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First time buyers' quick guide

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Carry out your mortgage research and find out how much you can borrow.
Write a list of your property ‘needs’ as well as a ‘wish’ list (you are likely to have to compromise on something!
Research the market to find areas and property types you can afford/you like.
  Budget for the cost of your move AND for the costs of living in your new home.
  Make sure you have enough saved for your deposit and moving costs.
  Choose a legal company that will help you through the purchasing process (and not ignore your calls!)
  Research the local Estate Agents, newspapers and walk around different streets/areas to find properties you might like to view.
Identify and brief the agents about the property you want to buy.
Carry out viewings, making sure you check on the property’s condition as well as working out how much you would like to live there.
Visit the property several times, taking notes of things that need doing, from sorting any bare wires, to having any cracks checked out.
Work out what you think is a fair offer for the property.
Make an offer via the estate agent, you can call, email or pop into the agent.
Contact us to find out what to do if your offer is rejected.
Offer accepted, this needs to be followed up via a letter from the agent.
Organise an independent survey, ie not one offered by the mortgage lender.
Finalise your mortgage offer and insurance so your buildings insurance is in place by exchange of contracts.
Manage the purchase of your property via the agent and your legal company.
File all the paperwork carefully - you'll need the paperwork when you come to sell.
Organise your removals/packaging subject to exchange.
Exchange contracts via your legal company.
Organise your change of address.
Complete your purchase and move in!
Pay any Stamp Duty (if required) and check the SDLT forms have been filed with the Land Registry.


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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