Guide to Buying

Work Out Your Budget

Buying a property is a big step – and usually involves a substantial long-term financial commitment, so you need to think hard about what you can afford.

You will need to consider your income and expenditure as well as any assets you may have, and be sure that you can afford the repayments. It may sound obvious, but take time to think of all the things you spend money on throughout the year, even before mortgage repayments. Don’t over commit yourself. You may even want to consider a smaller mortgage so that you still have enough funds to do the things you enjoy in life!

 Guide to Buying Arranging a Mortgage

Arranging a Mortgage

Arranging a mortgage can be a complicated process. You may want to approach individual lenders, such as your Bank or Building Society yourself, or you can get a Mortgage Advisor to do the work for you. We have an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) who can offer advice on the widest range of mortgage products available.

It is advisable that you secure a mortgage agreement with a lender before starting the search process, this is called an ‘Agreement in Principle’ (AIP). Most lenders will provide you with an AIP in the form of a letter confirming they are willing to offer you a mortgage, subject to certain conditions.

With an AIP in place you will also be in a much stronger negotiating position, so when you do find the right property, you will be less likely to be beaten to it by another buyer. Generally, the higher your deposit, the better mortgage rates you will receive. This is because there is less risk to a lender if they are funding a smaller proportion of the property’s value.

Remember, if you don’t keep up the mortgage repayments, the lender can repossess the property.

Finding your New Home

In order to find the ideal property you will need to consider what type of property you want and where you want to live.

Register with us to let us know exactly what your property requirements are, you will be amongst the first to receive details of our newly listed properties. Use our website to find out as much as you can about the properties you like using the photographs, floor plans, online brochures, and local information that is available with most descriptions. Please feel free to call or email Thomas Brown Estates to check any additional information you may require.

Offering on a property

Deciding how much to offer for a property can often be a tricky decision. Success in offering below asking price is very much driven by current market conditions, and how popular the property is. If your initial offer is too low, vendors could become offended, making further negotiation more difficult. If there are a lot of interested parties in may push the price up, sometimes even over asking price. If yours is not the highest offer, the selling agent should invite you to re-offer, maybe even invite ‘Best and Final’ offers. The key is not to get caught up in the moment and only offer what you think the property is worth.

Conveyancing Process

Here is our quick guide to understanding what a Solicitor or Conveyancer does. They will:

  • Deal with all elements of the sales contract including obtaining sellers’ responses to questions, such as who owns the boundaries, whether they have had any disputes with neighbours and what fixtures and fittings are included.
  • Check copies of any guarantees on the property and its fixtures. Ascertain details of planning permissions and building regulation certificates if required.
  • Check the seller really is the owner of the property and prepare a “Report on Title” for you.
  • Check local authority searches and plans for the local area.
  • Pay stamp duty tax on the property.
  • Arrange registration of title in your name.

Thomas Brown Estates have two in-house Sales Progressors who will help you with your purchase – and will liaise with your chosen Conveyencer on your behalf.

Exchange of Contracts

In England and Wales, exchange of contracts is the last stage of the legal process. After exchange of contracts you cannot withdraw from the sale without losing your deposit, and any legal costs you may have incurred.

Once the legal process is complete you’ll be asked to pay an exchange deposit - usually 10% (but this can vary) of the agreed purchase price, before contracts can be exchanged. If the buyer pulls out after this stage, they will lose their deposit and may face legal action from the seller. It is essential to have Buildings Insurance cover in place at this stage, and buyers should also consider other protection such as Life Insurance.

A date for completion is agreed with all parties prior to exchange. The duration between exchange and completion can be any length of time but is often around two weeks. Once contracts are exchanged, you know when you are getting the keys to your new home. If you are moving in straight away, two weeks is generally considered enough time to prepare for moving day.

Getting ready to move into your new home!

It is unusual to hear from someone who didn’t have a stressful time moving, but being organised is the trick to minimise your stress levels during the whole process.

Here are some tips to make moving day as smooth as possible:

  • Use a good removal firm. Look for members of the British Association of Removers who operate a strict code of conduct.
  • Save time and cost by doing some of the packing yourself.
  • Check out the best value utility contracts for your new property well in advance and read the meters on moving day.
  • Redirect post well beforehand - this is especially essential to protect yourself from identity theft.
  • If your new home has any appliances left behind, download the instruction manuals from the manufacturer’s website.
 Guide to Buying

Completion Day

Completion is when the outstanding funds are transferred from your Solicitor to the vendor’s Solicitor account. We will release the keys once we have confirmation from the vendors Solicitor that balance of the money has cleared into their account.

Congratulations, you are now the legal owner of your new home!

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