The Four-step Process of Buying a House in the UK

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Buying a house is a big step in life and means undertaking a large financial commitment. It can also represent the first step onto the property later or another step towards owning a new property.

The process of buying a house follows some general steps from viewing, obtaining a mortgage, contacting the vendor to closing the deal. However, every process varies slightly depending on your financial situation, commitment and other factors which could cause delays or complications.

1) Find the house

Once you’ve decided you’re going to start looking at properties, it’s worthwhile considering what you want and what financial backing you’ve got. It’s common for people to be confident of the type of house they want, but the actual viewing and finding can take up several weeks/months.

Think about the conditions in which you want your house to be and how much additional home improvement you wish to make. Consider the number of responsibilities that await, how fast are you looking to settle a deal and move. Other considerations – just as important – like the type of house you want and its location, should also be addressed during this stage.

This is the place that you and your family will be living potentially for many years, so it should be carefully considered. The consensus dictates the overall time to find a house you like, and within your financial means, is approximately twelve weeks.

2) Obtain a mortgage

Sometimes this can be completed prior to finding a house through a mortgage in principle but it’s based upon a true reflection to find out what banks are willing to lend you based on certain variables. Luckily there’s plenty of lending institutions and you’ll be able to explore the market to find the mortgage that’s suited to you. But as mentioned, the details of the mortgages available will be dependent on factors such as credit score and deposit size.

Finding the right bank with a mortgage that best suits you is difficult so you need to focus on a detailed search as soon as possible. Also, make a budget plan so you know how much money you can put as down payment and how much you can afford for the monthly payments.

You can utilise the services of a mortgage broker whereby most estate agents off them into the commision or you can contact an independent mortgage broker for a fee. They will be tasks to help find you the most suitable mortgage based on your circumstances.

Luckily, you won’t have to deal with being mis-sold payment protection policies which were previously discreetly added onto people’s new mortgages.

An estimate for this step is approximately four weeks including find the right mortgage and processing all the details required. Try to keep all the related documentation handy, so the process runs smoothly.

3) Contact with the vendor

Following the approval of the financial institution and selection of the property. You’re now in the position to contact the properties vendor to negotiate a price. The duration of this process will be dependent on your tactics to get the lowest asking price and turn around of both parties responses. This will commonly include an estate agent being the intermediate between both parties.

You will also be dependent on details between both parties solicitors to coordinate the contract details. Unfortunately, this step is when most processes breakdown due to one of the parties being unhappy with a specific aspect or a change in their circumstances.

4) Exchange contracts

The final stage of the house buying process is exchanging contracts with the vendor. This commonly happens via both parties solicitors involving everyone featured to sign the agreement prior to exchange.

Following the exchange of the contracts, you will then partially own the property alongside the bank who you will be making mortgage payments to fully own the property.

Buying a first home or the next step along the property journey is considered a big achievement once everything has been completed. You’ll then be having to alter and furnish the property to your liking to make it a home.

From deciding to start viewing properties, to completing the purchase, it can be a long-drawn process but the legalities are there to ensure your money is protected during the transaction.

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