Information for Buyers
You have decided to buy a property, but what next? Purchasing a property is one of the biggest financial decisions you can make in your lifetime and can be a daunting task. We are here to help make life as easy as possible for you, so what should you do first?
Firstly it is no good arranging viewings if you don’t know what price level you can afford to purchase at. Your first task should be to contact a mortgage broker who has access to a large number of lenders. They will be able to tell you how much you can afford to borrow, what size deposit you will need and what the monthly repayments are.
Our partner Sturdy Edwards offer more information about mortgages.
Once you know your budget, you are ready to arrange some viewings. Or are you? We would advise doing some initial research before jumping into the deep end.
It's important to think about which location would suit you and any specific requirements you might have. You may find you need to compromise a little, but it is well worth writing a list of what you would ideally like from your property.
Once you start attending viewings, take a notepad, pen and make notes. This way, you can make sure any questions that come up are answered afterwards. It's also useful to consider what mobile phone apps might be useful - most smartphones have free downloadable compass apps to check what direction the garden faces for instance.
Often a second viewing is a good idea too. At that point, it is crucial to find out if the property is leasehold or freehold. As a general guide most flats and maisonettes are leasehold and most houses are freehold, but there are some exceptions to the rule. If you are buying leasehold it is important to find out what length of lease is remaining, how much any maintenance and ground rent charges are.
If you are seriously interested in a property, it is always worth finding out from your estate agent how old the boiler is, what way does the garden face, who the neighbours are and what the owner's position is.
When it comes to making an offer, look to see what similar properties have sold for (many websites show land registry figures, Zoopla for instance). If you notice plenty of sold boards and hear properties are selling fast then make a good offer. Similarly if the property has been on the market for months and months and prices are falling, there maybe some room for negotiation.
When an offer is accepted it is wise to choose a good solicitor. Local solicitors will have an excellent knowledge and you can pop paperwork in or sign things much more easily. Quality of service is vital - a good solicitor can ensure a smooth transaction, whereas a poor one causes a lot of stress and could possibly lose you the house.
We are happy to recommend excellent local solicitors that we have used for many years if you would like us to.
The average exchange of contracts in England takes 10 weeks, with completion (move-in date) coming 1-2 weeks after. At Inspire Estate Agents we pride ourselves on helping clients right through this 12 week process and are only to happy to assist with any questions you have, keeping you reguralar updated on your progress along the way.
On exchange of contracts (the first time the transaction is legally binding), we will contact you to discuss the procedure for completion. We will also send you a welcome box with items that are handy for the day you move in.