Findyourbroker / Mortgages

Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home in the UK: Tips, Tricks and Step-by-Step Instructions

Jan 14 2023
10 min read

Buying a home in the UK can be a daunting task, especially for first-time buyers. But with the right knowledge and preparation, it can also be an exciting and rewarding experience. In this guide, we will take you through the key steps and considerations involved in buying a home in the UK, from saving for a deposit to securing the sale and moving in.

Saving for a deposit

One of the most important steps in buying a home in the UK is saving for a deposit. A deposit is the amount of money you pay upfront to secure a mortgage, and it is typically around 5-20% of the property's value. For example, if you're buying a property worth £200,000, you'll need a deposit of £10,000 to £40,000. It's important to start saving as early as possible, and to set a realistic savings goal. To help you save, you can try cutting back on unnecessary expenses, setting up a direct debit, or using a savings account with a high interest rate.

Researching different areas

Before you start looking for a property, it's important to research different areas to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider factors such as transport links, local amenities, and school catchment areas. You can also look at crime statistics, and house prices in the area to get a better idea of what you can expect to pay. It's also helpful to visit the area at different times of the day to get a sense of the neighbourhood.

Getting a mortgage

Once you have saved enough for a deposit, the next step is to get a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan that you take out to pay for the remaining cost of the property. There are many different types of mortgages available, so it's important to do your research and find the one that best suits your needs. To get a mortgage, you'll need to provide proof of income, credit history, and other financial information. You can get a mortgage from a bank, a building society, or a specialist mortgage lender.

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The importance of a survey

A survey is an essential part of the buying process, as it can identify any potential issues with the property that could affect its value. It's important to choose a reputable surveyor and to request a detailed survey, such as a HomeBuyer Report or a Building Survey. This will give you a comprehensive report on the condition of the property and any issues that need to be addressed, so you can make an informed decision.

Finding a property

Once you have a mortgage in place, it's time to start looking for a property. You can find properties for sale online, through estate agents, or at property auctions. It's important to be realistic about what you can afford, and to consider factors such as location, size, and condition. When viewing properties, it's important to take note of any potential issues, such as damp or structural problems. Once you've found a property you like, you can make an offer, which will be subject to acceptance by the seller.

Some of our favourite online property search websites:

Negotiating the price

Once you've found a property you like, you'll need to make an offer, which will be subject to acceptance by the seller. It's important to be realistic about the price, and to consider factors such as the condition of the property, and recent sales in the area. You can also negotiate on other terms, such as the completion date or the inclusion of certain fixtures and fittings. The process of negotiation can be complex, and it's important to have a good understanding of the market and the property to make an offer that's fair and reasonable.

Take out necessary insurance

Before you complete the purchase of your new home, it's important to take out the necessary insurance to protect your investment. This includes buildings insurance, which covers the structure of the property and any permanent fixtures and fittings, and contents insurance, which covers your personal belongings. It's important to shop around and compare different policies, to find the one that best suits your needs. You may also want to consider additional insurance such as life, mortgage protection or critical illness insurance.

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Agree a completion date

Once you've exchanged contracts, the next step is to agree a completion date. This is the date on which the remaining balance of the purchase price will be paid, and on which you will take ownership of the property. It's important to agree a completion date that is convenient for both you and the seller, and to ensure that all parties are aware of the date and any contingencies.

Transfer your exchange deposit money to the conveyancer

Before the completion date, it's important to transfer the exchange deposit money to the conveyancer. This is typically around 10% of the purchase price and is paid as a deposit to secure the sale. The conveyancer will hold this money in a client account until the completion date, and will then use it to pay the remaining balance of the purchase price.

Sign and exchange contracts

On the completion date, you will need to sign the contract, and exchange it with the seller. Once the contracts have been exchanged, the property is legally yours, and you will be required to pay the remaining balance of the purchase price. It's important to have all the necessary funds in place before the completion date, to ensure that the process runs smoothly.

What happens on completion?

On completion, the remaining balance of the purchase price will be transferred to the seller and the property will be legally transferred to the buyer. The conveyancer will conduct final checks, such as ensuring that all the necessary paperwork is in place and that the property is free from any encumbrances. Once all the necessary checks have been made, the property will be yours and you can take possession of the keys.

Moving day

Finally, once the completion process is finished, it's time to move into your new home. It's important to plan ahead and to give yourself enough time to pack and organize your belongings. You can also hire a professional removal company to help with the move.

Arrange a removal company

One of the most important things to do when moving is to arrange for a removal company to handle the transport of your belongings. They will provide you with a quote, which will depend on the number of items you need to move, the distance you are moving and the services you require. It's important to choose a reputable company that has experience in your

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