Buying a home, particularly for the first time can be daunting. The decisions you make along the way could save you – or cost you - many thousands of pounds. Here’s our step by step guide to buying a home
Decide if buying a home is right for you
Although 86% of people in the UK want to own their own home, it’s not always right for everybody all the time – some people end up with big regrets. See Is buying right for me? There are a number of things you need to think about before setting off on your home hunting quest – not least whether you can actually afford it. See Can I afford to buy a home?
Decide if you should sell first
If you are already a homeowner, decide whether you want to sell your house or flat before you buy. It can be dangerous in a rising market, but there are upsides. In particular, you will be able to pounce quickly when you do find the home of your dreams, and you won’t be trapped in a housing chain
See Should I sell my home before I look for a new one? If you decide to buy and sell at the same time we take a look at the steps you can take to make things run more smoothly.
Get your finances in place
If you are a first-time buyer, see our guide to First Time Buyer Mortgages. Work out how much of a deposit for the mortgage you can get together. Think about savings, the “bank of Mum and Dad”, the “bank of Granny and Grandpa” and how much you would get if you put your current home on the market and paid off your deposit. If you have any savings on long term deposit that you plan to use, cash them in.
Decide what sort of mortgage you want. See What type of mortgage should I get? While you can’t get a mortgage before you buy, you can get a mortgage in principle, which will put you in a stronger position.
Make an offer – and get it accepted
Make sure you are in the strongest possible position as a buyer. Get to the front of the buyers’ queue. Decide how much you want to pay, including for fixtures and fittings. See How do I know I’m not paying too much? Make the offer to the estate agent, and seal the deal. See Making an offer – and haggling over the price.
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