Advice for Buying Property
Whether buying your first home, moving up the property ladder, or buying an investment, purchasing a property is a significant undertaking. Here are the main steps you should take to ensure a successful property purchase.
Look at Your Finances
First things first, you must look at your finances to ensure that you can afford to purchase a property. Some of the main considerations include:
- How much deposit you have.
- The size of mortgage you are likely to get – Some first-time buyers find helpful to get a mortgage in principle.
- The additional costs associated with buying a home such as solicitor fees and Stamp Duty.
- Any help you might be able to get from Government schemes such as Help to Buy.
- Your equity position if you're selling a property at the same time.
- Are there suitable properties available in the location you want to buy, at the price you can afford to pay?
- Whether you can afford the mortgage repayments, particularly if the lender puts up its interest rate or your personal circumstances change.
You’ll also need to decide the type of mortgage you want. It’s a good idea to speak to a mortgage advisor/broker too.
Looking for a Property to Buy
Buying a property can be one of the most personal, exciting, yet daunting choices a person can make. There are many factors that come into consideration when looking to buy property, but one of the most important factors to consider is location. You want to make sure that the location you select meets all your requirements; if you have a family you may want to consider relocating to an area that is near schools or if you work in the centre of town, a property that has easy access to several transport links. It’s important to thoroughly research the area that you wish to live in, to gain an understanding of what properties typically sell for and how much you’re likely to spend.
The internet is where most people conduct their research, particularly in the early stages. You should use the big property portals like Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location as well as looking through our property portfolio.
Take your time when viewing a property, particularly one you think you might like to buy. You should even view it on more than one occasion. Also, check if it’s freehold or leasehold as well as the length of the current lease.
If you’re interested in buying a property in Swindon, Forefront Property can help.
Arranging a Viewing
Once you’ve found a property for sale you like, it’s time to arrange a viewing. One of our qualified sales managers will organise and attend a property viewing with you.
Making an Offer
Once you’ve found a property that meets all your needs, costs and expectations, it’s time to make an offer. Once you tell our team that you’re ready to make an offer, we will discuss it with the vendor.
When making an offer it’s important to think about how much you’re willing to spend as the size of offer you make will depend on the situation. For example, making an offer that’s too low on a popular property might mean you'll miss out.
If the seller is happy with your offer, they will accept it, at this point we will need the details of both your solicitor and the seller of the property. A sales memorandum will be written and sent to you and the vendor along with both of your solicitors.
Organise a Solicitor and Survey of the Property
If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a solicitor or conveyancer. They will handle the legal and financial aspects of the purchase, including transferring the payment to the seller’s solicitor and the ownership of the property to you. Your solicitor will also conduct searches on the property to make sure there are no issues.
In addition, you can get a full survey of the property to give you a complete check. This is additional to your lender's survey and will cost extra.
Completing the Purchase
The next stage is exchanging the contracts and paying your deposit. This is where you become legally obliged to buy the property (and the seller becomes legally obliged to sell it). Therefore, make sure you agree with everything with the seller before this happens. Examples include the completion date and any additional costs for the fixtures and fittings.
Other things you should know include:
- You are responsible for the property from the date of contract exchange so will need buildings insurance from this date.
- You’ll need to sort things like water, electricity, gas, and telephone so everything is ready on the day you take ownership.
- The seller must hand over the keys to you on the completion date.
- You may need to pay Stamp Duty as well as solicitor's fees once you complete the sale.
A property is a significant purchase, but with careful research and proper planning, the process can go smoothly. If you would like to know more about how we can help you find and buy your ideal property, get in touch. Our estate agents in Swindon have been helping buyers successfully and efficiently buy their dream homes for the past 10 years.