Home Buyer’s Guide

Moving home is exciting but it can also be stressful at times.

We have put together a brief home buyer’s guide to give you some handy tips, particularly if you’re new to the process. We are more than happy to discuss any of the process with you or ask any questions.

1. Deciding what you can afford

This sounds easy enough – your income minus your expenditure. However, it is very easy to get carried away when you see the home of your dreams and are tempted to stretch yourself. Well, we’ve been there and done that too, and it can then mean that you have to sacrifice the holidays, the nights out, a meal here and a new pair of shoes there, so please try and be objective about what you can realistically afford.

2. Getting a mortgage

We recommend that you find a mortgage provider and understand what is available to you before you start looking too hard for a property. You could do this through a mortgage broker/advisor, or by searching on comparison sites. We can put you in touch with experienced mortgage advisers who will find the right mortgage for you.

3. Finding your ideal property

There are really two aspects to this; the property itself and its location.

The property :-

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Parking requirements
  • Separate kitchen/dining room
  • Size of garden
  • Options for using or developing additional space

The location :-

  • Entertainment
  • Transport links
  • Schools
  • Local amenities
  • Council tax band

4. Getting the most out of your viewings

If you are looking at many properties to start with, it may be hard to fully research all of them. But as you get closer to narrowing down to your ideal property, it can be worthwhile researching the immediate area more and also take a tape measure and camera, to check if some of your favourite furniture will fit! Be sure to check you have the owner’s permission before taking any pictures though.

5. Offers and negotiations

You can discover more detail about the negotiating and conveyancing stages here.

Once you find a property that you are happy with, the next step is to make an offer. sbliving will guide you through this. If you are not in a chain, a first time buyer or have a mortgage in place, your negotiating position should be stronger. You can always come back to a vendor if they don’t accept your first offer, but if the property is popular, you could miss out, so consider all possible factors. Also, try and make sure you have a good idea of what your budget ceiling is and stick to it, or if you feel you absolutely must increase your offer, consider carefully the impact this will have on your living standards over time.

6. The legal part – conveyancing

The good news is your conveyancer/solicitor should take care of the complicated legal parts and look after your interests. If you don’t have a solicitor, we can introduce you to experienced, competitively priced conveyancing specialists. The legal aspect of home buying and selling is commonly referred to as conveyancing.

Some of the key things your solicitor will take care of for you, are:-

  • Obtain sellers’ responses to questions, such as who owns the boundaries, whether they have had any disputes with neighbours and what fixtures and fittings are included.
  • Check copies of any guarantees on the property, details of planning permissions and building regulation certificates.
  • Confirm the seller really is the owner of the property and prepare a Report on Title for you.
  • Undertake local authority searches and plans for the local area.
  • Transfer monies and funds as and when appropriate.
  • Pay stamp duty tax on the property.
  • Arrange registration of title in your name.

You can help your solicitor keep the process moving smoothly by:-

  • Giving them some basic information to get started; like your mortgage lender details, the seller’s details, proof of your ID.
  • Letting them know of any specific questions you have for the sellers, or about the purchase.
  • Completing mortgage application forms and responding to solicitors’ queries as soon as you can. Use registered post or deliver documents by hand to save time. Once everything is ready, you’ll then be asked to pay your deposit before contracts can be exchanged. If you pull out after this stage, you will lose your deposit and may face legal action from the seller. It is essential to have Buildings Insurance cover in place at this stage and you should also consider other protection such as Life Insurance.
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