Finding the right mortgage to suit your own circumstances can be daunting, with so many lenders, schemes and rates available, where do you start? Unless you’re really sure on what you’re doing, seek advice from an independent financial adviser. It will certainly help us to help you if you get a mortgage agreement in principle to enable you to move quickly if need be.
You should visit estate agents in and around the area you wish to move to. Register your requirements and budget with them and get on their mailing lists. Once you’re registered, they should then send out details of relevant properties to you. You can also keep an eye on the local market by browsing the local property press or property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove.
Make yourself comfortable with a glass of your favourite tipple. Think about your ideal property and write a list of the ‘Must Haves’, the ‘Nice to Haves’ and most importantly the ‘Definitely Don’t Wants’. This can help you in deciding on which properties to view and tallying up scores for each of the properties you visit, and more importantly will give you a good list of deal-breakers so nobody’s time is wasted viewing unsuitable properties.
Once you have found your ideal property you should make an offer to the agent. You must carefully consider how much you can realistically afford. Add up the mortgage offer plus any equity you have in another property. Don’t forget to allow for Stamp Duty and Solicitors fees. Once the vendor has accepted your offer you should instruct a solicitor to start the buying process. If you don’t already have a conveyancer or solicitor in mind, we can recommend one to you.
Once you receive an offer acceptance then the wheels are put into motion to lead up to the final exchange of contracts (which, from beginning to end, takes between 6 to 8 weeks on average). This is called Conveyancing. We will liaise between your solicitor and the vendor’s solicitor, working up and down any chain, to ensure that your purchase goes through as smoothly as possible.
This is the legal term for the transfer of ownership of a property from one party to another. Your solicitor will liaise with the vendor’s solicitor while carrying out Land Registry and Local Authority searches to establish the boundaries of the property, any restrictive covenants or potential developments in the area that may affect your enjoyment of your new home.
Unless you are a cash buyer this is the time to formally apply for a mortgage on this property with your financial advisor or lender.
Your lender will require a survey for mortgage purposes, but this is merely to establish a valuation. You may also choose to undertake a full structural survey although this is usually advisable on a period property or a property of non-standard construction. Any issues highlighted may either affect the lenders ability to offer a mortgage in its entirety or impose special conditions on the mortgage offer. The survey may also highlight any expensive problems to you before you purchase the property.
Up until this point, either party can withdraw from the sale without financial loss. When your solicitor has received; satisfactory replies to all their searches and enquiries, a copy of a mortgage offer, a signed contract and the deposit has been paid (usually 5-10%), they can then proceed to exchange of contracts. From this point the seller and buyer are legally committed to the deal so if the buyer pulls out for whatever reason they lose their deposit.
The sales contract is signed by both you and the vendor and the deposit is transferred or paid by your solicitor to the vendor's solicitor. At that point the date is then set for completion. This can be pretty much straight away (called a Sim – simultaneous exchange and completion) or up to 28 days later depending on your requirements.
Completion is the formal process of transferring the balance of monies due from the vendor’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor. This process will be dependent on your circumstances and any other parties involved in the buying chain. Once the monies have been received you can collect the keys and you are the legal owner of your new home.
Congratulations! You are now the proud owners of a lovely new home.
We will provide you with a welcome pack providing you with everything you need to know, from the location of gas and electricity meters, mains water stopcocks, local authority details, waste collection day etc.
Remember to get your mail re-directed and don’t forget to tell your bank, your employer, HMRC, DVLA, insurance, council tax, doctor, dentist and any schools that you have changed your address. Agree meter readings, transfer the phone lines and other utilities. Book the removal company, defrost and disconnect your white goods. Tell your friends and organise the party.
Don’t forget the cat!
Disclaimer: This information is provided as a guide only and may not reflect your individual circumstances. You should obtain professional advice when buying or selling a property and Knightsbridge Land accept no liability if you rely on the content of this guide and do not obtain professional advice.