Home Buying & SellingThe Process of Buying a House in the UK
The Process of Buying a House in the UK

The Process of Buying a House in the UK

In the UK, the process of buying a house takes about two to three months. However, if you are a part of a chain of sellers and buyers who are waiting to sell or purchase property, it might take a longer period of time. Before you start hunting for a house, you need to consider your budget to know what you can afford i.e. whether you will use mortgage in principle or your own capital. Considering your budget also prevents unnecessary delays after your offer have been accepted because you make a quick move to secure your home. If you don’t understand the buying process or it is your first time to buy a house, you can seek help from a professional to make the process effective.

Mortgages in the UK

If you are a non-UK national and you would like to get an investment loan from a bank or a mortgage broker, you may have to raise a deposit of about 40% of the loan. However, if you are a UK national, you need a deposit of 10% the total amount of the loan. If you are a foreigner and you need to buy a house in the UK, you can secure a home loan abroad using your existing assets although there might be tax implications. This is one of the reasons why most foreigners prefer renting houses in the UK to avoid spending a lot of money. If you are new in the UK, there are numerous letting agents who can help you get a house to stay in for the period of time you will be in the country. When compared to buying a house, it is cheaper because you will only be required to pay a few monthly bills rather than buying an entire house.

For potential home buyers who are looking for an investment loan, it is important to understand that the lender arrangement fees may vary from one lender to another. This variation can be brought by different factors among them the arrangement or completion fee and the mortgage booking fee. The UK government is very supportive to homebuyers. It has introduced a Help to Buy Website’ which helps homeowners follow the right steps when buying a house in the UK. In addition, there are numerous easy to use calculators that you can use to determine the type of houses you can afford and the monthly cost of a mortgage you will likely be paying.

Putting in an offer

Once finances are in place, you can make an offer through an estate agent or direct to a private seller. The offer can be made verbally or in writing depending on what you prefer and whoever you are working with. After the offer is accepted, the seller is supposed to draw a contract for the transfer of legal ownership.

Getting a survey

Finally, during the pre-exchange period, you are required to get a survey of the property. This is important to determine whether there are any structural problems that could affect the price of the house. Since you cannot do it yourself, you will have to pay the lender’s basic valuation survey which can vary depending on the property value and the lender you are working with.

Finally, you need to hire a solicitor or a conveyancer to handle all the legal paperwork and carry out searches on the property. Some of the costs you will incur vary depending on the area and/or the value of the property. Some of these fees include the following:

  • Local authority search
  • Legal fees
  • Land registry fees
  • Administration fees
  • Drainage and environmental searches

Once the two parties have exchanged contracts, the buyer will have to pay a minimum of 10% of the purchase price to make the contract legally binding. The solicitors will then agree on a completion date where the remaining funds are paid to the seller for the legal ownership to be transferred. Since the funds will be transferred by the solicitor, the money should be transferred to the solicitor by either you or your lender before the agreed date of completion.