Date Published 15 December 2013
Key steps buyers can take, from getting a mortgage agreement in principle to appointing a solicitor.
Prospective first time buyers are finding it difficult to beat the competition and purchase their first homes as the Help to Buy scheme has led to a rise in the number of buyers per property.
There are many processes, procedures and steps involved in purchasing a house. For first time buyers, staying ahead of each step in the chain can be daunting and confusing.
For buyers, the removal by the Bank of England of Funding for Lending for mortgages in January means that banks may start to reign in some of their more attractive lending. This means that to be able to purchase one's desired property quickly, first time buyers must think ahead and ensure that their finances are sorted out in advance to avoid any possible snags.'
Steps to take
Have a robust deposit. Having a robust deposit means that you can access your funds quickly in the event of finding the home of your dreams. Lenders typically expect that you put down 10-15% of the purchase price so it is important to choose a savings account that offers the highest short-term interest rates as well as providing you with the ability to access your funds quickly.
Get an agreement in principle. For a mortgage, once you have found the best mortgage for your circumstances, the lender will give you an agreement in principle and you can smoothly proceed to making an offer on the property. Having an agreement in principle usually increases the chances of your offer being accepted.
Secure a mortgage. In terms of securing the best mortgage deal, it is important to weigh up all the possible options from mortgage brokers to individual banks. One of the first and easiest steps to take is to approach your own bank as sometimes they'll be able to provide special deals for existing customers and they will already know about your credibility.
Appoint a solicitor. They will be able to handle the paper work and advise speedily on any issues that may arise. Sellers like to know that a solicitor is already in place as it is a sign that the buyer is serious.