Stage 1 – Begin with your budget
If you are planning to use a mortgage to finance your purchase, your first step should be talking to a mortgage advisor to establish your budget. Before you start house-hunting, it’s a good idea to work out what you can afford to spend on buying a house or a flat and what your monthly mortgage payment will be.
Contact us to get a second opinion on the current value of that property you have seen. We will be able to tell you the current market condition and typical timescales for the sales process. When setting aside your budget be aware of associate costs, which will include:
Stamp Duty Land Tax
Mortgage arrangement fees (variable but may be between £1,000 and £2,000)
Solicitor’s fees (variable depending on the complexity of the process typically £1,000 and £3,000)
Management pack if leasehold (variable but typically be between £100 and £400)
Depending on what type of property you decide to buy, there may be other costs to consider, such as:
Ground rent and service charges
Estate agent fees for selling your current property
Lease extension costs (if applicable)
Utility/council tax bills increases
Stage 2 – Your search
The time needed to find an ideal property can be minimised if you have a good idea of what you are looking for from the start. In majority of cases, the two most important considerations when looking for a property are location and budget. There are other specific requirements to suit an individual buyer which are important for them. It’s worth mentioning you should ideally create a list of “must-haves” and “like-to-have’s’’ i.e. things that you can compromise on. Once you’ve determined your search criteria and the areas in which you would like to purchase your property, contact ResiHut and let us know about your requirements and we will look for a suitable property for you and arrange a viewing (or virtual viewing) according to your preferences. We will keep in touch with you regarding any suitable properties that are available. It is also worth setting up alerts on property websites such as OnThemarket.com and Rightmove.com, although do be aware that we will know about properties before they are online, so to be the first to hear about a new property, you need to be in direct contact with our agents.
Stage 3 – Viewing properties
Although property purchases are often based on “feels right” decisions, we at ResiHut aim to provide you with a virtual tour around the property at the start and organise an in person viewing if requested to help you make the right decision. Think about the practicalities and compare each property with your list of requirements eg is the property practical for your belongings, is there parking, do you need to be in close proximity to a school.
Stage 4 – Making an offer
Once you have found a property that you like and are happy with, you will have to submit an offer to the ResiHut estate agent who will then convey the offer to the seller. You cannot make an offer direct to the seller as this would breach their contract with the current agent but ResiHut would be able to do that on your behalf. An acceptable offer will include more than just an offer; it should be treated as a pitch to the seller, showing you as the best buyer for the property by setting out the following listed below:
You as a buyer (i.e. whether you are first time buyer or in a chain)
Your financial position (e.g. whether you have finances in place; the size of your deposit etc.)
The time-frames you are planning to complete the transaction process (also mention your flexibility with your timings).
Which or if any fixtures and fittings you would like to be included in the sale
Stage 5 – Once an offer is accepted
Once your offer has been accepted, it will be ‘subject to contract’. Put simply, this means it is not legally binding until contracts have been exchanged between the two parties. At this time, you will have to formally appoint a solicitor to undertake the conveyancing on your behalf. You also need to let your solicitor know if you are also selling an existing property and so that all parties are aware of what is known as a chain of transactions.
Stage 6 – Valuations and mortgages
The other important step, once the offer has been accepted, is to notify your mortgage broker or lender so that they can start the formal application process on your behalf. Ask around to check if there are any better rates being offered by other lenders before you commit to the purchase. As part of the application process, you will be asked to confirm your income and expenditure. This can be confirmed with last few months’ worth of payslips and bank statements to prove them. The mortgage lender will then carry out all the background affordability and suitability checks before arranging for a valuation of the property by an appointed surveyor. The survey basically confirmsto the bank that the value of the property is safe to lend against the money taken out as mortgage and that the property is a stable and good condition. Keep in mind that this is not an in-depth examination and only considers the general condition of a property as there are buyers that would like to refurbish a property before moving in. The next stage is if the lender is happy to lend against the property, they will produce a formal mortgage offer, this will detail how much the lender is willing to lend and any terms and conditions associated with the mortgage.
Stage 7 – Exchanging contracts
The exchanging of contracts is carried out on your behalf by your selected solicitor. At this point the sale becomes legally binding. In order to exchange, you will need to sign the contract and transfer a non-refundable deposit to your solicitor. This deposit is around 10% of the value of property. If for any reason you pull out of the sale after contracts have been exchanged, you will forfeit your deposit. If you paid less than 10% deposit, the seller can still seek to claim the full 10% from you if you break the contract. The contract will state the completion date, which you will have been agreed to by both parties and their associated solicitor. From here onwards you are at a point where you can start organising the practical side of your move to your new property. You should also contact an insurance company to arrange for the property to be insured from the completion date.
Stage 8 – Completion
On the day of completion, both parties have to fulfil the terms of the contract. Your solicitor will transfer the rest of the monies either by yourself or from the appointed lender to the seller’s solicitor. When the money has been received by the seller’s solicitor, they will send a deed transfer document to your solicitor, confirming that the seller has officially sold the property, and the property is yours. At this stage, your solicitor will arrange for the Stamp Duty Land Tax to be paid. Once completion is done, you will contact your estate agent to collect the keys to the property.
Video Walkthroughs and Virtual Tours
Video walkthroughs a re a major benefit as they help many people to find a property to rent or buy when they are unable to view it in person. In most cases it gives the buyer or renter an initial appreciation of the property and is considered as the most practical option for potential buyers based overseas.
We at ResiHut understand that some of our clients would find it difficult to usevideo viewings,especially for the first time, to make apurchase on a life changing investment. It might seem risky so therefore we will do our upmost to fill in any gaps of information for your peace of mind.