The Home Buying Process

Read our helpful breakdown of the homebuying process to give you a good idea about how long it may take you to get into your dream home.

The idea of buying a new home can be very daunting. It can sometimes be a very long process and requires mounds of paperwork, finances and copious amounts of nail biting anxiety! Knowing exactly what each of the processes is and a rough idea of how long it will take should give you some peace of mind. Here is our step by step guide of the buying process.

Begin Doing Your Homework
1-2 weeks

Research into your desired location, proximity to local schools, discovering your commute time to work all come into the research phase of buying a house. Deciding what type of property you want, how many bedrooms and other key property criteria is another important part of this process. It will provide you with the building blocks to begin your search.
Initial Mortgage Consultation
The nitty gritties of your finances stage- find out how much you can borrow and how much you can afford to pay back. This stage will also look at how much deposit you will need for the value of property you are looking to purchase. Remember to factor in solicitor fees, broker fees, land registry, searches fees, stamp duty and removal costs too.

2-4 weeks
Once you know how much you can afford, you will be able to begin your research within your desired location. The viewing stage can take as long or as little as you like but make sure you view as many properties as possible – not only will this make sure you have covered all bases, it will help you streamline what is actually important to you. You may think you NEED a study, but find down the line you can live without one.  

Offer Stage
The offer stage when buying a new house is slightly different to that of a second hand home – there is no haggling to be done on price. House prices are set and not negotiable. However, that doesn’t mean that the price you pay isn’t flexible. The fixed house price essentially gets you the shell of a new house which all the essentials. However, you can negotiate what goes into the house. You can select all the finished from door knobs and taps, to kitchen worktops and tiles. Free options will be available but if you want something a little more unique you can add finishes to the total price you pay.  

Decision in Principle Drawn Up
A Decision in Principle (DiP) is a certificate from a lender to confirm that they will let you a mortgage. You will need your DiP certificate to prove to the vendor and estate agent that you can afford to buy the property.

Choose Your Solicitor
Your solicitor will help you with all the legal aspects of purchasing a property including stamp duty, searches and valuation fees.  Your house developer will usually recommend one to you as they strike partnerships at a flat rate fee. However, feel free to shop around as there are lots of different offers on the market – just make sure you select one with specialisms in conveying. Once you have enlisted the help of a solicitor you will need to pass their details onto you mortgage advisor and vendor.  

Reserved Your Home
Once you have submitted your DiP, instructed a legal team and showed proof of deposit your chosen property can reserved and taking off the selling list. A small deposit is usually required to reserve your home but this means no one else can reserve it.

Mortgage Application
3 weeks
Once you have officially reserved your home you will need to formally apply for your mortgage. This can take anywhere from 3-7 weeks depending on the complexity of your application.

Surveys, Searches and Valuation
2 weeks
Your lender will want to have your chosen property valued to make sure they can get the loan back if you stop paying your mortgage and the house needs to be sold again. Outside of the valuation you may choose to have a survey done on the property to make sure it is structurally sound and to flag any potential problems.

Exchange contracts
Final hurdle- signing the contracts. Your solicitor will arrange the signing of the contract but both parties will need to be present to sign and complete the transfer in ownership of the property.

Completion date
This date will be arranged and agreed during the signing of the contracts. This means you can get organised with your moving day and collection of the keys. On completion date the house will be officially yours.

Collect Keys
Once your mortgage lender has paid funds into your developers bank account- you can go collect your keys! Try collect your keys the day before moving day to save time.

Snag list
Upon moving in to your new home you will be given a moving in checklist to complete. This basically makes sure everything in your new home is exactly that…new. Look for scratches, paint splodges, leaks etc. If you find anything that isn’t right, create your snag list. You will have a few weeks to get this done then a builder will come and fix all the problems you may have found.

Publish date: 18/08/2016