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Step By Step Guide To Buying A New Home

Mortgage Guide


Nine easy steps to completion


  1. Decide how much you can afford. The first thing you need to do is to decide on how much you can afford to pay each month for your mortgage and protection package. Our expenditure calculator can help you with this. Don't worry if you're not sure about the exact figures to use, a good starting point would be what you are already paying each month. Use our Budget Calculator (on the left hand side) to help you with this stage.
  2. Check out your mortgage options There are various types of mortgage and repayment methods available, and we will advise you on the most suitable, based on your needs, requirements and budget.
  3. Make an offer. Offers are normally made through the estate agent selling the property or to the vendor if it is a private sale.
  4. Your offer is accepted. If your offer is accepted, the home you want to buy is said to be 'sold subject to contract'. You might be asked to pay a small deposit as a gesture of good faith but at this stage the agreement is not legally binding.
  5. Sort out your mortgage. Once your offer has been accepted, you need to let us know, so we can complete your mortgage application and then send it to the relevant lender who will arrange for a survey to be carried out. A basic valuation is the minimum requirement of most lenders; however you might want to have a more detailed "Home Buyers or Full Structural" survey for your own peace of mind, especially if the property is old or run down.
  6. Appoint a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. If you haven't already got a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, we can help you find one. We can either put you in touch with a local firm  if you prefer face to face contact or if you are happy to deal remotely we can put you in touch with a network of solicitors for an attractive fixed fee with a no completion, no fee guarantee. Both routes will make sure everything is done efficiently for you. We will be happy to provide you with further information on both services. If you appoint a different solicitor don't forget to ask for a breakdown of all proposed costs.
  7. Exchange of contracts. When your solicitor or licensed conveyancer has completed all the necessary checks you'll be asked to sign a contract legally committing you to the purchase. At this stage you'll also pay a deposit and agree a completion date. The deposit is usually a minimum of 5% of your property's purchase price. You will have between 2 and 4 weeks before you can move in so now is the time to tell friends and colleagues and inform the various authorities (water, gas, telephone, royal mail etc).
  8. Payment of the loan funds. Your solicitor or licensed conveyancer will request your "mortgage funds" which is usually sent by telegraphic transfer from the relevant lender in time to pay the seller. It's at this point that you pay your solicitor or licensed conveyancer for the work done, including other fees such as Stamp Duty1 and Land Registry Fee2. You should also ensure that your buildings insurance is in place for exchange of contracts.
  9. Completion. At last the day arrives when you become the owner of your new home. Your solicitor or licensed conveyancer will complete the purchase, you collect the keys - and move in!

1 If you're purchasing a propery for more than £125,000 you will have to pay Stamp duty. Please ask your solicitor or licensed conveyancer for details.

2 The Land Registry Fee covers the cost of recording the change of property ownership at the Land Registry. These costs vary according to the price of the property.

Whether you are looking for the best deal on a residential mortgage, or if you are considering Life Cover, Critical Illness, Income Protection or a Healthcare Plan, we offer expert and impartial mortgage advice on the widest choice of products in the UK.