Guide: buyers

Ready to buy your dream home?

Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking to put down roots or an existing homeowner on the move, there’s plenty to think about when purchasing a property. We’re always ready to help if you need any advice or support buying a home or a new property investment.

Call 020 7078 0214 or email info@kh-estates.com for more information.

Nothing is more important to us than your peace of mind

Buying a property can be a daunting process and sometimes getting caught up in the excitement of finding your dream home can mean you forget to check all the essential details. Our buyers guide breaks down the process of purchasing a property so you can tick off what you’ve already done, and keep track of what’s left to do. Together, we’ll make buying your dream home a breeze.

Click on the cover to read our guide for buyers.

The home buying process explained

Please see below your step-by-step guide to each stage of buying a property through Kingsley Hamilton Estates. If you need any help or advice regarding the buying process, call our friendly team on 020 7078 0214 or email info@kh-estates.com.

Putting your finances in writing will enable you to keep track of what’s coming in and going out, from unexpected costs to total expenditure. As a buyer, you’ll need to consider:

  • Your deposit
  • Mortgage charges
  • Leasehold charges (if applicable)
  • Conveyancer fees
  • Land registry fee – payable when registering a property in your name
  • Stamp duty charges

If you’ve got your heart set on a location and the type of property you want to buy, think about other must-haves, and list them in order of importance. Think about:

  • Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
  • Parking
  • Separate kitchen/dining area
  • Private garden
  • Conservatory
  • Redecoration/renovation
  • Local transport

You’ll need to think about and define the following points before you make an offer:

  • What’s your maximum budget?
  • How much deposit will you need to put down?
  • Will you need to make costly renovations?
  • How far are you willing to negotiate?

 

Being well-versed in these points will help you stay focused. Only put down an offer when you’re happy with the terms, and you’re sure this is the property for you.

Taking out a mortgage will likely be one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll ever have to make. Choose one that’s right for you by researching well, getting to know your options, and understanding all the different types available. You’ll need to decide whether you want a fixed rate, variable rate, or tracker mortgage. Arranging this can take time, so the earlier you start, the better.

As soon as your offer is accepted, you’ll need to set your mortgage in stone. There are three main steps to applying for a mortgage:

  • You’ll receive a Key Facts Illustration (KFI) from your lender explaining the key features of the mortgage. It will also outline what your initial monthly payments would be based on the information you’ve given.
  • You’ll receive an Agreement in Principle (AIP) from your lender. This is where a mortgage provider has performed a credit search using your basic information, and calculated a figure they can lend you ‘in principle’.
  • You’ll then need to get in touch with your lender to make a full application. You’ll need to provide them with ID and proof of your address, a recent bank statement, payslips, and your P60 if employed or proof of earnings if self-employed.

Choose your conveyancer carefully. Their role will be to guide you through all the legalities of buying a home, so it’s important that you trust them, and can reach them whenever you need to. They’ll stay in touch with the seller’s conveyancer, the estate agent, and the mortgage provider, and they’ll deal with the Stamp Duty tax charged by HMRC.

You’ll need to arrange building insurance before the exchange of contracts. Some mortgage providers will need to see proof of this before they release the funds to your solicitor.

From buildings and contents insurance, to legal expenses and life insurance, requirements differ from lender to lender, so it’s worth being totally clear before you take out any policies.

It’s essential that you do this once your offer has been accepted. Not all surveys are the same and the one you’ll need will largely depend on the type of property you are buying and its location. If you are borrowing, you’ll need to arrange a mortgage valuation. More comprehensive surveys include: a condition report, HomeBuyer report, building survey, and a full structural survey. These will help you assess the condition of the building and identify any problems. If issues arise, you’ll have the opportunity to negotiate on price, or ask the seller to deal with the problems before you move in.

As with any legally binding contract, it’s important you read through and understand everything that’s been laid out. The legal owner of the property, the price, and the date of completion will be included, as well as what will happen if either party fails to honour the agreement. The exchange is complete when:

  • You have signed it
  • The conveyancer approves it
  • Both conveyancers have exchanged contracts
  • Your deposit has gone to the seller’s conveyancer

The conveyancer is responsible for preparing the mortgage deed, and you’ll need to sign it before completion day. Once the seller’s conveyancer has received the funds from your mortgage provider, you legally become the homeowner. Your estate agent will call you and arrange a time for you to collect the keys.

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