A simple guide on property buying: 10 easy steps

Posted On Monday, 04 October 2021 20:07

Real estate experts at 1newhomes gather 10 crucial steps for ambitious property buyers.

1. Calculate your budget

Start estimating your budget and consider consulting a mortgage adviser to work out the finance. Estate agents often need budget proofs, so you need an «Agreement in Principle» from the mortgage lender. Note that you have to provide your full financial data.

A mortgage can be up to 4.5 times your salary (or combined salaries when you buy with another person). A deposit is usually 10% of the price.

The government-backed Help-to-Buy scheme is available for first-time buyers of new-build homes. There are also possibilities to go for shared ownership.

Note that your mortgage cannot cover the stamp duty tax and other associated fees (e.g. from the solicitors), which can reach a few thousand.

2. Scan the market

Begin to scan the chosen market for attractive offers. There are many ways to search, but web services seem to be the most convenient. Real estate specialists gathered simple, helpful and carefully organised data on new developments in London to save your time and smoothen the choosing process.

Once you get familiar with the market, get in touch with a local agent. Book viewings and get insights on the property and the neighbourhood around.

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Moreover, you can book multiple viewings and compare the offers. Getting in touch with the locals might be beneficial too.

3. Work out the suitable offer

When choosing a property, work out the price per square meter (sq.m) or square foot (sq.ft) to compare the offers.

Another solid move you could do is to research the older completed deals in the chosen area. Check the purchase prices and compare everything once again. Generally, location and extra features such as garden space might notably drive up the prices.

4. Negotiate smartly

Come up with a suitable offer, talk with the seller and negotiate the price. If you buy a secondary property, there are risks such as gazumping. Ask the seller to unlist the property as soon as the offer is accepted to avoid the unwanted fuss.

5. Select your solicitor

It is required to have a solicitor to manage a deal. Talk with the real estate agent and your friends to find decent offers. Try to find solid value for money, not the cheapest options.

6. Do a property survey

Hire a professional to survey the desired property. In real estate, the term refers to a careful inspection aimed to find any issues with the property or the land.

Note that without a survey, you cannot get compensation after the contracts are exchanged.

7. Be patient

Generally, you need to wait some three months to get the documents in order. You can contact your solicitor and provide any info that could speed up the paperwork.

8. Sign and exchange contracts

When you have the deposit, send it to your solicitor and sign the paperwork. Then your and the seller’s solicitors exchange contracts.

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Note that you cannot get the deposit back if you call off the purchase after the contracts are exchanged.

9. Finalise the deal

At this point, your solicitor receives the mortgage funds from your lender. 

The solicitor has the total balance (your deposits and the mortgage funds) and sends it to the seller's solicitor at a set time. When everything is confirmed, you can have the house keys.

10. Pay the fees

Your solicitor registers your title to the real estate and submits a stamp duty return. You need to pay the fee in 30 days. When buying together with another person, consider getting a declaration of trust or cohabitation agreement. Get in touch with the solicitor to do that. These documents regulate renting and selling of the purchased property.

What's next?

Ambitious property buyers may benefit from these 10 easy steps and gain helpful insights into the complex real estate market.

It seems challenging in the beginning particularly, but start easy and slow to find an attractive new home. Looking forward, there are some London new builds with completion in 2022

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