Real Estate

A beginner’s guide to the house buying process

The house buying process can be filled with robust fiscal checks, unfamiliar jargon, complicated costs and uncertainty. This beginner’s guide offers a straightforward overview of what you need to know to get started.

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Where do you start?

The process begins with your deposit. Ideally, you want to save more than five per cent of the value of the property to capitalise on cheaper mortgage deals. Savvy first-time buyers should create a budget of the other costs associated with homeownership, such as stamp duty, insurance, survey, solicitors, valuation and removal – and don’t forget the decorating costs when you first move in.

How long will it take?

On average, buying your first home can take from six weeks to eight months. We all begin in the same place: researching areas we like until we find a house we can afford.

Beginner’s tip: make sure you arrange multiple visits to the property for an accurate perspective on your new neighbourhood.

What is the difference between an offer and exchanging contracts?

Your offer indicates the amount you are willing to pay. After the seller accepts, surveys are required before contracts can be exchanged – you must protect yourself with the facts. Good local conveyancing solicitors will inform you of all the lurking legalities. The earlier you engage conveyancing solicitors, the better off you will be.

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Beginner’s tip: valuation surveys conducted by mortgage lenders are not the same as conveyancing.

Contracts are exchanged once the surveys are complete. Exchanging contracts legally binds you to the purchase – it can cost a lot of money to back out once contracts have been exchanged.

Why do you need an expert?

The right expert removes headaches and stress and provides facts and insight. Type ‘conveyancing solicitors near me’ into your search engine and you will discover the variety of experts available. Engage professionals who are committed to clear communication and putting your interests first. You must understand what they are saying and they must understand what you want.

Keys to your future

Signing the transfer deed enables your solicitor to release the necessary funds and paperwork to formalise your ownership of the property.

After so much uncertainty, it is easy to see why buying a home is considered a life achievement – and rightly so.

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