For first time buyers the thought of house buying can be confusing and frightening. Not only are you looking to make probably the largest purchase of your life to date, you are also looking to borrow a substantial amount on money in order to do it. Add to this the language of lenders, solicitors and estate agents and the task seems even more daunting. In this and the following sections we try to take you step by step through the considerations you need to make to ensure that you make the right decisions for you and understand what you need to do at each stage.
Of course we are experts in this area and have many years of personal and business experience in the area of home buying and we’re always at the end of the phone to help you along the way and to be your friend, counsellor and guide. All this comes as part of the service we provide.
So, let’s start to look at the things you need to know and the areas you need to think about. We’ll start before you’ve even gone to look at your first property with our guide on HOW MUCH CAN YOU AFFORD? In this section we’ll examine the range of items you need to bear in mind in order to get an idea of what buying a home and running it might cost. Click the link and have a look. When you’ve finished that section and are ready for the next stage, read on!
There are a number of ways in which you could find a property to buy:-
- using estate agents
- looking at the property pages in local newspapers
- contacting house building companies for details of new properties being built in the area
- looking on the internet.
Nowadays there are many routes to finding what looks like the ideal property for you but there are a number of things you need to know about property ownership and questions you need to ask of the Estate Agent or Seller. In this next section we look at HOW TO FIND A PROPERTY and help you to understand types of ownership, new houses and warranties and other areas that will help you to make the right decisions.
Estate agents must comply with laws that protect consumers from unfair sales and marketing practices. For more information on unfair trading practices, see Unfair trading.
Once you have done your research and found the property you require the next stage is to try and secure the deal. The next section of our guide deals with MAKING AN OFFER. It also includes the things that you need to do once your Offer has been accepted.
Once your Offer has been accepted and the application for a mortgage is in your Conveyancer (or Solicitor) will get on with the legal process of the purchase. In parallel the lender will receive confirmation of the valuation from the Surveyor and we will provide all the documents required to prove the income and outgoings that we declared as part of the Decision in Principle. You should be aware that most lenders will require to see the last 3 monthly payslips for all applicants (or the last SA302’s or accounts for the self employed) and also the last 3 months of bank statements for each applicant. This is to ensure that there are no other items of expenditure being made regularly that may affect their assessment of affordability. Whilst the legal process is an are we won’t describe in detail here the next section covers the STEPS IN THE LEGAL PROCESS OF BUYING A PROPERTY
In parallel with the legal work associated with your new purchase your chosen mortgage lender will assess the valuation report and the documents provided to prove your income and expenditure and in due course and assuming all is OK will issue a mortgage offer. This is a document that is sent to you, us and your conveyancer. It lays out the terms of the mortgage it is willing to offer you with all the associated costs and requirements. Normally this will be in line with the illustration document we provided you with before we made the application on your behalf. Your conveyancer will use this to confirm that funds are available and to enable completion of the purchase alongside all the legal work.
This should normally lead to completion of the purchase on a date agreed between you and the sellers (often via the respective conveyancers and estate agent). On completion day the seller is paid the agreed price (by combination of your deposit which will be transferred to your conveyancer in advance) and the drawing of the mortgage funds from your lender. Completion means you now get the keys to your new property and can start your new life in your chosen location.
If this process seems a little daunting then remember, we are there at all times to help and guide you and to make sure it all progresses with the minimum of anxiety.