First time buyers

First time buyers guide

Choosing a Location

Ask yourself the following questions:

Working out your budget

In most cases you will need to save some form of deposit (usually around 10% of the purchase price). When working out your budget, you need to be honest and realistic about your outgoings and affordability. You also need to include conveyancing fees, stamp duty, insurance payments and premiums.

Viewing Properties

It's a good idea, before you start viewing properties to draw up a list of 'must-have' criteria that are absolutely essential and not a compromise. Then draw up a list of 'luxury' criteria which would be nice to have but aren't a deal breaker if the property doesn't have them.

Ask yourself the following questions:

The next step is to register with all of the agents within your desired area, scour the local newspapers, search on Google and keep a close eye on property websites. The fun part! Arrange some viewings.

Take your time, the more properties you view, the more you will have to compare against and get an idea of what you like. It is a VERY big decision don't rush it! For each property you go and view ensure you print off our viewing checklist and make notes, outlining things that will differentiate it from others that you see.

Once you have seen a property you like, arrange a second viewing, it is important you view it at a different time of day (at night if you originally viewed it in the daytime).

At this stage it may be wise to appoint a solicitor. Register all your details with them and pass your solicitors details onto your estate agent, which again saves time later on in the process. It is wise to have one recommended to you, also one that is local to your home or to where you work so you can easily drop paperwork off etc.

Which Mortgage?

Call Kingsly estate agents who can give you free financial advise on all your mortgage options.

Putting in an offer

Once you have seen the property you want to buy, put in an offer to the estate agent, who will then put it forward to the sellers. You need to decide how much your absolute maximum budget is because if your original offer is rejected, it's very easy to get carried away. Stay grounded and aware of your limits. If your maximum offer is still rejected, it will be very disappointing because you had your heart set on a particular property and you can't have it. This will be disheartening, but start again, you might find another property 10 times better than the original one.

If your offer is accepted

Once your offer has been accepted, if you haven't done so already, instruct your solicitor and give their details to your estate agent. You need to make sure your solicitor is aware of the speed issue as this is the stage of the process where many buyers are gazumped.

Provide the solicitors with any paperwork as soon as you can. Also, if you are using a financial advisor, request they submit your mortgage application. You also need to make arrangements for the survey (which again your financial advisor will do).

The solicitor will then proceed and start the necessary searches which include a local authority search, land registry search as well as looking into stamp duty and other legal paperwork. They transfer the title deeds into the buyers names and organise the mortgage deeds.

Stay in regular contact with your estate agent and your solicitor so you are aware of everything that is going on with the purchase.

Surveys and Valuations

Once your offer has been accepted, a survey of the property will need to be organised. There are three different types of surveys. The valuation survey, the homebuyers survey and a building survey. The valuation survey must be carried out on behalf of the mortgage lender and is to establish the amount and terms of the loan. Most buyers opt for the Homebuyers Survey which goes into more depth and is recommended it looks into urgent problems that could effect the value of the property. It is also slightly more costly but worth the extra money. A Building Survey is normally required when a property is of an unusual construction or has had extensive alterations, if it's old, in need of serious structural repair or if you're planning a major conversion or renovation.

Exchange of Contracts

Once the solicitors have done the legal work, the exchange of contracts can take place which means the property is legally yours. It is a legal requirement to have buildings insurance active from the day of exchange. A date of completion (usually moving day) should have been arranged, so now it's just waiting until you get those keys!