Moving Home Guide

Understanding the Buying Process for your New Home or Remortgage

Once you have decided on how much you can afford to spend, using our online calculators may help with this, your next step will be to decide on the type of mortgage and then the mortgage lender you will approach. Your fees free independant mortgage advisor will be able to guide you through the whole home buying process.

Even if you are remortgaging you will still need to consider how mauch a lender will allow you to borrow, regardless of the equity in your home, because the lending criteria regarding income multiples still comes into play. With property prices having risen considerably over the last few years some lenders are happy to offer a higher multiple of your earnings whether as a single or joint application. To find out exactly what you can borrow just fill in our enquiry form by clicking the big button on the left and one of our financial experts will be able to advice you on the likely amount you can borrow. We will be able to provide a selection of options, as mortgage deals can vary considerably.

Choosing your home

Make up a check list of all the most important key points to you. Whether you have children and need to take into consideration schools or whether you would like to work from home, rely on travel links or would like to buy a property suitable for extending.

You may hate living by a main road or want to live in a busy area with lots of nightlife, either way you should make a list of what you are able to compromise on.

Estate Agents

Estate agents have a tricky job in keeping all sides happy. Making estate agents your friends is important, they will remember you when a new property comes on the market and make sure to send you details. They are only human and making sure you are on their sides and do not fall into the dreaded 'time waster' group will go a long way to forging a good relationship and hopefuly a smoother move. Although the estate agent is working for the vendor, they will aim to keep both sides happy.

Internet versus Agent

There are many property hunters who swear by the internet as the best way to house hunt and those that prefer the more 'personal' touch and use an agent. The fact is that it is importatant to use all the tools available. The internet makes it much easier to source properties and saves time visiting agents. However, speaking to agents who know their area and are able to offer information and advice on schools and other services are invaluable once you have closed your choice down.


Viewing properties can become a chore, it starts by being fun but often becomes a labour intensive hobby that can become a stressful past time. The more properties you view the more you narrow down your choice and realise that although at the beginning of your search you hope to find a home easily, it very rarely works that way. Buying a home for most people is an emotional experience. You have to like the property almost the moment you enter the building. It is said that people make their mind up within 10 seconds. Kerb appeal is very important and it is harder to overlook problems once you are aware of them then to gradualy take to a prospective new home.

The Offer

Making an offer on a property can be both a nerve racking point and an exciting one. A property is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. In boom times a house can be worth as much as a third above its worth during a flat market, supply and demand will dictate the price and there is nothing worse than paying for a property and then finding yourself in a negative equity situation as did many in the 1980's.

Quite often, by the time you are at the offer stage, you will have formed a fair idea of the market and have a good idea of what you should be offering. You will not receive much help from the vendors estate agents as they will be hoping that the highest possible price will be offered as their commission relys on it. You should always try to offer a price that is slightly below the asking if you feel the property will need work doing to it and the price has not reflected this. If the property is very overpriced in your view, it doesn't hurt to put a price in that reflects what you think you should pay, many vendors will review their price if enough lower offers are submitted.

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Legal Work / Conveyancing

When you buy or remortgage a property there are certain legalities that are undertaken by either your solicitors or a licensed conveyancer. They will protect your legal interests and conduct searches of the area where you intend to buy. Sometimes lenders have special deals if you use a solicitor/conveyancer of their choosing. Searches look for anything which may affect your decision to buy, such as local authority plans for the area and building permission which may have been given to adjoining properties. Your conveyancer will be responsible for ensuring that at the end of the property buying process, you are the legal owner of the property and will legaly be able to sell your property on.

Completion - How Long?

The average time between an offer being agreed on a property and the exchange of contracts is roughly 12 weeks. Property purchases can fall through at any point and unfortunately around 30% do!

The basic procedure follows these points;

• Decide how much you can afford

• Decide where you want to live. Think in terms of location, facilities, old or new, size and resaleability

• Visit the area to see what is for sale also check the press and internet for house prices in the area. Visit several estate agents to ensure you are on their books for any future new releases

• Choose a mortgage and arrange for it to approved in principle and find a good solicitor or conveyancer

• If selling your current property, put it on the market

• Look at properties

• Make an offer then inform your solicitor you have done so (who will then begin searches)

• Instruct you mortgage lender to proceed so a valuation can be carried out

• Employ your own surveyor if necessary

• Arrange insurance for the new home

• Exchange contracts

• Pay a deposit (try to avoid an expensive bridging loan by selling your property first)

• Arrange house move

• Complete