Essential Steps for Buying a Home

Buying a home can be very stressful, and along with bereavement and divorce, it is in the top three of stressful life changes. Buying a house is also a major financial commitment, so it is very important that you do everything right.

7 essential steps for buying a home

1. Work out how much you can afford to pay on a mortgage and bills each month before you start looking at properties—there is no point in looking at properties priced much higher than you can afford as you are wasting the vendor’s time as well as your own.

2. Take your time when searching for the right property. Ideally draw up a list of must-have and would-like-to-have features. Use this when viewing properties and be prepared to compromise on anything that is not a deal breaker.

3. Once you have found the right property, make an offer and do not be afraid to walk away if the vendor won’t budge on price—there will always be other more affordable houses out there.

4. The next step in the house buying process is to engage the services of a good solicitor. Their job is to take care of the legal processes and protect you from the pitfalls of buying a home not worth the price you have agreed to pay for it. Building surveying services and various land searches will be necessary at this stage since these are part of the buying process, but your solicitor should organise this on your behalf. However, remember to budget for them, as they are usually an upfront cost.

5. If you require a mortgage to complete the purchase of your home, now is a good time to organise this. Visit lots of lenders and financial advisors to find the best deal you can and do not be tempted to borrow more than you can afford!

6. When your solicitor is happy with the legal side of the house process, contracts can be exchanged and a moving date set. If you are part of a chain of buyers and sellers, this is often the most complicated and stressful time of house buying as it can be very difficult to get everyone to agree on a mutually agreeable completion date (always remember that once you have exchanged contracts you have entered into a legally binding process and you cannot back out unless you are willing to forgo your deposit).

7. The final step in buying a house is picking up the keys to your new house and moving in!