A First Time Buyers 10 steps to buy a house in 2022
Want to get yourself on the property ladder this year but feeling baffled? Dreaming of a place to finally call your own? Whether it be a flat, a house with a garage or quaint cottage – my 10 steps to getting on the property ladder in 2022 is a first-time buyer’s ultimate guide!
Firstly, (and of course I’m going to say this) you need to seek expert advice from a reputable mortgage adviser. It can be confusing and complicated buying your first home. Things do go wrong, that’s house sales for you, and why moving is always ranked as one of the most stressful things you can do. Getting professional advice will alleviate some of that stress or in most cases prevent it in the first place!
1. Save for your deposit
You may be surprised to learn that 5% deposit is usually all you’ll need when buying your first home. So, for example, if you are buying a house for £200,000 you will need a £10,000 deposit. The rate may be a little higher with only a 5% deposit but when you compare that to the monthly repayment of a similar rental property, renting is usually more. And don’t forget your fees and costs for solicitors, removals & stamp duty too!
2. Check your affordability
There are many lenders that will use your income slightly differently and some are more generous than others too, which can have a big effect how much you can borrow. Your lending capacity is often complicated further by factors such as overtime, bonuses, commission, additional jobs etc. You will need an advisor who can research these different lenders and see which one is going to be best suited to your personal situation. Your credit score will affect which lender will work for you, so having an up-to-date copy of your credit report will be really useful at this point. And don’t be fooled into believing that just because you bank with a certain lender, they will treat your affordability differently. Bank loyalty is certainly not rewarded these days!
3. Get an agreement in principle
This is a credit check with a particular lender which states ‘we will lend you X mortgage based on what you have told us.’ Now of course, you can do this yourself but that comes with a word of warning! It is very easy to make mistakes when you are not familiar with all the questions and criteria and your agreement in principle has to stack up! A good mortgage advisor will be able to do this for you. Most estate agents will ask you for your agreement in principle if you wish to offer on a property to ensure you can make a legitimate offer. It is proof that you can continue along the house buying process.
4. Start the property search
Many estate agents will agree that buyers don’t always buy what they think they’re going to buy! For most of us, buying a home is an emotional experience as well as financial one so your wish list may change considerably when viewing a property in person. Do get out there and see properties that match your criteria in your preferred locations before you disregard them online only having seen photos – you may just be surprised. It also gives you a great opportunity to chat to local agents and tell them exactly what you’re looking for. Lots of agents will be happy to register your interest and make contact if the right property comes along.
5. Making an offer
Once your offer is accepted (congratulations a big milestone!) the estate agent will need your agreement in principle, the name and details of the solicitor you have chosen and verification from your mortgage advisor that you’re good to move on to the next part of the process.
6. Apply for a mortgage
To do this there is lots of paperwork needed – payslips, I.D., bank statements, proof of income if you’re self-employed. Your advisor will put all this evidence together and submit an application to the mortgage lender. There will be questions about you, what you do, who you are and your mortgage adviser will be able to answer these for you with all the information you provide. Your lender will need a valuation of the property to make sure that it is worth the amount you are paying and that it’s generally safe to purchase.
7. Instruct a solicitor
Your solicitor in some ways will determine how smoothly and quickly your property purchase goes through – so choose wisely! Hopefully your agent will also be proactive in keeping in touch with you and your solicitor and a good mortgage advisor will also want to do the same. The solicitor needs do a few things; let the mortgage lender know that the property is suitable for them to lend on, conduct searchers about the land and that it can legally be sold again in the future, future developments, flooding drainage etc.
8. Protect yourself and your mortgage
When you have committed to buying a house and securing a mortgage you need to protect yourself and keep the property if anything goes wrong. If you have an accident, become seriously ill or die your mortgage lender will only give you a certain amount of time before they will want their money back. Protecting yourself, your family and your home at the very start of the process is as important as securing the mortgage itself.
9. Exchange and agree dates
Your solicitor and the other properties in the chain (if you are in one) will then get to the exciting part of discussing dates for when everyone can finally move. Once agreed, you can then exchange contracts. This simply means that you are legally bound to buy the property you have committed to.
10. Move in day!
Also known as ‘completion day’ the day when you get the keys and move in! You’ve done it – you’re on the property ladder!
If you are starting on your journey to getting on the property ladder and want to talk through any of these steps or perhaps, you’re currently in the middle of the process and have a question – get in touch anytime. We’re available on 0300 124 5630 email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.