Guide to buying your first home (& some tips)

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When buying your first home there are a few steps we go through and it can seem like a daunting process so we thought we would shine a light on the formalities before giving us a call.

buying your first home

Many Estate Agents will want you to have a Mortgage/Agreement/Decision in Principle (these are usually referred to as MIP, AIP, DIP) before they will allow you to view a property. This can be common practice as the Estate Agent wants to ensure you are a genuine buyer and have made steps to obtaining a mortgage. So the first step in buying your first home to is prove to the estate agent you have the means to see it through.

There are a few downsides to working this way:

  • DIPs will usually involve a credit check. Too many of those can affect your future applications.
  • DIPs expire – so going back to the above comment, if/when it expires, we may need to do another credit check for a new DIP.
  • They can tell you how much you can lend. When providing the DIP to the agent, the agent will then know how much you can go to, which is not great if you are wanting to make a lower offer.
  • The best lenders today may not be tomorrow. So again, going back to the first bullet point, we may need to then do another credit check.

However, what we do is to get complete a factfind with you and ask you to send us a copy of your credit report. Once we have gone through both documents we will confirm how much we can get you and the likely rate. We will then happily confirm this to the estate agents in writing or other the phone. This then usually removes the need for carrying out various credit checks on you.

Finding a Property

Once you have confirmation either from a DIP or via a broker that you can get a Mortgage, the next stage to buying your first home is the exciting bit! Get on Rightmove/Zoopla etc and on the phones to the estate agents to make some viewings.

Some suggestions, if you like the property tell the agents/vendors. There is no harm showing you are interested. What I would avoid though is bouncing off the walls in excitement. Do not forget the agents work for the vendors and their job is to get as much for the property as possible.

So show you are interested and serious but do it in a cool way, otherwise you may find you are negotiating on the back foot.

Once you have found a property

Make your offer. There is nothing wrong with a cheeky offer, but you should be able to justify it. If you go in too low without justification, it could make the vendors/agents think you are not a serious buyer.

It is probably also worth getting your documents together if you do not already have them. Typically that would be:

  • 3 months bank statements (showing name, account number & sort code, salary payments),
  • 3 months payslips,
  • Proof of deposit build up (savings statements usually),
  • ID
  • Solicitors details

Your offer has been accepted – Congratulations!

This is typically where we would obtain a DIP for you and then proceed straight to application once accepted.

Now the fun (stress) begins. Your Mortgage application would go in and the lender would assess your application, credit report and supporting documents. They may come back with questions, they may accept everything submitted with no additional requests.

The valuation would also get carried out at around this stage and the whole process from application to receiving a Mortgage offer would usually be done in 1-3 weeks. It depends on the surveyor, the lender and how good a job we have done at packaging your application (we do try to be thorough at this stage however).

Your Mortgage has been offered

Once your Mortgage Offer has been issued, this will then get sent over to your solicitors and this is when we would usually advise you start the legal work.

The legal work is a combination of things including various searches such as Environmental, Coal Mine and Flood risk searches. The conveyancer will also go through the various forms completed by you, the vendor and the lenders requirements and draw up a list of questions which will need answering by the vendors.

This process will usually take anywhere from 3 weeks if everything is simple and quick but more commonly around 4-6 weeks, but we have seen it take over 6 months before now.

See First Time Buyer Mortgages for more on this

How can Mortgage Success help

The most important thing is that we work for you when buying your first home.

The estate agent works for the vendor. Our interests lie with our customer and we will always offer support and guidance about what to expect and when – the more prepared you are and understand the process, the less stressful it will be.

We generally work in one of 2 ways:

  1. The customer gives us everything and leaves us to deal with it all, or;
  2. The customer is involved at every step of the way.

We are happy with either method and you can be as involved as much or as little as you like.

Get in touch, we will discuss your requirements with you and see if we can help.