England and Wales: How to Buy a House in the UK

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process of buying a house

It has been recently estimated that there are approximately 23 million households in England. Out of these homes, 63% of them were in a state of homeownership by their UK occupants. That’s a lot of people who’ve undertaken the great responsibility — and joys — of having their own place!

If you want to join the ranks of these people, you’re making a great choice. Buying a home is a great step to financial independence and stability. First, though, it’s time to learn a little about the process of buying a house.

Here, we’re going to look into that process so you can have as smooth a time as possible when purchasing the property of your dreams!

Sell Your Old Place

If you’re moving into your new home from a flat or the property of another entity such as your parents, congratulations! You’re home free and can skip this step altogether. If you’re selling your current home to make way for the purchase of a new one, though, there are some things you need to do.

First, call in a realtor to appraise the property and help you sell the home. You’re going to need to stage it for potential buyers by making it look presentable. In the end, it’s all about negotiating the best price for your home.

We Buy Any House offers cash payouts for houses in South Wales. If you live in that area, the selling process is made easy! You aren’t out of luck if you live elsewhere in the UK, though.

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There are other awesome places that will buy your house for a fair price. All you’ll need to do is a little research!

Look Into Your Budget

Once everything is all in order and you’re physically and mentally ready to begin moving, the first thing you need to do is look into your finances. After all, you need to know how much money you have so you can understand what sort of home you can afford.

See how much all your up-front costs will be, including the mortgage fees and security deposit on your prospective home. You also don’t want to forget to make sure you have enough for Stamp Duty if your house is over £125,000.

Before applying for a mortgage, you’ll also need to check your credit history with your bank. Mortgage lenders are going to be checking your credit report before they lend out to you, meaning that you’re going to want to get any mistakes in the numbers squared away before you apply.

Apply for a Mortgage

Now that your finances are in order, it’s time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Talk to a mortgage broker about doing so and show him the credit history that you’ve already looked over. You’ll also want to show this professional three months worth of payslips and bank statements to get an ‘in principle’ agreement.

Hopefully, the broker will approve you, and after that, he or she will tell you the maximum amount of money you can take out.

Being pre-approved for a mortgage ‘in principle’ gives you an advantage over other potential buyers for any house you may want. Since you’ll have concrete proof that your credit was good enough to get a mortgage, buyers will deem you trustworthy. You’ll also have already proven that you have enough to put money down for your home starting immediately, so you’re golden.

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Do Your Research

Now that all the boring technicalities are squared away, it’s time to get to the fun bit — actually choosing your home!

First, you’ll need to decide on the location where you want to buy a home.

In 2019, Salisbury in Wiltshire was deemed the best place to live in the UK, so that may be an area to consider. If you prefer something a little larger but still urban, then houses in London and Cardiff are great if you can afford them.

If they’re a little out of your price range, never fear! There are affordable homes right outside these cities, and public trains are reliable in the UK.

You’re also going to need to choose the size and style of the house you want. Consider how many people are going to be living in your house. Even if it’s just you now, do you plan to eventually marry? Start a family? You may need a larger house, then. Is a yard important to you or will the public gardens be sufficient for your outdoor time?

Look at as many homes as possible with an open mind. Talk to real estate expert about the homes that you like and see what is most affordable for you.

Negotiate the Sale

So you’ve found the perfect property — congratulations!

It’s time to negotiate the sale of your new home. You’re going to need to hire a solicitor for guidance as well as contract handling, financial transfers, and legal issues. Then, you and the solicitor will do the most exciting thing about the whole process, the step where it all becomes real- making the offer for your new home!

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It’s common for the first offer to be rejected, so chin up if this happens. You and your solicitor will need to contractually negotiate with the seller to ensure that an agreement is met that has reasonable terms for all parties.

Confirm the final terms of the sale and your mortgage with the seller, and voila! That house is YOUR house now!

More on the Process of Buying a House

While finding the perfect home for yourself (and, perhaps, your family) is a long and arduous process, it’s worth it when you’re finally curled up in your dream living room with a book and a hot cup of tea.

Now that you know the basic process of buying a house, it’s time to get some tips on making your property into a place that feels like home. Explore our home page and blog posts to get some ideas for interior design and decor. This way, you’ll be able to envision your house as you want it to look even during the early stages of the buying process!

Good luck!

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