A new homeowner's guide to buying a property.

To help clarify the decisions you need to make throughout the process, we have created a Buying a Property Guide that takes you through all the stages of purchasing a house.

  • Decide if purchasing a property is the best option for you. Purchasing a property is not the most suitable option for everyone. You might prefer the flexibility of renting, or it might not be affordable for you.
  • Set your budget.   If you need a mortgage, work out how much you will need for a deposit and the monthly repayments. Include stamp duty, removal costs and the expenses of any renovations or redecoration you may need to make in your new home.
  • Organise your mortgage.  You can apply for a mortgage before buying, putting you in a better position to purchase. But, first, decide what type of mortgage is most suitable. If you need advice, a mortgage broker can advise you on the range of mortgages available to you.
  • Decide whether to sell first. Decide whether to sell an existing property first or buy and sell simultaneously. If you sell first, you may need to rent another property temporarily, but you can act quickly when buying. If you sell and buy simultaneously, you may risk being caught up in a "housing chain", but your solicitor can help ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
  • View properties.  View as many properties as possible in your chosen area to get to know the local property market. Consider whether the properties are freehold or leasehold.
  • Make an offer.  When you have selected a property, make an offer to the agent. If your offer is accepted, you may wish to take out Home Buyer's Protection Insurance.
  • Your mortgage offer.  Ask your lender to make a formal mortgage offer.
  • Choose a solicitor or conveyancer.  Hire a conveyancer or solicitor to take care of the legal work involved in transferring ownership of the property to you. They will carry out searches to check that there are no issues with the property.
  • Arrange a survey.  A mortgage lender will require a valuation survey. We normally recommend that you have a full structural survey of the property to highlight any potentially costly problems.
  • Arrange the deposit.  You need to give a deposit of 10% of the property's sale price to your solicitor before the exchange of contracts.
  • Exchange contracts.  Agree on a completion date with the vendor. Once contracts are exchanged, you are legally committed to purchasing the property, and the vendor is also committed to selling it to you.Y  ou must have buildings insurance as soon as contracts are exchanged as you are now responsible for the property.
  • Final arrangements and negotiations.   You can now negotiate for any remaining details, such as purchasing the vendor's appliances or furniture.
  • Arrange for the supply of gas, water, electricity and wifi and check that the seller has had the meters read.
  • Organise a removal firm.
  • Your solicitor will inform the Land Registry that the ownership of your property is being transferred. They will also liaise with your mortgage lender so that the finances will be available on completion. Before completion, you will transfer your deposit to the solicitor or conveyancer.
  • Completion day.  On completion day, the deeds of the property are transferred, and money is paid. Then, you can take possession of the property and collect the keys from the estate agent.
  • Stamp duty and your solicitor's account.  After completion day, your solicitor will usually pay stamp duty on your behalf and ensure that the land Registry has registered the change of ownership. They will then send you their account, itemising all their disbursements and costs.

Conveyancing experts you can trust

For many people, buying a property is the most significant financial decision they will ever make and can also be one of the most stressful. We hope you have found this buying a property guide helpful. At Churchers Solicitors, our dedicated property conveyancing team are available to provide you with a friendly, customised service; we can advise you on selling and purchasing property, mortgages and remortgaging, equity release and new build purchase.

To find out more or to book an appointment at one of our offices in Hampshire,

please get in touch with one of our team or call 01329 822 333.

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