Buying a house is a big thing at any point in life.  And if you have never done it before or it has been a while, it is worth refreshing yourself with the home buying process from start to finish.  Let’s take a walk through what to expect.

  1. Work out your moving costs

One of the first jobs is to sort out moving costs.  This includes legal and lender fees, removals company costs and any broker fees.  This is what it will cost to move, and you want to have planned for this ahead of time to avoid those nasty surprises.  You might also want to look at a solicitor at this point and see what their charges will be.

  1. See what you can borrow

Before you start looking at houses, know how much you can borrow as this will have a big part in the choice of property.  You can use brokers as they can look at a variety of mortgage products and get the best deal.  You can then get a ‘Decision in Principle’ from a lender that lets you start looking for a property.

  1. Start property searching

Armed with your deal, you can start looking at properties.  Use online sites and register with estate agents in the area you want to move to.  Do some research on the areas too – where is good to live, what facilities are there, what are schools like?

  1. View the property and make an offer

Viewing the property is very important to make sure it is the right one.  When you are sure, you can make an offer – it is worth having a solicitor on hand for this phase as well.  Once the sale is agreed, both parties’ solicitors will get involved and you will receive a Memorandum of Sale to confirm it.

  1. Get a mortgage valuation if required

Most of the time, your mortgage company will want something to confirm the value of the property, known as a mortgage valuation.  This is a survey of the property to look for problems and confirm the house’s value.  Once this is accepted, the conveyance process begins.

  1. Your solicitor takes over

The next section often involves your solicitor doing a lot of work.  They will receive the title deeds from the seller and draw up a contract which your solicitor will receive, confirming the details of the sale.  Your solicitor will complete Land Registry and Local Authority information searches for problems such as potential developments or planning history.  Around this stage, your mortgage will also be confirmed, and you can get insurance in place for your new property when you move in.

  1. The sale is finalised

When you sign the contract, the sale is finalised, and both parties can agree on the moving date, known as the completion date.  Contracts are exchanged, and the purchase is legally binding.  You can then set up your removals company and also start the process of changing your address on all relevant documents from that date.

The final completion sees the purchase price paid to the seller’s solicitor and then the keys are released.  You are now the proud owner of your new home!