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We are here to help you find your dream home and guide you every step of the way until you settle in. Once we have a good idea of your needs, it's time to get out there and see a good range of properties so that you can get a grip on what your money will buy in your chosen area.

Buying Guide

Work on your finances

Before you can do anything, you need to get your deposit together. In the current market, youíll need to save at least 5% of a propertyís value to get a mortgage, with a lender lending you the remaining 95%. The bigger deposit, the cheaper your monthly mortgage payments will be and the better the mortgage rates youíll be able to access.

See if the ďbank of Mum and DadĒ can contribute. And if you already own a home you should also understand how much you would get if you put your current home on the market. If you have any savings on long-term deposit that you plan to use, cash them in now.

You need to think about what type of mortgage you should get, and apply to get a mortgage in principle. Having your finances in place will put you in a much stronger position, and it means you can leap through the house-buying process swiftly.

Choose right mortgage

Applying for a mortgage; understanding the options available to you beforehand, and what paperwork you need for your mortgage appointment to start the mortgage process.

Finding a property

Once you know the area you want to live, you should start researching the properties in that area thoroughly so you really get to know the local market well. You then need to get the local estate agents on your side so that they can help you secure your dream home.

When youíre house hunting, you should visit as many properties as possible, and make sure there are no hidden surprises. Itís also important to understand whether the property is freehold or leasehold, and that itís not on a short lease.

Make Offer

Once you have found the property of your dreams, the next step is to make an offer.

If you are submitting your offer to an agent you can usually do so verbally, either in person or by phone, or in writing. If you initially submitted your offer verbally, you may be asked to send a confirmation across in writing, usually by email these days, for their records.

The agent is then obliged to pass the information to the vendor (the current owner) for consideration.

It helps to tell the story of what makes you a good buyer, highlighting why they should choose you, and donít always assume that just by paying the asking price will be enough.

Conveyance

Conveyancing is the legal process that takes place after your offer is accepted. In England and Wales, this includes:

Conducting searches

  • Liaising with the sellerís conveyance, their estate agent and your mortgage lender
  • Checking the documents provided by the seller, including the lease if youíre buying a leasehold property
  • Drawing up and checking contracts
  • Dealing with the Land Registry
  • Paying any stamp duty owed
  • Transferring money from you to the seller

You can either use a conveyance, who might not be a qualified solicitor but will definitely specialise in property, or a regular solicitor (who you should check has recent experience in property law).

Conveyance fees can range from around £500 to £1,500, depending on the cost of the property and the complexity of the transaction (youíll usually pay more if itís a leasehold property). Look for a firm offering a fixed-fee service - if you agree to an hourly rate costs could quickly spiral.

COMPLETION

Completion is when you pay for the property and take ownership of it, and takes place at a certain time of day Ė often midday. On the day of completion, the money is sent and the deeds of the property are transferred, between each sideís conveyance.

Move in

Once youíve completed, you can take possession of your new home! The seller has to leave the property by the time of completion, and you should then be able to collect the keys, normally from the estate agent.

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