My First Home 101

With the purpose of buying your first home it can be broken down into the following components


  1. AffordabilityHow much can you afford to pay for your property
  2. Planning Your JourneyMapping It Out – In the main this involves putting the cash together with an understanding of the amount involved. We shall discuss the acquisition of a mortgage if required.
  3. Choose Your Property of Preference – Taking point 1 and 2 into consideration this will certainly contribute to the idea of what type of property you need.
  4. Research the Market – A structured approach to the whole process will then reveal what is selling and is available.
  5. Where to Find Your Property Types – There are a number of factors which determine the property types available to you
  6. Brief Agents – By the time you go through the 5 points – you should have a clear perspective regarding you needs and wants
  7. Sort Out Legal Representative – This should be done as a matter of priority – so that you are able to move fast if so required
  8. View Properties – To tick the boxes and determine whether you can live at the appointed place.
  9. Negotiate a Price – To negotiate a price you have to be able to determine what it is worth.
  10. Confirm Your Mortgage – This usually is one of the first things you need to consider ensuring that the product chosen is available and that you can afford the mortgage based on the terms and conditions
  11. Survey – How to get one done
  12. What is Included – Sorting out the fixtures and fittings
  13. Conveyancing – To check that all is well and in order with the property
  14. Who is Going to Move You – Choose ad determine how you will move
  15. Exchange Contracts – This usually represents the first step indicating commitment to the purchase of the property
  16. Complete – Completion of purchase – this is when you are able to collect the keys and move into the property
  17. Register Your Property – To register the property in your name and pay the stamp duty due on the property.


Components of your house purchase

This depends on how much you want to move in terms of your realistic expectations and what is on the market.  Though this will apply to any one looking to buy a property we shall lay emphasis on the First Time Home Buyer.  The process of buying a home can be broken down into a series of sections to which a number of articles videos podcast news and events will cover to support and help you in the process of getting on the property ladder.


Buying a property

This involves a range of tasks:

  • Getting the survey done on the property
  • Arranging a mortgage on the property
  • Carrying out legal searches
  • Finalising the legal documents

However the time it does take to complete the purchase of the property will depend on you, the people selling the property and the professional bodies involved.

Chain grief

This certainly determines the length or complexity of the chain is a factor in the length of time it takes to complete a sale.  Therefore it is important that all involved in the process are up to speed with the state of affairs in the process.  In essence, treat it as you would like any project.

The challenge with a chain is that everyone in it must exchange contracts on the same day – having completed all the legal and financial paperwork.

In the chain of events this would involve pending on the nature of purchase a number of people

  • Conveyancers
  • Mortgage lenders
  • Estate agents
  • Property developers
  • Surveyors
  • Mortgage brokers


Thus it follows that in the scheme of things you in most cases do not have any influence nor control over in many instances.  However, in order to contain this – you can influence this by making sure that anyone acting on your behalf is professional and efficient.  Thus acting on a project management platform which you oversee and manage




Keeping things moving

The following which is not totally exhaustive will help drive a natural progress.

Specify a time frame

By doing so everyone knows what is required of them at a specific time

Draw up a draft sale of contracts

This pertains to those who are looking to sell their property – so that you are ready in the event of an incumbent buyer

Sort out your mortgage in principle

Very important – ensuring that you have the finances in place and you are ready once the opportunity arises

Fill in all information forms               

Keep on top of the paperwork as there will be plenty of them and set up an organised filing system – thus filling out the relevant forms as they come.

Book your surveyor

Do so within a week of having an offer accepted and ensure you legal company works as fast as possible

Deliver paperwork

Get into the habit of making use of a reliable and prompt delivery service – even though this may be slightly more expensive it will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.  Typically a next day delivery for speed and recorded delivery for safety

Specify a maximum of 2 weeks

This is between the exchange of contracts and completion

One or more of the parties could agree to move to temporary or rented accommodation on a set date to free up the property in the chain – reducing the number of contracts to be exchanged on the same day.

Maintain a dialogue

When and where you can maintain a dialogue with those involved in the chain – the estate agents

Unfortunately you cannot speak to the other peoples legal representative – a good estate agent will be able to speed things along and keep communication active.


Regular updates and what’s new in the market place

Changes have and will continue to take place in the marketplace and include the following

  • How you search for a property
  • What checks you should make
  • What type of mortgage  and products are available to you

To this we have set up a RESOURCES PAGE to support your research efforts

Here you will find out how you can make use of the internet for your initial and on-going research

No Sale No and Fee Fixed Fee Conveyancing


This means that you pay a fixed fee that is agreed upfront – and if your sale falls through you do not have to pay the legal fee – although you still have to pay charges such as searches

Delays in making offers

People tend to wait to tmake ioffers until they had sold or got an offer on their own property.  This makes it more likely that their offer will actually be genuine and will go to completion

Mortgage and Insurance

Getting a mortgage agreement in principle will demonstrate to the sellrs that you can afford to buy their property.

However, mortgage costs such as administration/ booking charges have increased dramatically and some lenders will even charg you an administration fee pending on the type of mortgage product you go for.


Gas and Electric checks

Regular changers in the regulation on the property improvement – a new boiler or electrical works – a certificate to demonstrate such helps with the sale of the property.

For the buyer getting a gas and electrical certificate will reassure you that that the the home is safe to live in.

Proof of identity

Typical you are now required to provide the following to the agents (estate agent | mortgage broker | solicitor) that will act on your behalf – Proof of identification | Proof of Address


Stamp duty and land tax

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) rate changes can be made on a yearly basis and therefore it is essential to keep up with the current rates after each budget

Please have a look at the following Stamp Duty SDLT regarding this matter

If the property is in a disadvantaged area there is no SDLT payable up to £150,000

The following link provides the latest SDLT rates –