Let's find a new home for you! One of the most rewarding things about my role is to be on this journey with you and eliminate as much of the stress from the process with my knowledge and experience. If you're looking to buy a home in London, please find some helpful information on how to best prepare for purchasing a property.
Generally, you will need at least a 5% deposit. The more deposit you have saved up will mean you will be able to benefit from lower interest rate mortgage deals as you will have access to a wider range of lenders.
This will depend on a number of factors not limiting to the size of your deposit, credit score, and household income. It is crucial to be mindful of other expenses whilst purchasing a property such as stamp duty, surveys, solicitor or conveyance fees.
Once you have an idea of how much you can borrow you can start deciding on where to buy your new home. Things to consider when choosing for your new home are how long your regular commutes will be and the transport links available. Which local amenities are important and other fun things to do. Also, school catchment areas and crime levels. Any development work in the area that could affect the house price in the future and also flood zones.
Now that you have your preferred area in mind, it is vital to know what facilities in the property are important to you. Trying to view all the properties in the area can be exhausting and can take the excitement out of the process. Therefore, it is vital to know what is important for you such as parking, bike storage, outside spaces etc. Many websites and portals allow you to filter searches so it is well worth making the most of this and narrowing down the options. Agents will also appreciate you when you show you have a better understanding of your search and in return will be able to show you properties that fit your criteria.
The next step is to apply for a mortgage agreement in principle (AIP). This is a confirmation from a mortgage lender that they would, in principle, be willing to lend you a certain amount. Having an AIP will put you in a stronger position and can make you a more attractive buyer, as it shows the seller and their estate agent that you will be able to secure the amount of money you need to buy the property.
Registering is free and can be a quicker way of finding a new home as an estate agent can reach out to you when a property hits the market or will be coming to the market soon.
After obtaining an AIP, knowing where you want to live and what amenities are important to you, you will now be in a much better position for securing a home quickly. You will be able to filter your search online and also speak to estate agents with a much better understanding of where you need to be. Many agents now offer virtual viewings so it is best to start with this. Virtual viewings can take place in different ways – live video calls, video walk-through or 360 virtual tours. Many agents will offer one or more of these helping you make an informed decision before stepping out for physical viewings. Once you have conducted several virtual viewings, you can narrow down which properties you want to view in person. In our opinion, this is the best method of finding the right property quickly in a very competitive market.
It isn’t unusual for buyers to offer less than the asking price. Sometimes if there are other interested parties you may need to offer the asking price or more. It is worth having a look online on websites such as Rightmove, Zoopla, and Land Registry to see how much similar properties have sold for ensuring you don’t pay too much. Once you have decided let the estate agent know and put it in writing and highlight the stronger points of why your offer should be accepted such as cash buyer or chain-free.
There are various mortgage types that you can go for such as fixed-rate mortgage or tracker. Also setting the term amount of the mortgage i.e. how long you want to pay it off. The most common is 25 years.
Conveyancing is the legal process that takes place after an offer is accepted. This includes carrying out searches, preparing contracts, dealing with the Land Registry, and paying the stamp duty, if any.
A property survey will assess the condition of the property and will find out of there are any structural problems in the property. This is optional, however, it is better to be aware of any defects rather than having any nasty surprises later. Also, it helps with the price negotiation and you could ask the vendor to fix certain things prior.
Trying to do it all yourself can be overwhelming. It’s better to get the professionals in.
It is imperative to have building insurance in place for your new property commencing the exchange date. Many lenders will actually make this a condition. If you are buying a new build property then this doesn’t need to commence until the day of completion.
The exchange of contacts will take place when both parties’ legal representatives swap signed contracts and the buyer pays a deposit. At this point, you will also need to have ready a written mortgage offer, an agreed completion date, and building insurance (unless it’s a new build). Once the contracts are exchanged, this is a moment of relief for both parties and it is now legally binding. Fall through are rare from this point onwards. Your conveyancer will lodge an interest in the property, enabling you to pay the seller and apply to the Land Registry to transfer the deeds to your name.
After you have exchanged contracts both the seller and buyer will need to set a completion date. This is the date the money is transferred over to the seller, keys and possession of the property are handed over. You can now relax, congratulations on your new home!