Property specialists share and discuss eight steps to buying a property in the UK for ambitious buyers.
Buying a property might be an intimidating prospect, and it concerns both new builds and secondary real estate. It is particularly true for first-time property buyers – they often struggle with planning and financing or lack knowledge on the property market in the UK (stamp duty tax, conveyancing fees, and so forth).
But this process does not have to be enduring or extra challenging. Property experts at 1newhomes gather and explain eight easy steps to buying a property with simple tips to set up ambitious homebuyers on the right pathway to homeownership.
Step 1 – Estimate Your Budget
The first and most vital part of any major buying decision is the finances. Real estate purchase is one of those prospects where budget is crucial.
Honest estimation of the funds you can afford on buying a new property will smoothen the choosing process and simplify the financing stages. Calculate your monthly income and spendings, the amount of deposit you can afford, and the fees associated with the home buying process.
As a reference, a recent market survey reveals the average costs associated with buying new homes in the UK reach £3,571 for a 3-bedroom flat. The costs include conveyancing and legal fees, property surveys, and the stamp duty tax. Note that the deposit is not included here. A typical 10% deposit for a 3-bedroom property in the UK stands at £26,700.
There are many ways to secure better offers when buying a property. Many buyers learn to save more funds to put down a bigger deposit. It often allows for more favorable mortgages and lower monthly payments.
Step 2 – Find a Perfect Match
Once you know the budget, it is much easier to go on and start finding what is on the market. Most buyers use online services to find new properties and quickly look through the available offers.
Particularly in the capital, buyers choose from a wide range of new ready-to-move properties or off-plan property in London. New homes have some advantages over secondary real estate. For example, new builds are more energy-efficient, have greater flexibility, and often come with several buying options, such as the Help-to-Buy scheme for first-time property buyers.
Those interested in buying new real estate in the capital can simplify the choosing process by applying filters, shortlisting attractive new developments, or using the «London new builds near me» feature. Once you find several offers that catch your attention, you can request a callback or get in touch with estate agencies to set up viewings.
Step 3 – Make an Offer
After the successful viewings and finding a perfect match, it is time to go for an offer. Typically, this is handled through the estate agents unless a seller manages a sale.
A typical offer-making process goes like this: you estimate your offer based on the asking price and forward it to the seller via an estate agent. Then, a seller accepts or declines it, or the negotiations begin.
Step 4 – Get a Mortgage (If Needed)
Once you have the accepted offer, it is time to deal with the funds. If you can afford to pay the total price on the spot – it is excellent. If not, however, you need to secure a mortgage.
In a nutshell, you apply for a mortgage through a lender. You name the funds you need and provide proof of your income and financial details. Based on the info, a lender decides on the application – they either approve or deny a mortgage.
When you have an accepted offer, everything is clear. But if the application is rejected, do not fall into despair. Many trusted lenders offer loans for buyers with smaller deposits or weak credit ranks. Given that and the increased number of buying initiatives, such as the Help-to-Buy scheme, persistence will pay off.
Step 5 – Legal Work / Conveyancing
Conveyancing typically starts when you deal with the financial side of the property buying process. So, this is a joint 4th step.
Conveyancing means legal work associated with the property transfer from one party to another. You hire a conveyancer, a specialist who works on your behalf and manages legalities from paperwork with HM Land and other relevant organizations to property surveys.
Some manage conveyancing themselves, but it is often tedious and stressful, particularly for those new to the market. Find a professional who helps you manage the sale in a legally sound manner.
Step 6 – Contracts Exchange
Once all legal works are settled, it is time to close the deal. That is if the parties feel right to proceed with the sale. If any problem arises, the process might require additional negotiation (e.g., price).
If everything is fine, the finalizing of the paperwork is finished on the completion day. At this point, a buyer meets a seller – they sign and exchange contracts. Once the completion date comes, the challenging part is over.
However, be aware of gazumping. This term means a seller accepts a better offer from another buyer in the middle of the process. It rarely happens but is a growing trend across the UK.
Step 7 – Completion And Moving In
If you succeed with the previous steps, you are a new homeowner. After the contract exchange, you can have the keys from the agent or the owner directly – the property is now legally yours.
Step 8 – Remember the Payments
After the contract exchange, the buyer is legally bound to pay for the property. Technically, it is still possible to cancel the deal. However, a buyer loses a deposit in this case.
Typically, your conveyancer manages the transfers of the remaining funds to the seller. A conveyancer also pays the stamp duty tax, which will add up to the final fee you need to pay them.
And that is it. House hunting and buying can be challenging, but they do not have to. Do not rush, ask questions, seek support, and, most importantly, keep your budget in mind.