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The Ultimate Guide To Buying Your First Home

September 18, 2019 General

mortgage, house, contract

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases that most people will make in their lifetime.

This guide will provide first time buyers with a complete home buying process for purchasing your first home. Should you wish to get in contact with our conveyancing team you can do so by clicking here

Saving money is essential before buying your first home and getting yourself on the property ladder. It ensures financial stability throughout the process and helps cover expenses beyond the purchase price, such as closing costs and emergencies.

In this blog we will cover the following: 

  1. Working out your first home budget 
  2. Mortgage Lenders 
  3. Property Searches 
  4. Applying for a mortgage 
  5.  Types of mortgage 
  6. What will my solicitor do?
  7. Making an offer
  8. Assesing the home report 
  9. Concluded Missives

Work Out Your First Home Budget

Buying your first home involves a number of stages. Knowing what you can afford and establishing a budget is a great starting point. Before viewing properties, a mortgage adviser can help you work out a realistic budget. 

Finding your ideal first home in a competitive property market can be challenging, but with the right support, discovering what you like and imagining your future in a property can be an exciting part of the process.

Having savings can also improve mortgage deals and terms and provide a realistic budget for homeownership. Ultimately, it is a good idea to save money before buying a home sets you up for success and offers peace of mind during the transition.

You will need to pay monthly mortgage payments but there are also other costs that can occur when buying your first home.

These extra costs will include the cost of hiring a solicitor, your deposit payment, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) (when the purchase price is more than £175,000 for First Time Buyers) removal costs as well as any furnishing, decorating or remedial work which may need done.

Mortgage Lenders

This can be at your chosen bank or you can hire a mortgage broker who will look at a range of mortgage lenders and products that are right for you. Some mortgage brokers will provide a service free of charge, however others will charge a fee. Mortgage Advisers know a lot about the mortgage market and can help you find the mortgage that best suits your needs.

For prospective first-time buyers , it’s crucial to have a rough estimate of their budget before delving into the house search process. This task is simplified by examining their income and expenses.

By taking a closer look at these financial aspects, individuals can gain a clear understanding of their financial situation, helping them assess whether homeownership is within reach.

Moreover, if the property is to be purchased jointly with another individual, it’s essential to factor in their income and expenses as well.

Property searches

Once you’ve determined your budgetary constraints, you’re ready to kickstart your property search journey. It’s crucial to carefully consider the type of property that aligns with your preferences and needs, taking into account various factors, house prices, such how many bedrooms you need, the property’s location, the propertys conditions, the presence of a garden or garage, and other amenities that contribute to its overall value.

By thoroughly assessing these aspects, you can streamline your search process and focus on properties that best suit your lifestyle and financial parameters.

Applying for a mortgage

Following the budget assessment, the subsequent phase entails applying for a mortgage. Engaging with a mortgage advisor is paramount at this stage. They meticulously evaluate your financial capacity, taking into consideration potential changes in circumstances, such as starting a family or encountering employment instability.

This evaluation includes a stress test to ascertain whether you would sustain mortgage payments under altered conditions. Specifically, it examines your capability to manage payments in the event of an interest rate hike, ensuring that your mortgage remains affordable and sustainable over time.

The mortgage application process can be a timely process as applicants need to provide evidence of their income, debts and household bills and so a credit history check to ensure they can cover the mortgage costs.

Your mortgage lender will also likely want to undergo a mortgage valuation. A mortgage valuation is for the lender’s benefit and is done to ensure that the property is a good enough to lend against.

Types of Mortgage

There are different mortgage options in Scotland, which include ‘repayment’ mortgages, and ‘interest only’ mortgages. A ‘repayment’ mortgage will mean you pay the interest and capital off each month.

An ‘interest only’ mortgage means you will only pay the interest on the loan. The full capital (the amount you borrowed) will still be due at the end of the mortgage term. ‘Interest only’ mortgages are less common and usually only apply in ‘Buy to Let’ circumstances.

What will my solicitor do?

This is where Jones Whyte come in. You must have a solicitor before you can make an offer on the property.

Making an offer

Solicitors are responsible for putting in the offer for the property, exchange contracts, negotiating with the other party, drafting and preparing the missives (the contract of sale/purchase), completing the conveyancing to ensure you have adequate title to the property, preparing your mortgage documents and LBTT tax returns as well as organising the transfer of the money.

You’ll need buildings insurance in place at this point. Buildings insurance protects you against the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home from scratch, should it get damaged from an insured risk. So, it’s important to consider getting the cover you need.

Your solicitor will be on hand to complete the transaction from start to finish and is there to help with any queries you will have as a .

View a number of houses that suit your needs and budget. Ideally you should view different styles of houses to ensure you know what it is that you are looking for.

Once you have found your home, try to view this a second time. This allows you to be more critical – is there any work that needs done? Does everything work at the property? Maybe bring a more experienced parent or family members or friend with you to help with your decision.

Assess the Home Report

Once you have found your perfect home, request a copy of the Home Report from the estate agent. This is made up of three parts: a single property survey, a property questionnaire and an energy performance certificate report. Our property solicitors can advise you on its terms and, if your offer is accepted, will raise enquiries with the seller’s solicitor based on this, together with the title deeds and other items provided by the seller’s solicitor. 

If you are interested in a property but not prepared to commit to making a formal offer, we can note interest on your behalf. This will serve to notify the seller and estate agent of your interest, and you should be kept informed of matters concerning the property, such as closing dates.

These elements will give an assessment of the property which will tell you what kind of condition it is in. The Home Report is your guide to the property with information you need to be aware of before purchasing.

If you decide you are ready to make an offer then your offer must be sent in writing from your solicitor. The seller will then consider the offer. Your can guide you on a good price to offer, dependent on the other interest in the property, length of time on the market and the local statistics. Choose a firm that has good knowledge of the local property market to ensure you receive the best advice.

Once a price and date of entry has been agreed, the property will be marked as ‘Under Offer’. This means that the property won’t be shown to any further potential buyers.

Your solicitor will now carry out the necessary work to complete your purchase. This will include the conveyancing work that puts the title in your name(s).Further negotiations between you and the other party are extremely likely after an offer has been accepted.

These negotiations include deciding the date of entry, permits for alterations to the property (if needed) and many other factors may need to be negotiated. Your solicitor will keep you advised each step of the way.

Concluded Missives

Once all the points within the contact have been agreed by both parties in writing, a legally binding contract is formed. This is known as ‘concluded missives’.

Once an agreement is reached, this will form the binding contract between the seller and purchaser, known as concluded missives. Our property law experts will then proceed with the necessary conveyancing formalities and perform the relevant checks and searches.

If these are all in order, payment of funds will be made and ownership of the property will be transferred to you. We will also prepare the title deed in your favour and ensure that your title is registered in the Land Register.

Finally, we are on to the last step of the ultimate guide. The only thing that is left is for you to move all of your belongings in to your new home, relax and enjoy.

Contact us

Buying your first home is an experience you will always remember, so let our first-time buyer solicitors help you make it a happy memory.

For specialist residential and commercial property law advice and guidance on navigating the conveyancing process and purchase of your first property, contact Jones Whyte’s property conveyancing lawyers.

Our personable and highly qualified team will take the time to understand what is important to you and provide bespoke advice on the house-buying process, specific to you as a first-time buyer.

Our solicitors carry out conveyancing in Glasgow and throughout Scotland, and will ensure this process is as quick as possible.

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