Your quick guide to the buying process...

starting with your mortgage

If you need a mortgage you will need to know roughly how much you can borrow towards your first home. All mortgage lenders will have their own unique lending criteria including their individual method on calculating your borrowing ‘ability.’ Making the best use of time and to get an idea of just how much you can borrow before you start serious house hunting, talk to a mortgage broker. Many brokers will offer you a completely free initial consultation.

Your mortgage broker will start by asking you some preliminary questions such as; how much you and your partner (if you have one) earn and how much deposit will you have available? You may also be asked about your credit history so make sure you provide any information requested as quickly and accurately as possible.

Even at this early stage in the process it is really important to be as straight with the facts as possible. This gives your mortgage broker the best possible chance of giving you the best possible indication of your price range.

And now the fun begins!

Once you know the price range of properties that you can most likely afford, it’s off to the Estate Agents or going online to sift and select through the likely contenders and draw up a short-list. 

Most properties are still bought and sold through regulated estate agents though with the many online property portals available, your property search can also be conducted from the comfort of your home.

Your search can made all the more easier by the various filters that you can apply to make sure you are only served up the most suitable properties that meet your requirements and affordability.

Before setting up your first appointment to view a property make sure you take a moment to look at our viewing tips checklist. The checklist is designed to help you save valuable time, potentially money and possibly choosing a property that may turn out to be difficult to sell on again. When you’re decided on the property that you’d like to buy get back in touch with your mortgage broker and arrange a meeting to start the mortgage application process. At that time you can choose a solicitor to handle the legal part of your property purchase.

The property valuation.

After your mortgage broker has submitted your application and the lender has approved your application in principle, they will instruct a valuation of the property. 

There are a number of options when it comes to valuations and surveys and your mortgage broker will guide you through the various options, the differences and likely costs of each. In many cases lenders will be happy to instruct a simple valuation, which is the least expensive option. This may be where, for example, the property is newly built and of standard construction. If the property age or construction warrants a more thorough look, they may want a more detailed survey to be carried out. This is as much about protecting you against unforeseen defects and also protecting their security interest.

looking for a mortgage

Once your mortgage lender is satisfied that all their requirements have been met including the results of any survey, and your solicitor has carried out various background checks and searches on the property and when all parties are satisfied, your mortgage offer will be issued. At this point your deposit and the funds from your lender will be requested by your solicitor.

Under normal circumstances the estate agent will take the property off the market and note it as ‘sold subject to contract.’

Now it’s time to exchange contracts!

This is when the buyer and the vendor (the seller) make the legal commitment to each other to transact the exchange of ownership of the property from one to another. This is known as exchange contracts and is one step closer to you getting the keys. The final completion of this process, known as the ‘completion’ can be very quick after exchange and sometimes even on the same day. This is when you get the keys to your brand new home and celebrate!