From Newbie to Homeowner in 8 Simple Steps

When you think about buying your first home, it can seem like quite an overwhelming process of forms, money, and red tape. But when you do in fact break the process down, it can seem a little easier to digest. So here is a step by step guide to help you through the home-buying process to make it more achievable and much less daunting. When are you going to start house hunting?


  1. Rent or Buy?

This is one of the biggest decisions to think about when buying a home, as there a pros and cons to both. So do the math and see what will be the most financially viable for you and your situation.

2. How Much Can You Afford?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that homes can be expensive. No matter where you live, it is rare to find a ‘bargain’ when it comes to buying. So you need to figure out what you can afford. What will your budget be and what kind of mortgage could you repay each month?

3. Saving Money

There are some mortgage lenders that will offer a 100% mortgage. But for many of us, the best option will be to save money for a deposit. We are likely to get a better mortgage rate and can have some of the money paid up front. It can take a while, though! Aim of around 20% of the house price that you want to buy.

4. House Hunting

The house hunting should be the most enjoyable part of the process. So try to enjoy it! Look online, drive into the neighbourhoods that you want to live in and then make appointments to view houses. Book second viewings and ask all the questions that you need to.

5. Getting a Mortgage

If you have chosen a house, and know what you are going to offer, then it is time to get a mortgage, or at least get one approved. So check lenders to find the best rate; look for a fixed rate if you can as it will mean that you’re paying the same amount for a set amount of time.

6. Make an Offer

Now comes the exciting time of making an offer. Of course, the offer will be subject to contract and checks. But in principle, if it is accepted, then you will soon be a homeowner. It can all happen quite quickly from there.

7. Get Legal Advice

Buying a home is a legal transaction, so you need to make sure that it is all done legally. From changing the deeds of the home over, to getting a survey done and conveyancing, legal advice from a firm like Thomas Boyd Whyte is a good way to go. You don’t want to find out that a contract has been done incorrectly, for example.

8. Exchanging Contracts

You’re nearly done and nearly a homeowner at this point! Here, everyone essentially shakes hands, money is transferred, keys are handed over, you will get the house insured and then start moving in.

And that is pretty much all there is to it. Break it down and it is much less daunting after all.

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