Step 1, get yourself mortgage ready.
Let’s assume you have already saved or have a gift from a close relative to fund the deposit, an independent survey, solicitor’s fees, moving costs and any new furnishings you will need. As a first time buyer if you are buying a property which is valued under £300,000 stamp duty doesn’t apply therefore depending on purchase price you may not need to factor stamp duty in to your savings.
The next part of this step is to go and see an independent mortgage adviser. Here you can discuss your existing situation and circumstances and establish roughly how much you can borrow. If you have any issues on your credit history you can discuss this with your adviser and they can tell you how it will affect you before you begin hunting for your new home.
Step 2 -Find a property and put an offer in
This is more than likely the biggest purchase you will have made to date so do not rush in, have a good think about your budget and the type of property you could get within that range. If you are uncertain of what you want maybe book viewings at different types of property to get a feel for what you do and do not like.
Once you find the right property comes the negotiation, as a first time buyer you can negotiate from a position of power, keep your cards close to your chest and maybe set a maximum you would be willing to pay and then stick at that value.
Step 3 – The mortgage application
Prior to the application you will need to select your solicitors, I would suggest ring around asking for conveyancing quotes and deciding from there.
Once solicitors are selected your mortgage adviser will identify what else is required i.e. documents or additional information, they will submit your application and keep you updated throughout the process. When you get the mortgage offer I would then suggest getting an independent survey on the property, the mortgage lender will only do a basic survey so getting extra information is good, depending on your preference you could book a home buyers report or a buildings survey.
Step 4 – exchange of contract and completion
Once you exchange contracts you are legally obligated to buy the property and therefore you need to have buildings insurance in place from this date. After exchange it moves on to completion where you then officially own the property and can move in and enjoy your new home.
Daniel Brown BSc (Hons), Cert SMP
10th September 2018