Buying a home is a daunting task and the decisions you make can save you or even cost you thousands of pounds along the way. If you are out to purchase a home, these 10 steps can help you get your dream home.
1. Decide if you will sell first
If you own a home, you need to decide whether you will first sell before you buy it. In a rising market, it can be dangerous to sell your home, however, there are upsides. If you can find your home fast without being trapped in a housing chain, you can pounce quickly even when you sell your first home. Selling your first home can provide you with financial backup for the second home you’re buying.
2. Have a budget
You need to decide how much you want to spend. It may depend on the amount of deposit you will get. Also, you should consider any one-off and ongoing costs that may come hidden when buying a home. The hidden costs of purchasing a home are put an extra 15% on the cost of the home you buy. The costs can even be more if you will be doing serious renovations or redecoration work on the building.
3. Have your finances in place
Find out the amount of a deposit for a mortgage you can have together. If you have savings, they can help with the financing. If you are going for a mortgage, think about the type you want. Look at your savings and the “bank of Granny or Grandpa” and the “bank of Mum and Dad”. Also, look at what you get if you decided to place the current home on sale and paid off the deposit. While it’s not possible to get a mortgage before buying, it is possible to have a mortgage in principle. This allows you to be in a stronger position. A mortgage broker can help you if you need advice on mortgages.
4. Determine where you will live
You may want to move to a different part of town or live close to where you currently stay. If you don’t decide appropriately where you will live, you may be unhappy with the location or experience costs of moving again. Ensure you do your homework properly. It can be time-consuming and difficult to decide where to live if you want to relocate to a different area of town or if you want to reside in another place across the country. Also, you want to consider whether you are going to an existing period property or older home, or a new building.
5. Choose your home
After you have found the area you will want to reside, start looking for the right home. You can work with local estate agents. You also need to ensure you visit different properties to check them. Check whether the property you want to buy is leasehold or freehold. Make sure that it’s not a short lease property.
6. Make your offer
You need to make your offer and negotiate. A smallholding deposit may be needed to show that you are serious about the deal. If the sale falls through, you will be repaid the deposit. You need to decide the amount you want to pay and it should include the fittings and fixtures if any.
7. Arrange a mortgage
At this point, you already have the finances in place. What you need is to visit the mortgage company to complete the process. Before you exchange contracts, you want to get the financier to have a formal mortgage offer. In case you have not got your funds or finances in place, you need to make sure you do so quickly because the home seller may lose patience. If you are going for a mortgage, it may also be a good time you consider having life insurance.
8. Get a conveyance or solicitor
A conveyancer or solicitor is vital in handling the legal work involved in ownership transfer of the property. The conveyancer is going to do the search with the Environment Agency and local authority to make sure that there are no major problems with the home you are buying. The mortgage company may recommend you to choose a conveyancer or solicitor who is on their panel. You have a choice to decide on the conveyancer you choose, it is not a must that you should go with the suggested solicitor or conveyancer.
9. Exchange contracts
Exchanging contracts with the sellers means that you are legally committed to purchasing the home and the seller is also committed to selling the property to you. Only exchange contracts if you have obtained the surveyor’s report. Make sure you agree on the date of the completion of the contract with the seller. The completion date may be about four weeks following the exchange of contracts.
Also, remember that you can only exchange the contracts if the conveyancer or solicitor has been satisfied with the searches and you have received a formal mortgage offer and made arrangements to make the deposit. Besides, ensure you take out insurance for the property right from the time of exchanging the contract. This is because you are now responsible for the building. It is a condition for the mortgage to have buildings insurance already in place before you can get the mortgage.
10. Complete the sale
You will need to pay for the property so that you can take ownership. On the day when you are doing the completion, you will have the money as well as the deeds of the property transferred.
The seller will now have to leave the property and you collect the keys by the time of completion. When you have completed the sale, you can pay stamp duty as well as settle up with your conveyancer or solicitor.
These are 10 steps you can take when you are buying a home in England. A conveyancer service will come in handy in handling some of the processes in your home buying.