How To Buy Property in the UK


Buying a property is, without question, a big undertaking and it’s one you absolutely want to get right. The good news is, by following a few simple, tried-and-tested steps, you’ll soon be on your way to home ownership and that’s a hugely exciting prospect. 


Here, we’ll break down the process to give you a comprehensive overview of what’s involved, so when you’ve decided the time is right, you’ll be ready to forge ahead with positivity, purpose and all the knowledge you need to ensure proceedings are as stress-free as possible…

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Borrowing and Savings 

For most prospective buyers, the first step is to find out how much you can borrow for a mortgage. This will give you a good indication of what kind of home you can afford and where it might be located. It’ll also give you a good sense of how much you’ll need for a deposit. Many lenders offer a 90% mortgage, which will lower the amount required for your deposit. 


However, if you don’t have enough for a deposit, it’s important to make a savings plan. Overall, it’s best to save as much as you can as this will help you secure a lower interest rate and reduce monthly repayments. The amount of savings you have will also help cover other costs, such as stamp duty, survey costs and conveyancer’s fees. 


Credit Score and Types of Property 

Maintaining a good credit score is extremely beneficial as it shows lenders that, when it comes to borrowing and repaying money, you’re reliable and responsible. Checking and improving your current credit score is easy, and the better it is the more chance you have of securing a mortgage. Once you’ve done that, you can really concentrate on exactly what type of home you’re looking for. 


No doubt you’ll have already given this plenty of thought but there’s often a discrepancy between what you want and what you need at this current moment in time. For instance, you might want three bedrooms, but, for now, at least, two bedrooms might be a more realistic aim. Location is also a crucial factor, so it’s important to do your research and consider the areas you can afford, what it would be like to live there, and, for instance, what schools and commute times are like.


A Decision in Principle and Making an Offer

A Decision in Principle (otherwise known as an Agreement in Principle) will give you a clear idea on exactly how much you can borrow according to your circumstances. It usually involves a ‘soft credit check’, which won’t affect your credit file, and although it doesn’t guarantee your mortgage application, it’s a good indication of how much you can realistically afford. 


When you have this information, it’s time to contact estate agents so you can begin your property search. Then, when you’re able to find a home you want, it’s time to make an offer. You'll probably need some advice on negotiating tactics, and if your final offer is accepted you’re good to go. If not, you’ll simply have to keep on looking. Remember, though, the right property at the right price is out there somewhere, so keep the faith!


Mortgage Application and Legal Work 

Once your offer has been accepted, the time has come to apply for a mortgage. There are numerous different mortgages to choose from, depending on your financial circumstances, your plans for the future and the specific type of property you’re planning to purchase. 


A mortgage broker can help you select the mortgage that’s right for you, whilst offering useful advice about how to apply. Legal work can be undertaken by a solicitor or conveyancer, who will look into a variety of different issues, including the legal title to the property, managing contracts, collecting and transferring money (including paying stamp duty if necessary), and looking into any planning or environmental issues which may affect the property’s value. 


Property Survey and the Exchange of Contracts 

In order to determine any potential problems, it’s important you arrange an independent survey. The surveyor will conduct the survey and send you a detailed report which will identify any work that needs doing to the property. If work is required, you may be able to renegotiate with the seller so you don’t incur the extra cost.  


Once the property survey is completed, your solicitor or conveyancer will then exchange contracts on behalf of you and the seller. They’ll also ask you to transfer your deposit, and when the contracts are exchanged it’s at this point that you’re legally bound to purchase the property. This is also when you’ll need buildings insurance so you’re covered should your new home get damaged in any way. It’s important to select the type of cover that suits you best. 


Ordinarily, the completion date is two weeks after the exchange, although there’s every chance it’ll take much less time than this. It’s then you can pick up the keys and celebrate, because this home is now officially yours.


Where to buy?

Crown Home Buying & Letting, of course! We have an extensive portfolio of luxury properties situated in some of the city's most highly desirable locations. Over the years, we’ve become the gold standard in design, sophistication and quality, committed to guiding our clients through every aspect of the buying process.


Living in London is such an extraordinary lifestyle experience, and we’ll ensure you’ll receive the very best advice and expertise to ensure that dream comes true. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, our team of experts is ready and able to provide a truly exceptional level of support, covering every aspect of the capital’s property market.


Please get in touch with our Sales team if you are interested in buying, we will be happy to assist you:


Office Tel +44 (0) 207 903 6881

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