Buying Process

The Buying Process

Buying a home in England typically involves several steps. Here is a general outline of the process:

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1. Determine your budget

Assess your financial situation, including your savings and any mortgage you may need. Consider additional costs like solicitor fees, stamp duty, and moving expenses.

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2. Get a mortgage agreement in principle

Before you begin the search for your ideal property, it is recommended that you speak to a Mortgage Advisor to obtain an agreement in principle (AIP). This confirms how much they are willing to lend you based on an initial assessment. We can recommend a local broker to help you with this.

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3. Begin your property search

Once you have decided what type of property and the price range you are searching for, you can register with the estate agents in the correct area and start your property search.

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4. Book viewings

Start arranging to view some properties you are interested in. We have a handy ‘viewing checklist’ which you can download HERE. You may wish to second view the property before making an offer to ensure it is the right property for you.

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Make an offer

Once you find a property, make an offer to the seller through the estate agent. Negotiate the price and any conditions of the sale, such as fixtures and fittings, inclusion of appliances, or a desired completion date. If you have sold your property, you may be asked for details regarding your sale.

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Hire a solicitor or conveyancer

Once you have had an offer accepted on a property, this is the stage you instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to act for you throughout the transaction. We can recommend local Hull solicitors so please ask. We will then send a memorandum of sale to all parties involved to initiate the start of the sale. They will conduct property searches, review contracts, and facilitate the transfer of ownership.

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Apply for your mortgage (if required)

Now you need to arrange another consultation with your Mortgage Advisor in order to apply for your mortgage. They will instruct a valuation survey on the property you are purchasing and you can arrange a separate, more detailed survey if desired.

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Property survey and valuation

The lender will typically conduct a valuation survey to assess the property’s value and ensure it meets their lending criteria. You may also choose to have a more detailed survey done for your own peace of mind, such as a HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey.

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The Conveyancing Stage

While you are applying for your mortgage, your solicitor will begin the conveyance process. Once the relevant paperwork is complete and you are happy with the purchase, you will be asked to sign the contracts. The conveyance process can vary dramatically in regards to time frames due to every purchase being different.

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Exchange of contracts

Once your solicitor has received your mortgage offer and both solicitors hold signed contracts, they can exchange contracts. A moving (completion) date must be agreed before exchange of contracts. At this point, you will be legally committed to the purchase, and a deposit (usually 5-10% of the property price) is typically paid.

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Completion

On the agreed-upon completion date, your solicitor will transfer the remaining funds to the seller’s solicitor. Once the payment is received, you’ll be able to collect the keys from your estate agent (usually after lunch) and the property becomes yours.

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Post-completion

Your solicitor will handle the final paperwork, including registering the property in your name with the Land Registry. Ensure you have home insurance in place and notify relevant parties of your change of address.

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Main Types of House Survey

When purchasing a property in the UK, you have the option to conduct different types of surveys to assess its condition. The type of survey you choose depends on various factors, including the age and condition of the property, your budget, and the level of detail you require.

Valuation Survey:

  • This is the most basic type of survey and is often required by mortgage lenders.
  • It provides an estimated value of the property but does not offer a detailed assessment of its condition.
  • This survey is primarily intended to ensure that the property is worth the amount you are paying for it.

Condition Report:

  • This is a basic survey that provides an overview of the property’s condition.
  • It highlights any significant issues such as dampness or structural problems but does not provide in-depth details or advice.
  • It is a relatively low-cost option suitable for newer properties in good condition.

HomeBuyer Report:

  • This survey provides a more comprehensive assessment of the property’s condition.
  • It includes an inspection of both the interior and exterior, highlighting any visible defects, potential problems, and necessary repairs.
  • It also provides a valuation and insurance reinstatement cost.
  • This survey is suitable for properties that are relatively modern and in reasonable condition.

Building Survey (previously known as a Structural Survey):

  • This is the most detailed and comprehensive survey option.
  • It provides an extensive examination of the property’s structure, including the condition of walls, roofs, floors, and foundations.
  • It also covers potential hidden issues and provides advice on necessary repairs and maintenance.
  • This survey is recommended for older properties, those in poor condition, or if you are planning significant renovations.

It’s essential to choose the survey that best suits your needs and the specific property you are interested in. Consulting with a professional surveyor can help you determine the most appropriate option based on your circumstances and budget. The surveyor will provide a detailed report outlining their findings and recommendations, helping you make an informed decision about the property.

All about the conveyancing process

During the conveyancing process, your conveyancer will raise various enquiries to gather essential information about the property and ensure that there are no legal or practical issues that may affect your purchase. These enquiries may include:

Property-related enquiries:

  • Are there any disputes or boundary issues with neighbouring properties?
  • Have there been any alterations or extensions to the property? If so, were the necessary permissions and approvals obtained?
  • Are there any ongoing or planned developments or construction projects in the vicinity that may impact the property?

Legal and title enquiries:

  • Is the seller the legal owner of the property and entitled to sell it?
  • Is the property subject to any restrictions, covenants, or rights of way?
  • Are there any outstanding debts or charges against the property, such as mortgages or liens?

Planning and building regulation enquiries:

  • Have all necessary planning permissions and building regulations approvals been obtained for any recent alterations or extensions?
  • Are there any outstanding planning or building regulation issues that need to be addressed?
  • Which services and utilities are connected to the property, such as water, electricity, gas, drainage, and telecommunications?
  • Are there any outstanding utility bills or service charges?

Leasehold-specific enquiries (for leasehold properties):

    • What are the terms and length of the lease?
    • What are the ground rent and service charges, and are they up to date?
    • Are there any restrictions or obligations imposed by the lease?

These are just some examples of the enquiries your conveyancer may raise. The specific enquiries will depend on the circumstances of the property and any concerns or issues identified during the conveyancing process. The seller’s solicitor will provide responses to these enquiries, and your conveyancer will review the responses to ensure that all necessary information is obtained and any potential issues are addressed before proceeding with the purchase.

It’s important to note that the conveyancer will tailor the enquiries based on the specific property and any particular concerns or requirements you may have as the buyer. If you have any more questions, please contact us:

 

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