Unless you're lucky enough to be able to buy your home outright, you'll need a mortgage to finance your purchase.
Use the mortgage calculator to give you an idea how much your monthly mortgage repayments are likely to be. This can help you estimate the size of mortgage you can afford at a particular interest rate - and importantly see if you can still afford it should rates rise.
Mortgage lenders work on a formula based on earnings. You can do a rough estimate by multiplying your salary by three. If you are buying with a partner, this rises. To this, add your deposit, the down payment. Check with your lender what percentage of the property value they are prepared to lend.
When you have picked a lender, you will need to go through the process to obtain a mortgage agreement in principle. This will prove to estate agents and sellers that you are serious about buying a home. You can then begin looking for it.
Ensure you can afford the costs associated with the purchase as well as the ongoing maintenance of your home by budgeting accurately. Don't overstretch yourself. How will you cope if rates rise and your monthly payments go up?
If you're not sure how to compare between the deals on offer or are new to the mortgage market, ensure you get expert advice from a market wide, independent financial advisor.
You'll have to have set aside cash for upfront expenses such as the valuation or survey, and mortgage fees. And you will also have to factor in stamp duty.
When you view a property, you should look at the energy performance information. This provides energy efficiency information about the property and is designed to help you make a more informed purchase.
Once you've found your home and had an offer accepted, you will need to arrange a survey. If you are buying with a mortgage, your lender will require this. There are several different types of survey. The type of survey you should choose depends on the age and condition of the property. To find a chartered surveyor in your area, go to the RICs search site. For expert property survey advice visit the RICs website.
When buying a property you will need to employ a solicitor or conveyancer to deal with the paperwork. The cost will either be according to a fixed fee, or priced on the work undertaken. We we work closely with the best local conveyancers whom we can recommend.
Your solicitor will prepare the contract which will be exchanged with your seller and work through the contract negotiations. Once he or she is happy with the legal aspects of the property, and you have the finances in place, you can exchange contracts. When you exchange you may have to pay a deposit of 10%. You complete when the rest of the money is transferred to the seller, you collect the keys from the estate agent and move in.