Your step by step guide to buying your first home

Published on
3 June 2021
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You’re almost there – you’ve got a good chunk of savings for your deposit, you’ve got the income you need to pay the bills, you’ve got a good idea of where you want to live and you’ve used an online mortgage calculator to see how much you could borrow.

So what do you do now?

It’s regularly said that buying a house can be challenging. There’s no doubt you’re going to have a nervous moment or two, but there are plenty of things you can do to make the process more manageable...

1. The money

Put plainly, the more money you can put down as a deposit, the less you need to borrow, and the less interest you will pay.

So that means, unless you get a lucky windfall, you’re going to have to find some savings from somewhere – and you’re also going to need to plan for the future repayments, as well as other eventualities.

Check out our article on how to save for your first home. ADD LINK

And don’t forget we have lots of different mortgages on offer – including some which only need a 5% deposit – so feel free to get in touch and chat through your options.

front door of a terraced house

2. Finding your home

You’ve spotted something online that looks amazing, you’ve had a drive past on your way home from work, and you are already imagining where you’ll put your furniture. Hold on!

You definitely shouldn’t buy the first property that catches your eye. Don’t let your heart rule your head, and think of the practicalities. Here’s our handy checklist for finding the perfect home.

3. Mortgage in principle

That first appointment with a mortgage advisor can seem daunting, but don’t worry about speaking to one of our advisors. We’ve heard it all before, from savings concerns to specific questions, and we’re here to get you to the first stage – the mortgage in principle.

Once you have that agreement in place, estate agents will have the proof that you’re likely to get the funds you need and you can get on with finding your dream home. Here’s the paperwork we’ll need for that initial meeting.

4. Making an offer

Keep a cool head and find the home you really want. Make sure you do your research into prices in the area and check how long it’s been on the market – there could be a deal to be done. Then it’s time to phone the estate agent and make an offer. Here’s the timeline of what happens next.

If that offer isn’t accepted, don’t despair. You’ve spoken to our advisors so you know how much you can borrow. Maybe you can offer a little more, or maybe there’s another type of mortgage that would help – or maybe that house just wasn’t meant to be.

Carlisle city centre sign post

5. The legal bit

Once that offer’s accepted, you need to talk to us about your final mortgage offer. We’ll want to do a valuation to check it’s a suitable property to lend on.

You’re also going to need a solicitor to sort out the final bits of the deal. We can tell you about some firms we work with a lot, or you could get a personal recommendation from friends or family.

Expect to hear lots about contract exchanges and completion dates – we’ve done a handy explainer for you.

6. The exciting bit…

Soon it will be time to start planning things like whether you need a removal firm or simply a ‘man with a van’, who you’re going to enlist to help you move in, telling folk that you’ve moved - and planning some celebratory drinks!

If all this still sounds a bit overwhelming, call us for a chat and we’ll help you get to grips with everything. Or check out our article on asking your mortgage advisor the difficult questions!

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