Buying a property or a home is a long and complex process. Typically, it will involve the following steps:
You should get in touch with a mortgage broker and see how much you can actually borrow. They will help you scour the market for the best deals available and show you how to maximise your borrowing power.
- Define Your Criteria
The next step involves deciding the exact kind of property you are looking for. Think about how many bedrooms are required and whether you need a garden and parking. If you are buying a flat, decide whether you want a leasehold or a freehold. You should also pick areas you want to live in. Also consider the property tax banding.
- Start Searching
Scan local newspapers and the internet. You can also register with professional estate agents. In case you spot a property you are interested in, arrange a viewing through your agent.
- Visit Properties
Go out of your way to check out some properties. It is unlikely that you will find the best home straight away. However, keep going and wait until you find something that is worth your investment.
- Make an Offer
Once you come across something you love, make an offer. However, first ask your estate agent to find out as much as they can about the property. Most buyers make offers that are below the initial asking price. Therefore, start low and use your agent to negotiate until you reach a satisfactory price. If the property is worth the price the seller is asking, you can offer the full amount.
In case the seller accepts your offer, ask your agent to get the home off the market. Then, hire a trustworthy solicitor.
- Arrange the Mortgage
At this stage, you need to sort out your mortgage application. Here, you need to provide a lot of paperwork detailing your outgoings and income.
Ask your solicitor to draw up a contract. The solicitor will also send a list of questions to the seller, including questionnaires asking the fittings and fixtures they will leave on vacating the property.
After you agree to the mortgage in principle, your lender will contract a surveyor to check out the property and value it. You can also hire your own surveyor for a more comprehensive look.
Go through the survey and find out everything you can about the property. Renegotiate the price with the seller if a lot of work has to be done to fit up the place. If it is too problematic, pull out of the deal before you incur more costs. However, if you are happy with the new home, arrange with your estate agent to gain access to the property.
- Exchange of Contracts
When your conveyer completes all necessary checks, you will sign a contract that will legally commit you to the purchase. It is at this point that you will be required to pay a deposit on the property (which is usually between 5 to 10 percent of the agreed upon price).
- Plan to Move In
Once everything is finalised, get a removal van and start planning to move into your new home.
Micheal and Elizabeth Haworthart are property investors in the North West of England.