Thinking of buying your first home? Here’s a handy quick-start guide for first time buyers, so that you can focus on finding the right house and enjoying the experience!

#1 Find out how much you can borrow

Before the house hunt begins, it’s a good idea to speak to a mortgage adviser and discuss how much you can borrow. While you won’t go through the full mortgage process until you’ve found the house you want to buy, you’ll be able to find out a maximum borrowing amount based on information such as your salary and financial commitments. It’s usually referred to as a “Decision in Principle” or “Agreement in Principle”; at this stage it’s not a guaranteed amount, but now you’re ready to start the search!

#2 House hunting

Now that you can start looking for your home, the fun really begins; prepare to lose hours of your day looking at properties online!

When you start viewing properties, make sure you ask plenty of questions about the property and the vendor (the seller) to help you formulate an offer, should you decide to make one.

#3 Making an offer

You’ve found a property you’d like to make an offer on. This stage of buying can be a little tricky to navigate, even when you’re not doing it for the first time! If you’ve asked plenty of questions and done your research, you should be able to come up with a point at which you’d like to begin negotiation. Don’t be disheartened if your offer is rejected; decide if you want (or are able) to increase your offer, and if not, the search continues!

#4 An accepted offer

Now you’ve had an offer accepted, you will be asked to provide evidence of funds for both your deposit and mortgage; this is where your Decision in Principle comes in handy, and you can evidence the deposit through a copy of a bank statement. At this point, check that the property is going to be marked by the estate agent as, “Sold Subject to Contract” so that it is no longer visible as being on the market to other potential buyers.

#5 Appoint your solicitor

Solicitors conveyancing costs can vary, but do a little research and make sure you are appointing a reputable solicitor. You’ll need to provide your solicitor’s details to the estate agent, and also on your mortgage application.

#6 The mortgage application

You’ve had your mortgage agreed in principle, and now that you can provide the property details, you’ll need to complete the application. At this stage, you’ll be asked for ID and proof of address, and evidence of your income (usually your most recent payslips). The lender will also run a credit check. Once you have provided all the relevant information, a valuation has been carried out and your mortgage has been approved, the final stage of the purchase is in the hands of your solicitors, and the mortgage funds will be requested by your solicitor once they are required.

#7 Completing the purchase

There are a few final legal stages that you will go through once your mortgage has been approved before your purchase completes, so be prepared for lots of paperwork.

On the day you complete and are handed the keys to your new home, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve done it; you’re a homeowner!

 Are you ready to buy your first home? Get in touch with our expert advisers at Mortgage Advice Bureau, where we can search 12,000 mortgages from over 90 lenders to find the most suitable mortgage for your circumstances. Please call 0113 366 0195 or click here.



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