Find your own mortgage with a little (free) help from Teito!
The buying cycle of a property is typically between 3-6 months, although this can vary significantly.
Whether the house is part of a chain, the situation of the buyer and seller, any special circumstances or agreements surrounding the property, even the locality of the property can make a difference.
Before you start searching for your new home, you should establish how much you can afford to pay every month.
Once you have an initial idea, we would recommend you complete our online form to begin the process with our advisors. They will be able to provide real-time information on the best deal for you and provide a decision in principle; which will put you in a better position to start viewing properties.
Potential lenders will assess your monthly outgoings and stress test your situation to determine the affordability of the mortgage deal based on your personal circumstances. Once you have an idea of how much you are looking to borrow and monthly repayments, you are ready to begin your search.
For many, this is the fun part! Imagining yourself living in your new home can be exciting. For others, finding the right home can be time-consuming and stressful.
There are few tips to make the process a success:
This starts with your initial search. Try to be practical when looking for your home online, stay within your budget and think practically about the features that you need.
Consider how long you will be looking to stay in your home and try to plan accordingly. Perhaps this means an additional bedroom to accommodate a growing family, or off-street parking for when you own a car.
Maybe the apartment suits your lifestyle now, but will it still in 5 years?
Before you fall in love with a house, it is worthwhile trying to understand how serious the seller is.
Situations can range greatly, and you don't want to set your heart on a place where the seller is merely testing the market, or not genuinely motivated to leave - known as 'gazanging.'
You will also want a guarantee that the house will be taken off the market once your offer has been accepted, to avoid the dreaded 'gazumping'. Your estate agent should be able to help with this.
Once you have found a house you are keen on, it is time to make your offer!
Your understanding of the seller's situation will help with this. Maybe they need a quick sale, in which case they may be open to a lower offer, or perhaps they are in no rush, meaning you may have to be closer to the asking price.
If the house has been on the market for a while, the seller may be open to lower offers.
Your agent will be able to help you pitch your offer at the right level. Bear in mind that the seller may not accept your first offer. There may be points of negotiation, such as items within the house or maintenance tasks that you can leverage to get a better deal.
Your offer has been accepted! This is a major milestone in the process.
However, there is a lot to do before you get the keys. Now you have an offer accepted, you should ensure the house is removed from the market and shown as Sold Subject to Contract.
This will prevent the seller from being tempted to continue with viewings and potentially accepting another offer.
Typically your agreement in principle (AIP) will only be valid for between 30-90 days and may have expired by the time you are ready to move to the next phase.
If you've been accepted before, the chances are high that you'll be accepted again. Teito will be able to find you the best deal, which may not necessarily be with you AIP lender as the market changes so quickly.
Even a small percentage difference in interest rate will have a significant impact throughout the mortgage, so it is definitely worthwhile checking!
A conveyancer is a legal professional who facilitates the transfer of legal title of real property, or grants encumbrance such as a mortgage or lien.
They look after the legal paperwork, perform Land Registry and local council searches, draft the final contract and manage exchange and completion activity.
It may help to speed up the process if you can organise a conveyancer ahead of looking for a property; however, it is not essential. Your estate agent may recommend a conveyancer or offer their own in-house service.
Look for a reliable conveyancer who communicates well, with a strong track record and consider recommendations from family or friends.
The next stage focuses on the information needed to convert your AIP to a full application; assuring the lender that you are a viable customer and that the property is fit for purpose.
You will be asked for evidence such as wage slips and bank records to support your application, and checks will be performed on the house.
Each lender has its own controls around the property they are prepared to lend against and will organise an independent valuation of the property. However, your mortgage will be based on the offer that you've had accepted.
While your lender will perform a valuation survey, this is very basic, and you will need additional surveys to confirm all is well with your new home.
There are three main types of surveys of varying levels of detail.
Homebuyers report - £300-£400
This is a standard report that can sometimes be performed alongside your mortgage valuation report and is suitable for most modern properties.
Structural survey report - £1,000
If your new home is older or atypical, it may be worth commissioning a full structural survey. This will help you to understand any aspects you will need to know as a homeowner, and may lead to you haggling down the price. It is important to note that the surveyor will be as thorough as they can without damaging the property, and they may not be able to access all areas of the house.
Snagging survey - free to £300
Pertinent to new builds, you will want to perform a snagging study to iron out any defects for the developer to rectify ahead of completion. You can either outsource this to a professional or do it yourself; there are resources available online to help.
It is worthwhile to have a chat with your surveyor, they are more likely to tell you more over the phone. If the survey picks up some work that needs doing, then it is worthwhile to get a quote before going back to the table to negotiate.
