Buying a house is no easy task. Whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, the process can be pretty daunting. After all, buying a new property requires a whole lot of time, money and research. So whether you are looking at a property for sale in Orpington or you’re trying to find the right real estate agent, the process of buying a house in the UK is pretty extensive! To make it just a little bit easier, here is the complete guide to buying a house in the UK.
1 Start saving for a deposit
Before you can even start looking at potential properties, you need to start saving for a deposit. Not only will this help you lay down a hefty deposit, but also you will have a fair idea of exactly how much you can afford to spend on your new home. Also, this will help you understand how much money you can put aside every month without impacting your day to day routine, which will help you choose the right mortgage later.
2 Work on your credit score
You must start working on your credit score at least 6 to 10 months before applying for a mortgage pre-approval. In simple terms, the higher your credit score, the higher your chances of getting approved for a mortgage! In addition, pay your credit card bills on time, get rid of any outstanding debt, pay all your utility bills and close any credit cards that you do not require.
3 Do your research
Which area do you want to buy a house in? How many bedrooms do you require? Which areas are the best for your investment? Do you want to invest in an upcoming area or a developed area? Choose a few areas where you would like to live, and then do your due research. This will also help you understand the market. Hence you will be able to make a wise investment decision.
4 Apply for a mortgage pre-approval
Nowadays, sellers and estate agents do not take a buyer seriously until and unless the buyer has a mortgage pre-approval. A mortgage pre-approval is a document from a bank or a lender that states the approximate mortgage that you can borrow. A mortgage pre-approval is essential because it will help you determine your budget.
5 Meet multiple estate agents
Once you have decided on which area you want to buy a house in, start meeting local estate agents. You must meet multiple agents so that you can hire an estate agent that meets your requirements. You want to hire an estate agent with whom you can communicate freely, one who understands your needs and wants as well as someone who you trust.
6 Decide on a budget and stick to it
Now that you have saved money for a deposit and have been pre-approved for a mortgage, you have a fair idea of how much you can spend on your new home. However, before you start looking at potential properties, you need to decide on a budget and stick to it. It is very easy to go over budget, especially when you fall in love with a property, so make sure you let your estate agent know what your budget is!
7 Start looking at potential properties
Never say no. Look at as many properties as you possibly can. View properties online, attend open houses and check out as many properties as you can. After all, you never know when you might find your dream house! Write down all the things you like and dislike about every property, as this will help you shortlist properties in the future.
8 Opt for a property valuation
Once you have shortlisted a few properties that you really like, revisit these properties. When you have finally decided which property you love the most, hire a property evaluator as well as a surveyor. A property evaluator will give you an approximate valuation of the property which will help you negotiate a good deal. On the other hand, a surveyor will thoroughly check the property and let you know if everything is in order or not.
9 Keep money aside for additional costs
There are a lot of hidden costs and associated costs that are part of buying a house. You need to account for the cost of moving, the cost of hiring a property evaluator, the cost of a property survey, the fees of the estate agent and so on. Let’s not forget about expenses like stamp duty, land taxes and so on.
10 Make an offer and sign the dotted line
Once you are certain that everything is in order, you can make an offer. Always leave room for negotiation when you make an offer. Once you and the seller have agreed on a price, it is time to sign the contract!