child mortarboard gbp briefcase bath coffeecup tree twitter search crosshair fax house papers sort house-pound brochure list-items notes printer video-camera video virtual-video bath bed camera floorplan heart-empty heart-filled heart-empty-thin heart-filled-thin sofa calculator compass share clock list map-pen map-pin pencil save business-card letter phone heard people pointer cross linkedin google-plus facebook arrow-right close triangle-down my-wink my-wink-thick house-circle loading-spinner bell close-circle dog link pinterest school transport wardrobe arrow-up one two three four five six seven tick

Our guide to buying a house

Buying a property is probably the biggest single purchase you will make and can be a daunting experience. Here’s our guide to getting it right.

Get your finances in order First things first, find out how much you can afford. See a mortgage broker before you start looking for a property to ensure that you are able to get the borrowing you need. The mortgage market is a competitive one, so your broker will try a few lenders and see who can offer you the best deal. Once you have this you will know exactly how much you can afford to spend. This will help you be realistic about what you will get for your money and prevent any disappointments.

Get a buyer

If you have a home to sell, find a buyer before you begin to look for a new home. You'll avoid the regret of missing out on your dream home because someone else has the funds immediately available while yours are still tied up.

Looking at properties

Try to make a list of the features that are important to you in a house before you start looking. Be open minded about type and style of the property, also can it be extended. Don’t forget to look around at the neighbours and area and ask yourself will I feel at home here. Check out local facilities such as shops, schools, doctors and local transport. The internet is a great place to start your search, but you should also register with a few agents and tell them exactly what type of property you are looking for and the elements that you could possibly compromise on. Also inform them what you don't want.

Making an offer

Keep an eye on the local and national housing market and check that the house is worth the price you are willing to pay. When you are ready to make an offer, call the Estate Agent in charge of the property immediately. If you like the property, the chances are others will too, so speed is essential. If you really love the property, try not to make a very low offer that will no doubt be refused. You could end up annoying the seller and this might make future negotiations that bit harder.

The legal process

Use a reputable solicitor for buying your home - legal problems may only arise several years later when you attempt to sell your home and the buyer's solicitor spots a problem. Don't assume that the lowest fee quote will mean the job gets done properly.

Surveys

Book a survey as soon as your offer is accepted. This can take a few days and you want to keep the process moving. A survey will ensure there are no structural problems with the property - the cost of a building survey can be very low relative to the potential costs of not getting one and discovering a problem after buying your house.

Exchange of contracts

Once everything is ready, you'll then be asked to pay a deposit before contracts can be exchanged. This is usually 10% (but sometimes 5%). It is essential to have Buildings Insurance cover in place at this stage and buyers should also consider other protection such as Life Insurance. A date for completion is usually set for at least two weeks after contracts are exchanged. You should now book your removal company – get recommendations from friends or your agent.

Moving day

The day has finally arrived when you take possession of your new house! You will receive a call from your solicitor once the completion monies have been received by the seller’s solicitor and can now collect your keys.

Related posts

Confirmed: Young home movers do like to be beside the seaside

Brighton and neighbouring Hove have long been billed as a 'city by the sea' but traditionally they have been home moving destinations among older workers and retirees looking to combine fresh salty air with a relatively quick commute into London, say Sussex estate agents Winkworth. New research from Lloyds Bank, however, shows that the demographic in Brighton and Hove is changing, with this stretch of...

Read post

July 30, 2015

Kent - part of the Home Counties house price revolution

Kent - the Garden of England and home to some of the most beautiful country residences, historical towns and breathtaking stretches of coastline in the south. At this time of year estate agents in Kent are overwhelmed with prospective home buyers who have been in the county and have fallen in love with its charms. Whether they've been to Chartwell - the former home of...

Read post

June 05, 2015

South East property news: latest developments

Hardly a week goes past without a new landmark survey or house price index being launched and of late, a large proportion of news has come from the South East. One of the biggest announcements came from Chancellor George Osborne, who in March revealed plans for 20 new housing zones outside of London. The South East is set for two of these zones - in...

Read post

May 06, 2015

Find your Local Office

Find your Local Office

Speak to people who, quite simply, love their patch and love what they do.

Get a Free Valuation

Get a Free Valuation

Thinking of selling or letting your property, or just interested to know what it is worth nowadays?