For many, this part of the process can drag on. Your conveyancer will arrange various searches as part of the sale and will typically ask that you cover the cost upfront. Some are required by your lender, and some will be optional.
Local Land Charges Register Search (LLC1) covers:
Enquiries of the Local Authority (CON29) includes:
Optional Enquiries of Local Authorities Form (CON290) details:
Solicitors may also perform additional searches. A typical search package will include the mandatory local authority searches as well as an environmental search, drainage and water search. If anything arises from the local authority search, your solicitor may commission additional checks.
Solicitor searches may include:
It is worthwhile to perform regular checks on where the searches are up to, to keep momentum.
This is your formal offer from your new mortgage provider. We recommend a few checks before agreeing:
Get some quotes based on your new home, once you have exchanged contracts, you are legally required to buy the property, and having building insurance is a mortgage obligation.
The completion date is the date you are handed the keys to your new home.
Once the searches are complete, you can agree on a completion date with the seller, and if you are also selling your property, your buyer.
It is important to remain flexible and try to think of the overall process. People tend to try and align completion dates to monthly mortgage repayments.
Once you are ready to exchange contracts, you need to transfer your deposit money to your solicitor.
It is worthwhile to contact your bank to check their protocol for transferring substantial funds.
Another item to be aware of is 'Friday Afternoon Fraud', named as most completions take place on a Friday at the end of the working week when banks and solicitors are closing for the weekend. This can be devastating, and the public is largely unaware of the threat.
According to the Law Society, Friday afternoon fraud is the biggest cybercrime affecting the legal sector. The premise is that fraudsters infiltrate the process and transfer your deposit and any sale proceeds to their own account. This can leave you homeless, and people have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
There are steps you can take to stay safe and ensure the transfer goes well.
The general rule is, be aware and trust phone or postal communications over emails. Read more on ReallyMoving.com.
This is where the solicitors exchange copies of the contract, creating a legally binding agreement between you and the seller.
If you pull out now, you will sacrifice your deposit money. On the positive side, the seller is also obliged to complete the sale. From this point, the final few stages speed up and are completed within quick succession in comparison to the earlier phases.
Your completion statement will represent a full breakdown of the funds required, covering the deposit, stamp duty, fees etc.
Your solicitor will perform final checks, for example confirming the property is still owned by the seller and that you have not gone bankrupt since the mortgage offer was made.
You will need to sign the transfer deed in front of a witness, confirming your own intention of the property.
This is then issued to the seller's solicitor. It is useful to note that not every buyer will need to sign a transfer deed, check with your solicitor.
Your solicitor then requests the funds from your mortgage provider in time for completion. The funds are transferred to an account held by your solicitor in preparation for payment.
Your solicitor then transfers the mortgage funds to the seller's solicitor and receives the title deeds and proof that any existing mortgage on the property has been cleared.
Another milestone; your new home is officially yours!
Following completion, you have 14 days to pay any Stamp Duty owned, check your completion statement for the value. Your solicitor may have requested these funds ahead of completion.
For residential purchases, stamp duty only applies to properties over a particular value. It is important to note that you must still send a stamp duty tax return for all properties over £40,000 even if there is no stamp duty due.
Up until the end of June 2021 and assuming it is your only property, you will pay no stamp duty on the first £500,000 of the property price. If this is your second home or a buy to let property, you pay 3%.
In England and Northern Ireland, since 8 July 2020 no stamp duty has been due on the first £500,000 of a property (provided it's your main residence, it excludes additional properties). In the 2021 budget, the scheme was extended until the end of June.
|Stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland (from October 2021)|
|PURCHASE PRICE||FIRST TIME BUYERS||RATE ON MAIN RESIDENCE||RATE FOR ADDITIONAL PROPERTIES|
|Up to £300,000||0%|
from £300,001 to £500,000
|Up to £125,000||Zero||3%|
|The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)||2%||5%|
|The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)||5%||8%|
|The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)||10%||11%|
|The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)||12%||15%|
Your solicitor then registers your ownership with Land Registry.
The cost of this service is detailed on your completion and is typically between £200-£300 depending on the property value.
Once you are the registered owner, the property Title Deeds will be sent from Land Registry to your solicitor for issuance to your mortgage provider, who generally tend to look after them.
This is the final stage, you have now completed the home-buying process, congratulations!
THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.
IF YOU ARE THINKING OF CONSOLIDATING EXISTING BORROWING YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT YOU MAY BE EXTENDING THE TERMS OF THE DEBT AND INCREASING THE TOTAL AMOUNT YOU REPAY.