First Time Buyers – #2 It’s time to start house hunting!

Welcome back First Time Buyers, this is part 2 of a four-part blog series, written to guide you through the house-buying process. 

Part 2 covers finding your first home and making an offer…

Find a property

Take a look at all area’s in which you would consider living, look at the house prices in those areas and then decide what you can afford. Following an appointment with your mortgage broker, you should have a clear idea of affordability based on your budget. 
You’ll find properties that are for sale through 2 different methods:
  • Contacting estate agents and registering your property criteria – this is free and won’t create any obligation on your part. Registering with an estate agent will ensure that you are kept up-to-date with any new properties that come to the market. In some cases, this can be before they go live on property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and Boomin. We always recommend registering with estate agents who sell the most in the areas you wish to live in.
  • Searching on websites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and Boomin for available properties and then arranging to view them in person. To do this effectively, you can create an account and set up property alerts to match a chosen criteria. If you find a property you like, call the estate agent directly! – They will already have your contact information, criteria and may have already financially qualified you.

To view our available properties, please click here

Book a viewing

Once you have found a suitable property, your next step is to view it! This is enjoyable and exciting, but remember to ask lots of questions and to take someone else along for a second opinion. You might want to ask the estate agent if you are allowed to take photo’s to refer back to, or you might want to book a second viewing if you are interested. We would also recommend exploring the surrounding area of the property, this will give you a feel for the street and the local amenities.

Make an offer

Once you have decided how much you are willing to offer, you can tell the estate agent over the phone or in person. Please note, it might be worth putting this in writing too.
The estate agent will also need to clarify your position (i.e. if you’re living with your parents or renting) and will ask to view your AIP if they haven’t already. Details of your mortgage broker and the solicitor will need to be given to your estate agent, upon making an offer on a property. 

Contact a Solicitor

Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to decide which solicitor you wish to use. The estate agents require this information to complete the Memorandum of Sale – this is a document confirming all agreed details of the sale that is sent to all related parties (buyer, seller and both acting solicitors).
Your solicitor is responsible for conveyancing, which is the legal process that takes place between your offer being accepted and the exchange of contracts and completion (when you legally own the property and can collect your keys).

Apply for a mortgage

Once your offer is accepted, you’ll need to discuss what type of mortgage you want to apply for with your mortgage broker. 

Most lenders will offer a 25, 30 or 35-year mortgage term (depending on many factors, including age). You’ll want to complete your mortgage application as soon as possible to avoid delays, which your mortgage broker will arrange for you. Visit Which for more information: Mortgage types Explained – Which? 

That’s the end of part 2! We hope that you’ve found this useful and would recommend booking a viewing as soon as you find a suitable property, to ensure that it is right for you.
If you’ve completed these steps or you’re wanting to learn more about the process of buying your first home, please continue onto part 3 of our four-part blog series. Click here.

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