The home buying process

We know buying a home can often be a daunting time and we are here to help as much as we can. We have broken down the process in a handy step-by-step guide below, but should you need further help please contact our team of mortgage advisors who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Step 1: Talk to a mortgage advisor

The first thing to do when planning to buy a house is to make an appointment to see a mortgage advisor.

Our team will give you an estimate of how much we will lend you which will give you an idea of the cost of house you can buy. You will need a clear idea of your outgoings, and your debts, so we can work out how much you can afford to borrow and what your monthly repayments will be.

Step 2: Find your dream home

Once you know how much you can borrow as a mortgage, add this to your deposit and you will know your total budget. 

Now you can start looking at houses.

Think about the age, size, and location you ideally want. The local amenities, transport links and even schools. You may also want to consider how easy it would be to sell in the future. It all depends on your plans for the future and what you want from your home.

It is always advisable to speak to several estate agents to ensure you are covering the area you’d like to live in. The estate agent will help you to draw up a short-list of possible properties, arrange for you to view each one, and do the bargaining between yourself and the seller when you decide to make an offer.

Once your offer is accepted you will need to fill in our mortgage application form and arrange payment of any fees relating to the mortgage product.

Step 3: Find a solicitor

Once your offer on a property is accepted you should get a solicitor or conveyancer to start the legal work. Choose a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer that specialises in residential conveyancing, fees can vary considerably between solicitors so we would advise you obtain a number of quotes.

Your solicitor will coordinate the buying chain (all of the people buying and selling property required to get you your home) and conduct searches to check for anything that might affect your property.

Step 4: Value the property

The next step is for us to instruct a valuer to carry out a valuation of the property, this will assess whether it is worth enough to secure your mortgage.   

You may want to instruct our valuer or an independent valuer to carry out a more in-depth inspection of the property and produce a Homebuyers Report and Valuation.  

If the property is very old, has not been built from traditional bricks or stone, or is built in a complex or unusual way you may want to have a full Building Survey done.

To understand the differences between each type of valuation talk to your mortgage adviser who will be able to help.

Step 5: Arrange property insurance

Before you purchase a property you need to arrange insurance for the building and its contents.

The valuation report or survey (Step 4) will show the reinstatement value of the property. This figure is not the value of the property, but the cost of rebuilding it. Any insurance you obtain for the property must cover the rebuilding cost, you can visit the Association of British Insurers website to find out what your home’s rebuild cost is.

We do offer property insurance, to get an online quote visit our insurance section.

Step 6: Exchange of contracts and completion

A completion date is usually set for 28 days after exchange of contracts, though it is possible for this to be done quicker.  

It is best if you can complete selling your old home and buying your new one on the same date to avoid expensive bridging finance. The longer the chain of buyers and sellers involved the harder it will be to settle on a date so be prepared to compromise. 

Step 7: Move in!

You should make sure that you inform all service providers, such as gas, electricity, water, internet, telephone, etc. with your new address.

You will also need to arrange for your mail to be redirected to your new home by the Post Office.

And finally, pop the champagne and toast to your new home.

Want to speak to a mortgage advisor?

Sometimes it's easier to discuss things face-to-face. Contact our team of mortgage advisors today, our advice is free and we will discuss your options with you.

Call us on:

01325 741035


Or email us at
mortgagedirect@darlington.co.uk

Our staff are available between:

9am and 5pm Monday to Friday