Purchasing a Property

So you are thinking about buying your first home?  It is both an exciting and scary adventure, there are many things to think about that extend far beyond the wish for a certain number of bedrooms or type of kitchen.  Below we shall try to cover the basics of buying your first home.  Of course, should you require any further assistance then please contact us.

Find A Property That Suits You

Sounds fairly obvious doesn’t it?  But not an easy thing to do, but do not be disheartened, you will find one.  Check the condition of the property.  Visit the property several times and take with you friends who have moved before or are tradesmen of some kind to give you advice.  Do this before making any offer.

Arrange The Money

Very few people have the money to buy a property without borrowing.  Everybody else needs a mortgage (a loan secured against the property).  We can put you in touch with a mortgage advisor to see which is the best for you, some offer discounts, fixed rate mortgages, low start mortgages and special deals for new borrowers or first time buyers.  When you decide who to borrow from make an appointment to fill in the appropriate forms.  Remember a cash purchaser means just that – someone who has the cash available immediately for the purchase of a property, being approved in principle for a mortgage does not make someone a cash purchaser.

Check The Condition Of The Property

Remember, no matter what problems you might discover with the house after you buy it, it is not very likely that you would have any claim against the previous owners.  The Bank or Building Society will send a Valuer to make a brief check of the Property but this is basically to check the price you are paying for the house is right and is more of a valuation report than a survey and is not thorough enough to show up all the problems that might exist.  You should consider a survey of the property, after all, in most cases, you are anchoring your entire financial security in this single asset.  Would you buy a car without first finding out if it is road worthy and its history – and that’s only a fraction of the value of a property!  You can find out more about different surveys here.

What A Solicitor Would Do For You

  • They carry out legal searches to make sure the property has the correct titles and is connected to main sewerage etc.
  • They  make enquiries about the house from the owners and will let you know the replies.
  • They check what items are included and what are not included in the sale.
  • They check that the owners do own the house and there are no unusual restrictions or legal problems with the house.
  • They check your mortgage offer meets all your requirements.

Exchange Of Contracts

When you are ready to go ahead your solicitor will send you all the details they have about the house and ask you to make an appointment with them to sign the contracts and pay the deposit.  The deposit should be 10% of the purchase price but less is usually acceptable especially if you are getting a mortgage over 90%.  However, if you are also selling your present house the deposit received on your sale can be used for your purchase.  Your solicitor will ask you when you want to move in and will propose that date to the owners.  If they agree, Contracts are “exchanged” from that time you cannot change your mind and “back out” and neither can the owners.  NOTE your solicitor may need around 10 days between exchange of Contracts and completion to organise completion.

After Exchange Of Contracts

You should make arrangements to take over supplies of gas, electricity, water, etc, by contacting the authorities and signing to take these over from the day you move in.  Your solicitor will send you the mortgage and transfer deeds for you to sign and a statement giving a breakdown of all monies received (including your mortgage), payments out and the amount of any money your solicitor needs from you which you should pay at least 5 working days before the moving date (completion).

The Moving Day

This is the day the house is paid for and you receive the keys.  The keys will either be released to you by the Estate Agents or may be passed direct to you by the owners.  It is not possible to give you an exact time of when you can have the keys, it is usually before 2.00pm but the exact time depends on the circumstances of each case.  Please keep in contact with your solicitor by telephoning on the moving day and they will then arrange the release of the keys as early as they can.

What Happens Next

In return for handing over the money for the house your solicitor receives the title deeds but their work is by no means finished here, they have to pay the Stamp Duty (if any) to the Inland Revenue and register you as owners of the house and register your mortgage with the Land Registry.  Once this has all been done, they can send the documents proving you own the house (the deeds) to your Mortgage provider.  If you have no mortgage they will either hold the deeds on your behalf or send them to you to keep safely.