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Guide to buying a house


Buying a house isn’t something you do everyday. With many factors to take into account including budget, costs and selling an existing property, where do you start? Here is a guide to buying a house to help you understand the process.

A guide to buying a house

Is buying a house a good idea?

The advantages and potential benefits of buying a house include;

1. Provides ultimate freedom and security

It’s your home and no one can tell you otherwise. You can decorate it and furnish it as you want and you will gain the benefits of the improvements (including a potential increase in value if you sell). Also by owning your own property you won’t have to deal with an unreasonable landlord or move out at short notice.

2. Could save you money

When interest rates are low, and if you have a big deposit, home ownership can prove cheaper than renting. With fixed rate mortgages, you can control your costs more easily than being left at the whim of a landlord.

3. Could make you money

In a rising property market you will benefit from the increase in property values. For many people, the most money they have made in their lives is from the rising value of their home. You are investing rather than spending – instead of paying rent that pays off your landlord’s mortgage, your monthly payments will be contributing towards something that is yours. In addition, if you decide to live elsewhere for a while, you can make money renting it out.

Can you afford to buy a house?

Finding out how much you can afford is one of the first things to do. If you require a mortgage, it is a good idea to speak to your bank or a mortgage advisor before you start looking.

We can put you in touch with independent mortgage advisors, Apr Money Limited, who will to discuss the options available to you, taking into consideration your salary, outgoings and any debt. By having your finances in place you’ll most certainly be a better position to make an offer on a property. FIND OUT MORE

Have a house to sell too?

If you are already a homeowner there are a few options…

  • Sell your property first and move out to give you an advantage when buying – no downward chain
  • Sell and buy at the same time
  • Let your property and keep it as an investment

What are the costs involved?

Remember there is more than just a mortgage to consider, costs involved in buying a house include:

  • stamp duty
  • legal fees
  • survey fees
  • removal costs

Simple steps to a successful house search

1. Make a list of what you would like and number them 1 to 10 in terms of priority
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Outside space
  • Schools
  • Commute times
  • Features
  • Local amenities

Bear in mind that you are likely to have to compromise on the items towards the bottom of the list – unless you are very lucky!

2. Research local sold prices

Look online on property websites such as Rightmove and OnTheMarket to help you source the information you require. Note: Actual sold prices are usually published 6 months behind or more, depending when the figures have been released. So also check out the Land Registry’s website.

3. Be smart and get ahead of the game

Register with local estate agents for property alerts. At John German we let you know about houses new to the market even before they go on Rightmove etc to give you a ‘head-start’ on the competition – FIND OUT MORE

4. View properties to help narrow your search

The more houses you view the more you will realise what you really want. Keep updating your requirements and narrow your search in order to be more precise about what you’re after.

What happens your offer has been accepted?

Great news, your offer has been accepted! Now there are a number of things you will need to do to help the sale move forward:

  • Let your mortgage provider or financial advisor know that you’ve had an offer accepted so they can proceed with your mortgage application.
  • Instruct a solicitor – if you don’t know any local solicitors, try your local estate agents for recommendations; they are likely to have relationships with all the good ones in the area.
  • Consider whether you think the property needs a survey or not. It can be a huge financial risk buying a property without one – FIND OUT MORE.
  • Get removals quotes if you need them but don’t book anything until you’ve got dates for completion.

How does exchange and completion work?

Once contracts have been exchanged you are legally committed to buying the property and if you pull-out at this point you could forfeit your deposit money. At this point you will have agreed your completion date and you need to have buildings insurance in place for your new home.

Once the dates have been agreed now is a good time to arrange your removals.

If you’re thinking of moving, let us know, we would love to help!



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Date Posted

December 16, 2018

Article Category


Katy Storer

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