Buying a house can be daunting and will likely be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. That’s why it’s important to know the correct process, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Here at Moovahome, we know that buying a house can be intimidating, that’s why we have prepared a short guide to purchasing a property.

1. Determine your budget and find a property.
You have to first establish your budget and consider future expenses that come with purchasing a property, such as monthly mortgage payments. The cost doesn’t end with the purchase itself since you must look into refurbishing the newly bought property and redo unfinished fittings.

You also have to prepare for any underlying costs, especially when the property market changes, so it’s important that you don’t spread yourself too thin. Higher mortgage payments plus the cost of stamp duty and conveyancer fees are some of the factors you may have to consider in your budget.

Before applying for a mortgage, check your credit score since lenders consider this first in your application.

2. Make an offer.
Don’t dive in head first, no matter how much you like the property you’ve been eyeing. Before offering the asking price, do your research on the market around your area and compare properties. There might be underlying factors that can make the vendors accept an offer below the asking price. Point out details like the property being on a busy main road or interiors in need of serious decoration, this can help you negotiate the price, more in line with your budget. Making an offer is usually through an estate agent who will carry out the transactions for you.

3. Employ a solicitor and surveyor
If your offer is accepted, you must prepare for the legal transactions which will be carried out by a solicitor. Mortgage lenders will require a valuation of the property so they can ensure that it’s valued at the correct price.

A surveyor can distinguish any underlying problems that may affect the value of the property. If issues such as faulty wiring and damp ceilings are found and it is apparent that major repairs are required, you may reduce your offer so you can hopefully carry out restoration work without breaking your budget.

It is important that you keep your lines of communication open, as this is where the process can get a little cloudy. Expect delays and problems caused by factors such as the property being withdrawn from the market, rejection of the mortgage application or the vendor selling the property to another buyer who has bid a higher offer.

If your offer is accepted, you’re now ready to finalise the purchase.

4. Finalising the offer
After your solicitor has completed the legal process and your lender has given you a firm offer, you are now ready to exchange contracts. Your mortgage lender will usually give you time to decide if the offer is the right mortgage for you. Your solicitor will arrange any legal actions required such as Stamp Duty and Land Registry. You can then start to plan your move after you are given the completion date.