Our team of property professionals take great delight in helping you find your ideal home. Whether you are looking for a house (or new build home), bungalow or apartment, Loveitts can support you with mortgage advice, finding the perfect property in your price range from our listings and advising you on conveyancers (legal and land registry) in the business. We know exactly how drawn out buying a property can be so we will chase your purchase through to completion whether you are a first-time buyer or experienced on the property ladder. What exactly does buying a house entail and what questions do you need to ask? Here is our step-by-step guide to buying a house in England and Wales.
The first step is to find the right property for you. It is important to consider how long you intend to be at a property, whether school catchment areas are important, what your budget is, and what your must-haves and nice-to-haves are. Create a list and get as many ticks as possible. Go and see as many properties as possible to get a real idea of what you like and don’t like, and avoid ruling properties out without seeing them. Many buyers will buy something completely different to what they initially set out to. Budget: Deciding how much money you can put towards a new home is one of the most parts of the house buying process. Failing to set a budget could have consequences. You must think about: how much can you save for a deposit? How much can you afford to borrow? Will you have to pay stamp duty? If you’re buying a home to renovate, how much will building work and decoration cost on top of the purchase price? Length of time you intend to be at the property: Is this a house you want to settle down in? It might be your first home, but you plan on moving again. Perhaps you are looking for a house to buy, renovate and sell on for a profit. These are important things to consider, especially if you are considering a place for the short term where letting might be better for you. What are your “must-haves”?: Create a checklist of everything you must have in a home when looking to move in. You should also have a “nice-to-haves” list, giving you a dream scenario and is a good idea of managing expectations. Tick as many off as possible, which will give you a clear idea of what you like and don’t like. This is effective when you see as many properties as possible. You also never rule out any property without going to see it in person first. You might find you will buy a house you would never have purchased at the start of your house hunt.
In order to make an offer and put yourself in the strongest possible position when the vendor is considering your offer, it is imperative you have a mortgage deal agreed and solicitors in place to ensure it is legally binding. You must decide on the mortgage you need depending on how long you want to spend paying it off - 25 years is considered the norm. Mortgage brokers offer types such as fixed-rate mortgages or tracker. You can then calculate your monthly repayments based on interest rates, loan amounts and mortgage terms using a tax calculator. This shows the purchaser you are ready to proceed should they wish to accept your offer. Get in touch with Loveitts and we can help with mortgage deals (including our own deals not available on the high street!) and other property legalities.
Once your offer is accepted, ensure you instruct your solicitors quickly and pay for searches. Searches can take two weeks to come back so it is important this is done early on to ensure a swift sale. It is also important to instruct your mortgage lender for the survey to be completed quickly as this can take at least two weeks to be returned. You will not receive a mortgage offer until a RICS surveyor has signed off the value and condition of the property.
The owner of the property will have their solicitors send you out a draft contract. This will form the basis of the formal contract you will sign in to exchange contracts. Your solicitor will go through this with a fine tooth comb and raise questions or queries they have. It will be up to the owner and their legal representative to ensure these are dealt with and answered satisfactorily.
Once the mortgage offer is in, the searches are back and your solicitor is happy with the contract, then you will sign and transfer a 10% deposit. You will then be asked for authority to exchange contracts. Once this takes place the sale is then legal and neither party can pull out without being in breach of contract. This is also the point where the completion date is confirmed and you can book removals. This is the stage where you will have buildings insurance in place on the new home. Some mortgage providers will put this in as a condition before allowing the exchange of contracts.
On day of completion, the solicitors will call you to let you know that you are now the legal owner and you can collect keys and move in to your new home. Completion usually takes place before lunchtime and keys are left with the estate agent. Loveitts are on hand to guide you through this process and make it as smooth and stress-free as possible.