A First Time Buyers Guide to Buying Your First Home
Although this is aimed at first time buyers, this guide can be used by anyone buying a house.
The whole process can seem a little daunting and is probably one of the most stressful times in anybody’s life. We have summarised the steps involved in making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible so just follow the explanation for a step by step guide.
Step by step
Use our range of mortgage calculators to find out how much you can borrow and then use our mortgage sourcing tool by clicking ‘view latest mortgage deals’ to get a general idea as to whether you can comfortably afford the monthly payments.
However, we strongly recommend that you Contact Mosaic Mortgages for independent mortgage advice on the best mortgage for your particular circumstances. Following a full financial factfind discussing your circumstances & mortage requirements, Mosaic Mortgages will supply you with recommendations and advise you of the most appropriate product for your needs as well as advising you of the maximum loan available to you, the amount of deposit required and full details of all the associated cost involved in the purchase. (These will include valuation fees, mortgage payment, associated protection costs, legal fees, stamp duty, land registration fees, buildings & contents insurance and mortgage indemnity premium if applicable.)
Don’t forget that you will also have removal company costs if you are moving house!
You now know how much you can borrow and what your budget will stretch to so decide on the area that you would like to live according to this budget. A compromise may be required as often the area that you would like to live in may be out of your price range. We recommend that you assess an area by the local schools, amenities, access to main road networks, traveling time to work and obviously the style of property that you like. You also need to consider the resaleability of the property for when you want to move as although you may not mind living next to a pub, it will not be everybody’s cup of tea!
Register your particulars and requirements with all the Estate Agents in the area and then start hunting for your ideal home. Arrange a number of viewings to get an idea of what your budget will get you and take a critical look at any properties that you view.
You should pay close attention to the general appearance of the property and any potential structural or damp problems. Does it need a new kitchen and / or bathroom or need redecorating throughout? Does it need central heating or double glazing as all these are potential additional costs for you to consider. It is no good buying a property in need of refurbishment if it is at the top of your budget and you then cannot afford the refurbishment costs! If you are seriously interested in a property then have a second look and try and estimate how much it is going to cost to do any necessary works to the property. This additional cost (if any) can be used as a bargaining tool to reduce the asking price whilst making your offer.
Once you have decided the maximum that you are prepared to pay for a particular property taking into consideration your budget & available deposit we will obtain an ‘Agreement In Principle’ from the recommended lender so that you can prove to the Estate Agent that you are able to obtain a mortgage and you can put in an offer on your dream home.
You have now found the house of your dreams and need to contact the Estate Agent to make a formal offer. Do not be afraid to offer under asking price as you can always increase your offer if the vendor does not accept your first offer.
If your offer is accepted then you will need to instruct a solicitor to take care of all the legal work involved. We have negotiated preferential rates for Mosaic Mortgages clients with a number of Solicitors and if you would like a detailed quotation for the legal work involved in the house purchase then Contact Mosaic Mortgages to discuss the competitive quotations.
Your application will be submitted to the lender and the valuation of the property will be instructed.
There are 3 types of valuation report:
- Mortgage Valuation Report – This is a report produced for the lender and advises on the suitability of the property for security for lending purposes. It is a limited report and is not a survey of the property and we recommend that you instruct a home buyers report or full structural survey.
- Homebuyers Report – This is more detailed than the “Mortgage Valuation Report” and provides information on the state of repair and condition of the property which is produced in a format approved by RICS/ISVA (Regulatory bodies of surveyors.)
- Full Structural Survey – This survey is very detailed in nature and produces a comprehensive report on the condition of the property and any remedial works required.
We recommend that you instruct either type 2 or 3 as type 1 is instructed by the lender for their own purposes and you have no contractual relationship with the valuer and thus no comeback if the valuer has missed a glaring defect with the property.
Once the valuation has been carried out and we have provided the lender with all requested documentation, a mortgage offer will be issued. A copy of this offer will be sent to your solicitor and once they are in receipt of all the relevant searches on the property that you intend to buy, you are now in a position to exchange contacts.
Until you have exchanged contracts, you are not legally entitled to buy the property just because you have had an offer accepted and you may find yourself in a contract race (There are two or more interested parties looking to buy the property and there is a race to see which party can successfully exchange contracts first.) or you may unfortunately get gazumped. (The Vendor accepts a higher offer even though your offer has already been accepted.)
On exchange of contracts you will probably be required to lodge a deposit of 10% of the agreed purchase price with your solicitor. This will be forfeit under the contract you have signed if you pull out before actual completion and break the contract.
You also need buildings insurance in place for exchange of contracts as once you have exchanged, the property is your responsibility even if it burnt to the ground before you had completed!
Finally, you need to have all your relevant protection policies in place as even in the event of your death, the purchase should still take place once contracts have been exchanged.
If you are moving house then you should arrange for a removal company to give you a quotation to move your contents to the new property. Alternatively, you may wish to hire a van and do this yourself so ensure that you book well in advance once you know your desired completion date.
- Cancel deliveries such as newspapers, milk etc from the date you are moving and settle bills!
- Give notice (usually seven days) to the telephone company to stop your telephone account from the day you are moving and arrange for a final bill to be sent.
- Arrange with the Post Office to redirect your mail to your new address from the date you are set to move out (seven days notice is usually required).
- On the day of moving, take final meter readings for gas & electricity and arrange for final bills to be sent to your new address.
- Turn off gas, electricity and water. Lock all doors and windows and drop off keys with Estate Agent (if selling your existing property) or letting Agent or landlord (if previously renting).
You should be able to pick up the keys to your new property in the early afternoon on the day of completion from the Estate Agent as this will have given enough time for your solicitor to have sent the funds to the vendor’s solicitor. Once they have confirmation that the purchase monies have been received, they will give authority to the estate agent to release the keys to you. Dependant on the length of the chain and where your transaction is in the chain (the number of properties being bought and sold as a result of your completion) the keys may not be available until later in the afternoon but your solicitor will be able to advise you when they have sent your purchase monies should there be any problems.