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A step-by-step guide to buying your home

We've put together this step-by-step guide to take you through the process so you know what to expect over the coming weeks and months as you move closer to buying your new home.

1. Reserve your home

The first step is to choose the home you want to buy. If you're buying a new build home with Strata, you will select the plot and house type that you would like to reserve at your chosen development. development. A Customer Experience Manager will be able to talk you through which homes are available using the site plan. 

2. Make a formal mortgage application

Apply for your mortgage (if you need one) is the next step to making your dream home a reality. You might have already received a mortgage in principle, which indicates how much you can borrow from your chosen lender, however you will need a formal mortgage offer before you can go ahead with buying your new home. 

Your lender will arrange a valuation of your new home to make sure you are paying a fair price before agreeing to lend you the amount you need. If the valuation is accurate and your application has been accepted, you will receive a formal mortgage offer and go on to the next step.

3. Find a solicitor or conveyancer 

It is recommended that you choose a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of buying your new home, which we can help you with. This way, you can be sure all the right procedures are followed and that the home will legally be yours.

A solicitor or conveyancer will be responsible for drawing up the contracts for the purchase of your new home, as well as transferring money when the time comes. 

4. A survey is carried out

Next comes the land survey, which assess the area surrounding your home for risk of flooding or other issues that might affect your purchase. There are varying types of survey that can be carried out, with costs ranging from £250 for a basic home survey to £600 or more for a full structural assessment. Your solicitor can advise you on the level of survey you need depending on the home you're buying and the area, and can arrange the survey for you. You will be told once these checks have been completed. 

5. Pay your deposit

Time to transsfer the funds! Before the sale can continue, your solicitor will ask you to pay your deposit. In most cases, this will be at least 10% of the property’s value, unless you are using Help to Buy or Home Reach, where you will need 5%.

Depending on your bank, you might find it easiest to send the money using a CHAPS transfer. Some banks won’t let you transfer large amounts of money in the same day, whereas with a CHAPS – which stands for Clearing House Automated Payment System – this isn’t a problem.

6. Exchange contracts

It’s then time to exchange contracts. This is where the agreement between buyer and seller becomes official. As well as sending your deposit to the seller, your solicitor will also transfer the deeds for your home into your name. This is a key point in your home buying journey, and from this step onwards you are locked into the sale.

7. Pay your Stamp Duty

If your home is valued at more than £125,000 (or more than £300,000 if you are a first-time buyer), you need to pay Stamp Duty. This payment should be made within 30 days of the property legally becoming yours. 

It can take up to three working days for your payment to clear, so leave plenty of time. Your solicitor should take charge of this on your behalf and, in most cases, will ask you to transfer your Stamp Duty money in the week leading up to moving in day.

8. Settle your remaining bills

There might be some payments still to make, including your solicitor’s bill and mortgage arrangement fee (if you have one). 

9. Register the sale

Your solicitor will also register the sale with Land Registry. This proves you are the legal owner of the property, as well as making it easier for you to sell your home in the future. 

10. Moving in day

When your moving in day arrives, your solicitor will arrange for the funds to be transferred to the buyer. Once this has been completed, you will receive your keys – then it’s time to start moving in!

Top tips for buying a new home

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