The First Time Buyer house buying process
Posted on 1st August 2023 at 08:06
You have found your first home, the offer has been accepted and you are ready to start the mortgage process.
However, you have never done this before being a first time buyer and you have heard stories from friends, family and social media of how stressful buying a house can be.
At HD Consultants we guide you through the process from initial enquiry through to completion to ensure you understand exactly what is happening every step of the way.
Before placing the offer we would always recommend getting a decision in principle with a lender. This is where they confirm how much you can borrow based on your income and expenditure. It also shows the vendor selling the property that you have your finances in place so they can take your offer seriously.
Once your offer is accepted we can complete the mortgage application. We would at this stage upload documentation to the lender such as payslips or tax returns, bank statements and any other evidence to support the application. Sometimes lenders will want to know more information after the application is submitted. This is a perfectly normal procedure and the sooner we provide the information, the sooner we are likely to get the underwriters approval.
A valuation is booked either at application stage or once underwriting is completed, depending on the lender. All normally have a cost attached.
You can choose to have:
• A basic valuation where the lender will confirm they are happy with the property, it meets their lending criteria and they agree with the value.
• A home buyers survey where the surveyor will produce an extensive report to advise on things like damp and subsidence.
• A full structural survey where the surveyor will produce a detailed and thorough report to confirm everything about the property such as subsidence, wood worm and any potential defects.
Once the survey has been completed and assessed by the lender, plus they have completed their underwriting checks and you meet their lending criteria, a mortgage offer is issued. This will normally have a 3 – 6 months expiration date on it. It is important to note that if the mortgage offer expires you may have to go through the underwriting and valuation process again. This could mean additional costs. However, your solicitors will be aware of when the mortgage offer ends and will work with the sellers solicitor to try and exchange and complete contracts before this expiration date.
While your mortgage is being underwritten, your solicitor will be working behind the scenes to complete their side of the process.
The solicitors process whilst complex, has 5 main landmarks:
• Initial searches where they will contact the local borough council and environmental agencies to gain information about the property. They will also be liaising with the sellers solicitors to gain information about the property for example if it is a leasehold property they would require a copy of the lease. They will also raise the draft contracts for you to read through and sign.
• Once the searches come back they will go through these with a fine tooth comb and question anything they need answers to. This is known as the enquiry stage. Both the searches and enquiry stages tend to take the most time in the process.
• After the searches and enquiries are satisfied, they will then go through the mortgage offer to ensure the property meets the lenders criteria. You will then sign a copy of the mortgage offer.
• Following the contracts and enquiries checks and you have passed the identification process and provided them with all the information they need including signed documents, they will issue you with a completion statement. This will outline the balance for any deposit and stamp duty owed as well as their own costs.
• The solicitors will then normally advise on the exchange and completion dates. Exchange means you exchange contracts and the deposit is paid. At this stage if you pull out of the sale and contracts are exchanged, you would lose your deposit and any subsequent fees. Completion means you physically get the keys and can move into the property.
From our side, once the application has been submitted we will be liaising with both the mortgage lender and your solicitors to gain updates and also if any information is required, ensure it is provided promptly.
Buying a house should not be a stressful experience – it should be one of the most exciting events in your life.
Let us help you take that first step into becoming a property owner.
Call me anytime for help.
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