller are then legally obliged to make the transaction. This will be when You are happy with the searches, survey, and the details are correct.
- Your lender has confirmed your mortgage.
- You are able to pay the deposit (if you are using Help to Buy or Lifetime ISA you need to instruct your legal representative to apply for the government bonus).
- You are able to pay all other associated costs including stap duty, removal costs and so on, in cleared funds. Bear in mind that you may need to pay a bank charge for the transfer.
Learn the difference between freehold and Leasehold purchases?
- When you pay the balance of the purchase price and take legal ownership. This is often around 2-4 weeks later (though they can occur simultaneously), which is when you will be able to move in or start any work on your new home.
- Pay the remaining payment to your solicitor, who arranges transfer to the property seller’s solicitor.
- Estate agent gives you the key to your new property.
- Once you’ve moved in, make sure to notify local authorities and utility providers of your change of address.