How to Buy a House in the UK: Everything You Need To Know

You may already be dreaming of your decor and shopping for the perfect sofa to place in your newly purchased house, but you’ll need to go through a few stages before you can do all that.

Choose a Property

First of all, you need to figure out how much you can afford to spend on it before you can set out buying that dream home of yours. If you have another house to sell, then the value of that one when sold goes into the deposit on your new home, but it’s a little more complicated if you’re a first-time buyer.

Viewing Properties

Inspecting properties is not as easy as it sounds, as you would need to take some things into account. These things may include local amenities, transport links if any new projects are planned in the area if it is in a catchment area for good schools (as this will push up the property price). Crime rates in the area can all be considerations in choosing a venue.

While many property viewings have moved in the wake of coronavirus online, it’s still a good idea to see a place in person before making an offer. There is guidance available to help you do this safely. And don’t always forget to check online reviews to compare the perception of several house owners.

Making an Offer

You should tell the estate agent over the phone and put it in writing if you are ready to make an offer, and be sure to note any points in your favour, such as if you are a first-time buyer and thus ‘chain-free’ (meaning you do not have a property that you need to sell before you should move in).

You don’t need to give the price for which the property is on the market-it’s OK to give less if that’s what you can afford, even though the seller doesn’t have to accept your bid. However, if you are serious about buying it, you should only make an offer on the house, because pulling out can lead to problems further down the road.

Obtaining Legal Representation

This is a crucial part of the process, as your legal agent will complete the legal documentation on the house and conduct legal checks to ensure that the property meets the mortgage lender’s requirements. He or she will also pursue the legal process of moving the property from its owner to you.

This job is known as conveyancing and can be performed by a licensed conveyor, a solicitor, or a legal executive / CiLex professional chartered.

Get Your Mortgage

You may need to complete a full mortgage application at this point, which can be done either with the lender decided in principle or with another provider.

You will need to submit your ID and proof of income and have to complete a mortgage interview, and you will have to include additional guarantees of how much you receive if you are self-employed.

Get a Survey

A property survey allows you to determine what condition the property is in and if any structural changes are needed. While it is not necessary, it is recommended that you get a survey completed, as it will give you an indication of any maintenance work you will need to do in the future in your new home.

A qualified specialist, such as a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA), or the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association (ISVA), should perform the survey.

Exchange of Contracts

The contract exchange is one of the most important components of purchasing a home since you are legally bound to the property after you have done so, and the seller is legally bound to sell it to you.

You will be given a completion date after your exchange, usually 2-4 weeks after that date, at which point you will be allowed to move in (although this is negotiable). The completion date will see the funds transferred to the provider, and that’s when you’re going to get the keys to your new home.