Buying a new home is an exciting and sometimes stressful experience but with a little thought, preparation and planning it can also be a smooth and enjoyable time too. Below is our step by step guide to assist you and our experienced staff are also on hand to help you with any questions you may have or advise you about any areas you are uncertain about.
Organising Your Finances
Once you have decided to buy a new home the first step is to assess how much you can afford and organise your finances in order to put yourself in the best possible position to buy. A budget of your finances is a good start and will help you understand how much money you have coming in, going out and how much is available for your new home. Remember that you will also have one-off moving costs including solicitors, stamp duty land tax and removal fees.
If you require a Mortgage then going direct to mortgage providers is a good option to help secure the best deal. Hackney & Leigh have a close working relationship with The Furness Building Society, the winner of Best Regional Building Society of the Year 2014 as judged by the Mortgage Finance Gazette, with branches in our Kirkby Lonsdale, Arnside and Carnforth office. Please enquire at any of our branches for further information and we can put you in touch with a mortgage adviser. Once you have found the right mortgage deal and have your monies organised it’s time to take the next step.
Now that your finances are organised you will know how much you can sensibly spend on your new home and the search can begin. Firstly you need to decide on the areas you would like to live in and the type of property you would like to buy.
There is nothing quite like seeing a property with your own eyes so viewing a good selection of houses in person is highly advisable. Quite often during the process of house hunting criteria may change perhaps deciding against one area in favour of another or deciding against older houses in favour of modern ones, or vice versa. Once you have narrowed the search down to one or two houses then it’s always a good idea to visit the areas at different times of the day to ensure there are no unwelcome surprises.
Many people now start their search online with one of the national portals such as Rightmove and OnTheMarket.com but it is always a good idea to register your requirements with Hackney & Leigh and let us work for you too. Allowing us to keep in touch with you will place you in a good position to be the first to hear about new properties coming to the market or price reductions.
Once you have found the right property it’s time to make the offer. It is good practice to put your offer forward both verbally and in writing to ensure that any terms are very clear e.g. offer subject to survey and to include carpets and curtains. This is also a good time to favourably highlight your position to be able to proceed with the purchase so the owner of the property can make an informed decision without delay e.g. mortgage agreement in place, first time buyer and solicitor details ready. You may be asked by the estate agent for a copy of your mortgage in principle or for proof of funds if you are a cash purchaser.
Once an offer has been accepted, enjoy the moment but then there are a few important calls to make. Inform your mortgage advisor who will arrange for the mortgage valuation to be carried out; call your solicitor who will then write to you to confirm your instructions and if you are selling a house too then call your estate agent to inform them you have found a new home. It is important to make these calls straight away to ensure a smooth sale as delays cause the stress, uncertainty and worry that can lead to a sale falling through. Hackney & Leigh will ensure the process starts off on the right foot by confirming the sale in writing to all parties and from there handle the progression of the sale to ensure there are no delays.
The Survey / Mortgage Valuation
The survey or mortgage valuation will be booked to assess the condition of the property and confirm the agreed sale price is fair. Once the survey report is ready it should be carefully read and any advice that may be given is followed. Should any issues arise Hackney & Leigh will be happy to help you address any matters to your satisfaction. Your mortgage provider will make a formal mortgage offer to you and your solicitor that you will need to sign and return.
The Legal Process
The conveyance – the legal process has begun. There is no set timescale for a sale to complete by and can vary considerably however most people move within an 8 - 12 week period. There will be times when it feels as though nothing is happening but behind the scenes the solicitors will be working hard and Hackney & Leigh will keep you informed along the way as sometimes it is the ‘not knowing’ that can be most frustrating.
Once the paperwork is almost ready the solicitors will go through the title documentation with you. If everything is in order you will be asked to agree a moving date, make arrangements for deposits to be paid and contracts to be signed. A date for exchange of contracts will be set (the point when the sale is legally binding) and a date for the completion (the payment of monies). Frequently this is the same day however often there is a week or two in-between to allow for moving preparations to be made. If you do not have a solicitor to act on your behalf then please do contact us and we can put you in touch with Chris Mowat, a property lawyer who works closely with Hackney & Leigh.
You will receive a completion statement from your solicitor which will take account of any legal fees, disbursements and stamp duty land tax. The statement should be checked to ensure all is correct and in order.
The Moving Day
In preparation of the moving date quotes from removal companies should be made, once the date for the move has been set you should confirm your move day to the removal company. Our helpful Moving Guide will make your moving day easier.
Once the solicitors have exchanged contracts and the sale is completed you can collect your keys from Hackney & Leigh or sometimes directly from the owner at the property.