Guide to buying a home

A simple step-by-step
guide to buying a home

We understand that buying a property is a very significant and important investment. The process can be overwhelming or confusing, particularly if it’s the first time you’ve bought a home.

At Private Wealth Mortgages we do all we can to make your purchase as smooth and straightforward as possible, whether it’s presenting you with mortgage options, guiding you through the paperwork or recommending a solicitor. To give you a better idea of what’s involved, here’s a helpful explanation of each stage.

Step 1

Find out what you can afford

The most common way to purchase a property is with a combination of mortgage (home loan) and a deposit. Banks and other lenders usually require a deposit or…

Step 1

Step 2

Choosing and applying for a mortgage

There are many different types of mortgage and the product that’s right for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Fixed rate Vs. variable rate A fixed rate…

Step 3

Finding your property

Once you know what you can afford, it’s time for the exciting part – finding a home! This may involve conducting searches online using websites like Right Move…

Step 3

Step 4

Making an offer

Once you’ve found a property you’d like to buy, its time to negotiate the price. In the UK, it’s perfectly acceptable to make the seller a reasonable offer…

Step 5

Your legal responsibilities

Once you have had an offer accepted, the formal procedure can begin. You must choose either a solicitor or a conveyancer to help you manage the contracts, checks…

Step 5

The most common way to purchase a property is with a combination of mortgage (home loan) and a deposit. Banks and other lenders usually require a deposit or contribution from you, often calculated as a percentage of the total value of the home. For example, a 25 per cent deposit on a £200,000 property would be £50,000.

How you fund this deposit is up to you. Some people use savings or equity in an existing property and others may borrow from their parents or someone else in order to get on the property ladder. Either way, working out how much money you have available is a good place to begin.

If you are funding the rest of your property purchase with a mortgage, you need to find out how much a bank or building society is prepared to lend you. In most cases this is calculated using your income, whether that’s from an employer, interest dividends from investments or from a self-employment source. A mortgage lender will require evidence of your earnings, which can be in the form of pay slips, bank statements or, in some cases, company accounts.

At Private Wealth Mortgages, we help you find out what a mortgage lender is prepared to offer when it comes to the amount you can borrow and how much interest they will charge. You can also use our mortgage calculator as a guide to the amount you could borrow. However, this is just a guide and affordability of any loan needs to be assessed as well.

If this is your first property purchase, it’s important to bear in mind there are additional costs associated with purchasing a home. You should set aside money for stamp duty, hiring a solicitor or even furnishings and decorating. And when it comes to monthly costs, you may have to consider building or home contents insurance, household bills and any grounds rent or service charges, in addition to your mortgage payments.

There are many different types of mortgage and the product that’s right for you will depend on your individual circumstances.

Fixed rate Vs. variable rate
A fixed rate mortgage gives you a rate for a specific amount of time. This can be a low-risk option to help you plan your finances when you buy a home. A variable rate fluctuates according to the Bank of England’s base interest rate or a lender’s standard variable rate. This means the cost of your mortgage and monthly payments could go up or down.

Interest-only Vs. capital repayments

Any mortgage you take out will be interest-only or incorporate capital payments. This means you can choose whether you pay off just the interest you’re being charged each month or gradually pay down the total loan (capital) that you borrowed. The best option will depend on your own individual circumstances, income and your plans for the future. Many banks or lenders have strict criteria regarding interest-only mortgages that need to be met in order to qualify.

The application process

If you choose a mortgage broker such as Private Wealth Mortgages, we will guide you through the mortgage application process step by step. This involves gathering details and evidence of your income, completing as much paperwork as we can on your behalf and providing information on the insurance policies you might need.

We recommend that you secure a ‘Mortgage in Principle’ before you begin looking for a property. This is a preliminary commitment from a bank or mortgage company that shows they are willing to offer you a certain amount of money based on an initial affordability assessment. We will guide you through the final application and approval process when you are ready to proceed with a purchase.

Once you know what you can afford, it’s time for the exciting part – finding a home! This may involve conducting searches online using websites like Right Move and Zoopla or meeting with estate agents in the area you want to buy. Look for properties within your budget and use criteria such as the type of property (flat or house) and number of bedrooms you’d like. When you spot somewhere you are interested in, request a viewing via the sales agent.

Once you’ve found a property you’d like to buy, its time to negotiate the price. In the UK, it’s perfectly acceptable to make the seller a reasonable offer in line with your budget and this is usually done through the estate agent. The seller will then consider the amount and either accept or reject it. Offers aren’t always accepted on a property, but once you have come to an agreement with a seller you’re on your way to owning a home.

It is common to ask for the seller and estate agent to remove the property from the market once they have accepted your offer. This means they will no longer actively promote the home and will either remove the listing or notify people it has been sold subject to contracts being signed. This reduces the chance of another buyer viewing the property and out-bidding you.

Once you have had an offer accepted, the formal procedure can begin. You must choose either a solicitor or a conveyancer to help you manage the contracts, checks and queries related to your purchase. A conveyancer is a qualified professional who specialises in property transactions. We can recommend firms that are able to help.

One of the first official steps is for a memorandum of sale to be issued by you, which is usually done with the help of the estate agent managing the sale of the property. In the mean time, both you and the seller will gather information required for the sale. This includes information packs about the property such as leasehold terms, any recent maintenance carried out or fees owed to a managing agent.

The next stage is the exchange of contracts. This is organised by the conveyancer or solicitor working on your behalf once you have provided all the information they need. Finally, when the sale is ready to go ahead officially, you will be given a completion date. This is the date on which your transfer of funds – and keys – will take place, and the home will be yours.

Trusted contacts

At Private Wealth Mortgages we can help you apply for and secure the right mortgage. We also offer guidance when it comes to any other services you may need relating to your property purchase. Throughout the home buying process, you will undoubtedly need the assistance or advice of experts such as surveyors, conveyancers, accountants or insurance providers. So for contact details of some of our trusted partners and associates, give us a call on 01403 270 006 and we’d be happy to help.

Trusted contacts

At Private Wealth Mortgages we can help you apply for and secure the right mortgage. We also offer guidance when it comes to any other services you may need relating to your property purchase.

Throughout the home buying process, you will undoubtedly need the assistance or advice of experts such as surveyors, conveyances, accountants or insurance providers. So for contact details of some of our trusted partners and associates, give us a call on  01403 270006  and we’d be happy to help.

Registered in England & Wales, no 5603163
Private Wealth Mortgages Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA Number: 445980

Private Wealth Mortgages Ltd, Hillreed House, 54 Queen St, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 5AD

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