Here's a basic outline of what's involved when buying a home.
ONE: What can you afford?
This will depend on
A) Your earnings - Mortgage
lenders will usually lend you 3.5 times your annual income.
However it's possible to borrow up to 5 times. If you are buying
with a partner you can usually borrow 2.5 times the
joint annual income - though there are several variations.
B) How much you have saved
up - For example what you've
got in the bank or are bringing as profit from the
sale of another property.
C) You also need to think
about the other costs involved in order to know
what your budget is for the both the purchase and running costs
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TWO: Choosing Your Mortgage Type
You need to choose between a repayment mortgage or an interest
Then there are all the repayment
variations like fixed rate mortgages,
cash back mortgages, discount mortgages and so on.
Getting a Mortgage in Principle
will give you an idea of what can you
afford and what type of mortgage you want. (This is a conditional
made by a mortgage lender that - provided the information you
give them is
correct - they will "in principle" give you the loan).
THREE: Now start looking.
You could use Estate Agents,
the Internet, relocation agents or even
FOUR: Buying the Property
When you've found your ideal property you make an offer
If your offer's accepted you have to move quickly to get:
A confirmed mortgage. You
can use a mortgage adviser - make sure they're
A survey/valuation on the building.
A basic survey is carried
out for your benefit to reveal any serious
problems with the property.
Contrary to another common
myth - that you're only really covered by a
full structural survey - if problems emerge which the basic survey
warn you about then you have a case to claim for damages to cover
necessary repair work.
The basic survey may be
offered as a package with the valuation and called
various things by the different mortgage lenders eg the "Flatbuyers
survey" or the "housebuyers report" and so on.
Even if it's not offered
as a package you could try and get the valuer to
do a basic survey at the same time as this may be cheaper.
Most house buyers opt for
a basic survey because it's cheaper than the
full structural survey.
It may cost anything from £250 to £400 compared
to £800 plus for the latter.
As a buyer you can use any
faults revealed to renegotiate the price -
which can more than make up for the extra cost of the full structural
A basic survey should suffice for a normal modern building.
For anything older or more
unusual you should seriously consider a Full
All the legal side sorted
out (This is known as conveyancing) You can use
a solicitor or a conveyancing service.
When all this has been dealt with you exchange contracts and
completion date - which is when the property becomes yours.