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Navigating your way through buying a house

Buying a house can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Navigate your way through the process by following these steps;

Find out how much you can borrow

Book an appointment with one of our independant mortgage advisors to get an idea of how much you can borrow. He or she will be able to search the market for the best available deal and to help you maximise your borrowing power.

When working out how much you can afford to put down as a deposit, remember to keep some savings aside to meet stamp duty and other fees, and to furnish your new home. Get information about the different mortgages on offer, and start thinking about whether you want to go for a fixed or variable-rate deal.

Define your criteria

Decide what you are looking for in a property – whether you need parking and a garden, how many bedrooms you need, if it’s a flat, whether you want it to be freehold or leasehold – and pick an area on which to focus your search.

Consider what you want out of the location: are local schools, transport links and shops important to you? How long are you planning to live in the property for?

Beginning the search

Start scanning local newspapers, our website and register with us here. As some properties sell before they are advertised online, so it is worth being on our books. If you see a property you want to look at, call the us and we will arrange a viewing.

Out and about

Visit some properties. You are unlikely to find the home you want straight away, so don’t despair and don’t be tempted into edging over your budget if you don’t like the first place you look at. This is probably going to be your biggest financial outlay, so it is worth waiting until you find the right place.

Don’t be shy about asking questions when you are looking around a property, or afterwards. We will be able to provide details about the property, and can pass on any in depth queries on to the people who are selling.

Making an offer

When you find somewhere you like, make an offer. Many buyers initially make an offer below the asking price, but if you want to be sure you get the property you like, you should offer the full amount straight away.


If your offer is accepted the property will then go under offer, you now need to instruct a solicitor. We have in house solicitors that can call you with a quote.

Getting a mortgage

Once your offer has been accepted, call the independant mortgage advisor you have been dealing with as they will sort out your mortgage application. At this point you will need to provide paperwork showing your income and outgoings.


Instruct your solicitor to start working on a contract. They will also send the seller a list of questions to answer, including a questionnaire asking which fixtures and fittings they intend to leave when they move out.

Exchange of contracts

After your solicitor or conveyancer has completed all the necessary checks you’ll be asked to sign a contract legally committing you to the purchase. At this point you will need to pay a deposit for the property – usually at least 5% of the price but more typically 10%. At this point you will usually agree a date to complete the sale.

Book a removal van

When you know your moving date you can start organising how to get your possessions to your new home. This could involve hiring a van and doing it yourself or hiring professional removal men. Either way, you should act fast to give yourself the best chance of finding a company to help when you need at a good price.

Buy buildings insurance

Your lender will expect you to have buildings insurance in place for the date of completion. It will quote a rebuild cost in its valuation – this is the amount you need to cover. Our independant finanacial advisors can arrange this insurance for you.


This is when the property finally becomes yours. When your solicitor tells you that the sale is completed you can pick the keys up from the estate agents. This will probably be the day that you move in, unless you are having work done in advance. It is likely to be a stressful day, even if everything goes according to plan, but should feel worthwhile after your first night in your new home.