Take the strain out of buying your home with a step-by-step guide to property-purchasing. Today we will focus briefly buy a property.

What’s important to you?

One of the first things you have to do is decide where you want to live and what sort of property you are looking for.

Think about which features are essential to you and which ones you could do without.

A practical way of doing this is to think of every conceivable feature in a property and put them into three lists, 1, 2 and 3 – where 1 is for essential features and 3 is for “nice to have” features.

Deciding these matters in advance will not only help you rate houses when viewing but also help put your ideas into perspective when you come to make the big decision.

How much can you afford?

Think about what you can afford. Remember to take into account the other costs you will incur apart from a mortgages loan, ie the deposit on your new home, the cost of any surveys, your solicitor’s fees, stamp duty as well as your normal outgoings.

If it is a first home you may need to buy a lot of furniture and kitchen appliances at once. Also be realistic about your outgoings: it is easy to underrate how important a holiday is to you!

Use our monthly repayments calculator to see how you’d have to pay each month to pay off your mortgage.

Seek a mortgage

Arrange a meeting with a mortgage broker or financial advisor. Discuss how much you want to borrow and what your options are.

You should always try to get an agreement in principle before you start searching for your new home, although if the perfect property appears it may be possible to put an offer in and quickly source a mortgage. There are no guarantees with this approach, however.

Search with commitment

Try to view at least six properties that match your price, feature neighbors and location criteria. Try not to get too emotionally involved with a house until it is definitely yours. With the specter of gazumping hovering, it can be dispiriting to see your plans come to nothing in the wake of a higher offer.

Also, even when you’ve found a good property, there is no harm in continuing to look for something else, perhaps something even better.

Location, location, location

Make inquiries at the local police station about the level of crime in the neighborhood. Find out about the level of council tax and the location and quality of local amenities such as schools and public transport.

The local council office will be able to offer you advice and details on these issues. Ask the estate agent how long the house or flat has been for sale. This may tell you something about the asking price or potential of the property.

If possible try to view places in daylight and at night. If you like a property make at least two visits – and find out what fixtures and fittings will be left by the seller.

Ask about the neighbours. Even hang about the street and get a feel for the local environment for yourself. Can you really imagine yourself living here?

Buy a Property? Need to know below information before buying properties

The offer

Once you’ve found a property that matches your criteria, make an offer. The estate agent will inform the seller. Offering to put down a deposit as an act of good faith can significantly increase the chances of your offer being accepted.

Make sure your offer is subject to survey and contract meaning that you are not obliged to proceed until the conclusion of the survey and the exchange of signed contracts.

We would seriously recommend that you do not get involved in bidding wars for a property.

If you’re emotionally attached to a property there is a chance that someone else is too, and it is all too easy to spend over-the-odds for a property in those circumstances.

The offer is accepted

If your offer is accepted, it is time to get the whole legal and financial process moving. If you have not yet arranged a mortgage, do it now.

Arrange for a survey of the property (usually your lender will carry out a survey which you pay for but this is for valuation purposes only and will not examine the structure and general state of the house).

Find a solicitor

You need to find a solicitor to conduct the conveyancing. This means checking the legal aspects of the sale for example, that the seller has the legal right to sell the property, that no one has right of way over it and that there are no land disputes.

Your solicitor will also carry out a local authority search which looks for planning proposals such as new roads, changes to road layouts, building developments in the vicinity and alterations to land use or public rights of way which might affect your chosen property.

Exchange contracts

Once all the legal arrangements have been undertaken, your mortgage has been agreed and you have had a positive survey (if the survey indicates a lot of work needs doing, be prepared to negotiate with the seller) you will be ready to exchange contracts.

This will be done by the lawyers acting for you and the seller and once contracts have been exchanged, both of you are committed to the deal.

If for any reason, you pull out, you will lose your deposit. Conversely, the seller is bound to sell the property to you and cannot accept a higher offer.

This is also when the completion date – when you get the keys and can move in – is set.

Arrange completion date and move in

You’ve exchanged contracts and are getting ready to move. Use our guide to moving to see what you should be doing and when. You can also get quotes for removals and storage. Make sure you have arranged the necessary insurance for your new home.

View Properties

Questions to ask the seller

What you should ask when looking at properties for sale.
  • Why are you moving?
  • How long has it been on the market?
  • Is it chain-free?
  • What are you leaving behind?
  • How much are the average heating/electricity bills?
  • How much is the council tax?
  • How much ground rent/service charges do you pay?
  • What are the neighbours like?
  • Have you ever been burgled?
  • Have you made any improvements? Do you have the relevant warranties?
  • How easy is it to park outside? Any permits needed? If so, how much?
  • What are the local schools like?
  • Is it in a neighbourhood watch area?
  • What are the local public transport links like?
  • What local amenities are there?

-Thanks a lot for reading my article- Buying Property or Planning to Buy a Property? Hopefully, you read and enjoy it. Have a good day!