Essential Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers in the UK - MissLJBeauty

Essential Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers in the UK

Today, I’m going to share some invaluable tips for all you first-time homebuyers in the UK. Navigating the property market can be quite an adventure, believe me, I know but with a bit of guidance and a handy checklist, you’ll be well on your way to securing your dream home. From viewing properties to securing a mortgage, there is a lot to consider,  But not to worry I’ve got you covered. Let's talk all things about buying your first home. This is a big step for you and I know how stressful and how apprehensive this can make you so I want to take the stress out of this for you and share what I have learned along the way. 

New homeowner holding keys in front of their newly purchased house in the UK

1. Determine Your Budget

First things first, you need to know how much you can afford. Sit down and have a good look at your finances. Calculate your income, expenses, and savings to determine a realistic budget for your new home. Don’t forget to include additional costs like stamp duty, solicitor fees, and moving expenses. These will of course vary depending on where in the UK you are moving to. But the most important thing is to not commit yourself to really high repayments you need to still be able to live your life the way you want to. You only get one life there is no point living-off beans on toast in a big house. 

2. Get a Mortgage Agreement in Principle

Before you start house hunting, it’s wise to get a mortgage agreement in principle (AIP). This will give you an idea of how much you can borrow and show sellers that you’re a serious buyer. Shop around and compare mortgage deals to find the best rate. This will let you know the maximum you can borrow against your salary. This is the top end. You do not need to take the maximum amount of course but this will let you know where you stand. 

3. Make a Wishlist

Write down your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Consider the number of bedrooms, garden size, proximity to work and schools, and any other features that are important to you. This will help you stay focused during your property search. You will evidently need to make compromises along the way. You need to really focus on what you really want. Buying a house is a big commitment and you need to feel happy in your choice. 

4. Start House Hunting

Now the fun part begins! Use online property portals, visit estate agents, and attend viewings. Take notes and photos during viewings to keep track of the properties you’ve seen. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the property and the local area.

5. Get a Survey

Once you’ve found a property you love, it’s essential to get a survey done if you are not in Scotlands. This will highlight any potential issues with the property that could cost you money down the line. There are different types of surveys, so choose the one that suits your needs. 

In Scotland where I am it is the seller's responsibility and you can even access these on Yopa and Rightmove. I wish this was the case in the rest of the UK. 

6. Make an Offer

When you’re ready, put in an offer. Be prepared to negotiate, but make sure you stay within your budget. Once your offer is accepted, the property will be taken off the market, and you can proceed with the legal process. You do not need to give the asking price for the property. This can go either way you can offer lower than the asking price if you like. Remember the mortgage company will not lead you more than the home report value of the house. This needs to be borne in mind when you are going through the motions. 

7. Secure Your Mortgage:

With your offer accepted, it’s time to formally apply for your mortgage. Your lender will conduct a valuation to ensure the property is worth the agreed price. Be patient, as this process can take a few weeks.

8. Consider Instant Life Insurance

While not directly related to buying a home, securing instant life insurance is a smart move. It provides peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be financially protected if anything were to happen to you. It’s quick and easy to arrange online, so definitely worth considering. You now have a house to consider. 

9. Hire a Solicitor

You’ll need a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of your purchase. They will carry out searches, handle contracts, and liaise with the seller’s solicitor. Choose someone experienced and reliable to ensure a smooth transaction. Do your due diligence and really put effort into the right Solicitor they all have different rates and expertise. 

10. Exchange Contracts and Complete

Once all the legal work is done and your mortgage is in place, you’ll exchange contracts with the seller. At this point, you’ll pay your deposit, and the sale becomes legally binding. Completion usually follows a few weeks later, and you’ll get the keys to your new home! How exciting and all the stress and worry was worth it. This is also your time to delete all your home-buying apps. Say goodbye to Rightmove

Final thoughts

Buying your first home is a monumental milestone, and with this checklist, you’ll be well-prepared for the journey ahead. Remember, it’s all about being organised and staying informed. This is one of the biggest steps in your life and you can take a moment and enjoy this huge milestone. It is a big thing to buy your first house be proud of yourself and well done. 

1 comment

  1. Been thinking of moving myself but it seems like such a monumental decision with so many steps. I get overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing!