All you need to know

Your Guide to Buying a House: All You Need to Know

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, both financially and emotionally. That’s why the process of buying a home is such a complex one, as there are so many factors that impact everyone’s buying journey.

Whether you’re buying your first home or just need a refresher on the process before you buy your next home, we’ve gathered all you need to know before you buy your house.

What is the first step in the house buying process?

The first step to buying a home is deciding which one you’d like to buy. You’ll want to research different locations and decide where you want to call home. You can then see how much the average house price is in your chosen area and consider how much deposit you’ll need to save and how long that might take you.

If you’re buying a new home on a Strata development, you’ll be able to reserve the plot you want now by placing a reservation fee and then go away and save your deposit while your new home is being built.

Saving a deposit is one of the key steps in the house buying process. A minimum of 5% deposit is required to buy a new home using a buying scheme such as Help to Buy or Home Reach. If you’re not using a scheme it’s recommended to save at least 10% of the property’s value. It can be helpful to plan of how much you can save each month to give you a timescale of when you’ll be ready to buy your home.  Take a look at our guide to saving for a deposit for more advice.

When your deposit has grown and you’re nearly ready to purchase your new home, you’ll need to then apply for a mortgage. There are a variety of mortgage lenders and deals on the market and it’s advisable to use a mortgage adviser to help you find the best option for you.

Mortgage advisers often have access to exclusive rates due to their relationship with lenders and have the expert understanding to navigate the market and find the best lender and deal for your needs. If you’re buying a new home with Strata you can use one of our trusted panel of independent financial advisers free of charge.

Are there any legal issues relating to buying a house?

There are several legal aspects to the buying process, from the transfer of title deeds from one owner to another, to the registering your new home with the Land Registry. You’ll need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer to act on your behalf for the legal process.

Your solicitor will also be responsible for drawing up your buying contract which states the requirements and terms of the house sale. When the time comes to legally complete, which means you’ll officially own your new home, the solicitor will transfer your deposit and the mortgage funds from your chosen mortgage lender to the vendor (aka the person or company selling your new home).

You can find out more about the role of your solicitor in buying a house in our article here.

Is the process of buying a new build home different to exchanging or buying a second-hand property?

When it comes to buying a new home, there are some differences in the buying process that make new build favourable to both first-time buyers and current homeowners looking to upgrade to a new home:

  • Timescales – When you buy a new build home, depending on the plot you choose it may not be ready to move in for another 3-12 months. This means you can choose your future home now, while you start to plan and budget ready for completion.
  • Personalisation – Buying new means you have a blank canvas to add your own style to. If you’re buying off plan (before the home is built), you’ll have the option to choose your new kitchen, flooring, tiles and add extras like additional light fittings, sockets, built-in sound systems and more.
  • No chain – When you buy a second-hand home, the owner may be in a chain which means that they rely on the sale of their new home and others all going through at the right time. When you’re buying a new build home, the owner is the builder and there is no chain attached to worry about. So as soon as your new home is built, you can buy and move in.

The buying process can be daunting, particularly if you haven’t bought a house before. If you have questions and want to know about the buying process in more detail, feel free to get in touch and our team are always happy to help. Find your nearest Strata development and drop in for a chat, or send us a message and we will reach out when it suits you.