The 9 Steps To Buying Your First Home

The 9 Steps To Buying Your First Home

Step-by-step Guide to Homebuying


Buying your first house or flat doesn’t have to be a nightmare.  With a bit of luck, some serious research and a dash of common sense, it could even be fun!



1.          Get your finances in order.  Work out your total income and what bills and loans you pay off each month.  Any mortgage adviser will need all of this info before they tell you how much you can borrow.  Most lenders recommend that your monthly repayments don’t exceed 35-40 per cent of your monthly income.


2.         Start doing some serious research.  Most banks and building societies have their own websites, which are well-stocked with information about their products and services.  But for impartial advice, you might want to speak to an independent mortgage adviser. 


3.         Once you’ve sorted your mortgage, you can start looking for your dream home.  Decide where you’d like to live and visit a few local estate agents to find out whether the kind of property you want is available there. and both list properties for sale nationwide.


4.         When you think you’ve found the perfect home, don’t let the excitement go to your head; go back for another viewing with a close friend or family and get a second opinion.  Finally, sit down and ask yourself a few important questions.  Is it the right size? Is it handy for local shops and transport services?  Is it convenient for work?  Is the area safe after dark?  Have you found out what the neighbours are like?


5.         When you decide to make an offer, try not to let your emotions get in the way – even though you REALLY want this house!  Work out the maximum you can afford to pay first and come in with an offer that’s lower.  That way you can afford to add more onto your second offer if the first one is rejected.  If you really can’t clinch a deal at a price that’s right for you, be prepared to walk away.  There’s no point getting too upset about it – you have to think that it simply wasn’t meant to be.


6.         If your offer is accepted, go back to your financial advisor and get your mortgage in place.  Then you will need to arrange for a solicitor to do all your conveyancing.  The best way to find one is through word of mouth, or look online at Your solicitor will take care of all of the legal aspects of the sale- sorting out the property searches and checking that there are no disputes over land rights.  A good solicitor can make all the difference between a fast and a slow sale, so it’s worth asking around for recommendations. 


7.         Next comes the Mortgage Valuation Survey (costs upwards of £150).  This is required by your mortgage company to make sure that you’re not paying out more money than the property is actually worth.  A separate and much more extensive homebuyer’s survey is definitely worth having, as it should reveal any serious structural problems with the building that could cause you problems in the future – expect to pay around £300.


8.         Exchange contracts.  Both parties are now committed to the sale.  This is the point at which you part with your deposit, if you have one.


9.         Completion.  The final stages of home buying usually take place either simultaneously after the exchanging of contracts or about a week later.  It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – you’re a homeowner!