At Roskell Davies, we recognise that buying a house can be an exciting but often stressful experience. There are a number of elements to consider and a wide variety of issues which can arise if you do not invest in quality, reliable, expert advice. This blog posts is a guide to buying a house, and looks at 7 stages of moving home.

If you’d like more information about any of the issues in this post, contact us today and arrange a meeting with specialist conveyancing solicitors in Birmingham. Alternatively, join in the conversation on our Twitter page

1.     Budgeting

Buying a house is expensive, but that does not necessarily mean you can’t afford it. Take a look at your finances and talk to a mortgage adviser to work out what is out there that could suit you and how much you could afford to pay in mortgage repayments per month. There are also government schemes which are helping people to get on the property ladder with a smaller deposit than was previously needed. Look into the ‘Help to Buy’ schemes or the ‘NewBuy’ scheme if you are worried you cannot afford a deposit, you may be surprised. Do all your budgeting and start applying for mortgages before you start your house hunt. If you have hold ups in your mortgage approval when you have put a deposit in on a house you will risk losing your perfect house.

Guide to buying a house

2.     Searching for a House

You should search for a house with a clear set of aims in mind. Once you have a clear budget this will put you in a price bracket. Within this bracket you will mostly find that there are compromises that need to be made. For example, you may not be able to get 4 bedrooms near to your children’s school, but you may be able to get 3 bedrooms. Consider these pros and cons carefully and you will be able to separate the ‘must-have’ criteria from the rest. Having this list of criteria will make your house search much easier.

3.     Energy Performance Certificate

Once you have found a house that you love, the seller must provide you with an energy performance certificate for the property.

4.     Offers

You can now make an offer on the property. You will either make an offer via an estate agent or directly to the seller depending how they are selling the house. If your offer is accepted you will now be entering the legal process of conveyancing. Conveyancing is the legal process of exchanging the ownership of a property from one person to another. It is highly advised that you instruct a conveyancing solicitor to help you with all of the paperwork at this stage.

guide to buying a home house keys

5.     Exchange contracts

You do not own the house until you have exchanged contracts. This is so all the appropriate checks can be carried out on the property such as a building survey, and a contract can be drawn up.  Once the buyer and the seller are happy with the contract that has been drawn up by the conveyancing solicitors, you will be able to exchange contracts. This is now legally binding and if you pull out on the sale you will have to pay the buyer compensation.

6.     Completion

Your money will be transferred to the seller, you will pick up the keys to your property and move in the. You will be registered as the new owner of the property.

7.     Stamp Duty Land Tax

If the house you are buying is worth more than £125,000, you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). The amount you pay will be dependent on the value of the property. You will not have to pay SDLT if you buy a house for less than £125,000.

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