Buying a home can be daunting and very stressful, but is even more so if you have never purchased a property before.

For first time buyers, it can feel like a mind field and sometimes you can be overloaded with information, not just from professionals like mortgage brokers, estate agents and solicitors, but also friends and family and it can sometimes feel like buying a house is an impossible task

But the good news is, it isn’t! In fact, if you break it down into simple steps, buying your first home can be the fun and exciting journey that it should be.

So in this article I want to give you some simple steps to follow to allow you to enjoy the journey of buying your first home, rather than feeling like buying a home is impossible.

Get your deposit together

Sounds obvious, but the more deposit you can put down, the lower the interest rate will be when you borrow money from a bank. Alternatively, you might be able to buy a more expensive home if you have a larger deposit to put down. You also need to think about other fees involved in a typical purchase, like solicitor’s fees (between £1,000 and £1,500 on average) mortgage fees (survey, booking fee, admin fees etc. which can range from £0 up to £thousands).

Obtain an AIP/Decision In Principle

This is so important to make sure you get this bit right, because this is where you find out how much you could borrow, which will give you a good idea on what price of property you can look for.

You could go to your bank and obtain one, but using a mortgage broker will save you time and money as we can search many lenders in one go and look for the best deal available and a lender that fits with your circumstances.

Before you obtain an AIP, it is important to get as much information ready as possible. So if you are employed, the last 3 months’ wage slips and a recent P60, self-employed, last 2 years’ accounts or SA302’s (some lenders will only need 1 years’ worth, but having at least 2 years opens you up to more lenders). Last 3 months’ bank statements, ID (Passport, Driving License, Utility Bill etc. – make sure these are all valid and in the correct name and address showing etc.) Also if you have any loans or credit commitments that will remain in place after the mortgage is completed, obtain an up to date statement etc. I always suggest obtaining a credit report too so that you can see what your score looks like.

Viewings

This is the fun part! This is where you start and view properties to find the right one for you. From experience, my advice would be to not offer on the 1st property you view, even if you love it! Until you have viewed a few properties, it is impossible to know what you are really looking for! But enjoy this process and view as many as you can! Once you’ve found ‘the one’ you will make your offer and negotiate on the price with the estate agents.

Mortgage application

Once you have your offer accepted, then this is the time to speak to your mortgage broker and start the application with your chosen lender. If you have followed step 2 properly, your broker will already have most of the information required to apply for the mortgage and so this should be a relatively quick process to complete. At this point the lender will instruct their surveyor to go out and value the property to make sure it is a) worth what you are paying for it and b) the property is mortgageable and isn’t about to fall down. If everything goes to plan and the survey comes back fine, you will then receive your mortgage offer from the lender.

It is also at this stage that you instruct your chosen solicitors and pay their initial deposit so that they can start the searches and the legal work required for you to complete on the purchase. Make sure you get recommendation for your solicitor and don’t just go with the cheapest! This part of the buying process is the longest part (on average takes 8 – 12 weeks) and so you want a solicitor that is going to be proactive and make the legal process as smooth and speedy as possible.

Exchange and completion

Once your solicitor has completed all of the legal work, they will request the mortgage funds from your lender and also the deposit from you and they will invite you to sign all of the contracts and legal paperwork, so that they can exchange contracts with the seller’s solicitor. Once you have exchanged, not long after (normally only a few days) you will complete and the house is yours!

If you follow these simple steps, you can make buying your first property enjoyable and these steps will ensure your first property purchase goes as smoothly as possible.

Mortgage brokers based in Nottingham.