1. Decide if buying a house is right for you

Although 86% of people in the UK want to own their own home, it’s not always right for everybody all the time. There are a number of things you need to think about before setting off on your house hunting quest, not least whether you can actually afford it.

2. Decide if you should sell first

If you are already a homeowner, decide whether you want to sell your house or flat before you buy. It can be dangerous in a rising market, but there are upsides. In particular, you will be able to pounce quickly when you do find the house of your dreams, and you won’t be trapped in a housing chain.

3. Decide on your budget

How much do you want to spend? This might be dependent on how much of a deposit you can pull together. Don’t forget all the other hidden costs involved in buying a house. These can add an extra 15% to the final costs – more if you are doing serious building or redecoration work.

4. Get your finances in place

Decide what sort of mortgage you want. While you can’t get a mortgage before you buy, you can get a mortgage in principle, which will put you in a stronger position. At Laurels we have a working partnership with the award winning Mortgage Required. If you would like some free information and/or advice then please contact us and we can put you in touch with them.

5. Decide where you want to live

If you want to move to a new property close to where you already live, there is little to decide. If you want to move to a different part of town, or across the country, then choosing an area is more difficult and time-consuming. This is a very important decision. Get it wrong, and you will either be unhappy with where you live, or face the costs of moving again. You must do your research thoroughly.

6. Choose a specific property

Once you know the area you want to live in, you should start researching the properties in that area so you really get to know the local market. You then need to speak with estate agents. At Laurels we cover a vast area so please call us as one of our property experts will likely have some local knowledge that may help you.

7. Make an offer – and get it accepted

Make sure you are in the strongest possible position as a buyer. Decide how much you want to pay, including for fixtures and fittings. Make the offer to the estate agent, and seal the deal.

8. Arrange a mortgage

Ideally, you will have got your finances in place as much as possible before making an offer – see step 4. If so, you now just need to go back to your mortgage company or mortgage broker with the agreed offer and complete the process. If you haven’t got your finances in place, you must do so as quickly as possible before the buyer loses patience. It is worth looking at the steps you can take to improve your credit rating to help your mortgage application.


9. Hire a solicitor or conveyancer

Once you have agreed an offer on your house, you need to get a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal work to transfer ownership of the property to you. At Laurels we work with some fantastic conveyancing firms and we are more than happy to provide you with a free quote.


10. Complete the sale

Completion is when you pay for the property and take ownership of it. This takes place at a certain time of day – often midday. On the day of completion, the money and the deeds of the property are transferred between each side’s conveyancer.

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