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Looking for your first home?

Buying your first home is an incredibly exciting experience but can also be quite daunting. There’s so much to think about and understand when it comes to mortgages and other financing options (like Help to Buy).

Your first steps

Step 1

Find a property you can afford

This might sound obvious but buying a house is more than just the purchase price.

​Remember to include in your budget; stamp duty, legal fees, your deposit, valuation survey fees, any fees the bank might charge to arrange your mortgage, transfer fee and mortgage account fee.

 

You might be able to afford more than you think if you are eligible for a Help to Buy loan.

Step 3

Organise a solicitor

You’ll need to find a solicitor to act for you in the process of buying your home.

Average fees are around £750 – £2300 plus the costs of searches they carry out to see if there’s anything that can affect your property’s value. These typically cost around £300.

Step 5

Exchange contracts

If there are no issues or delays you’ll receive a contract to sign to complete the sale. Your solicitor will go through this with you to check all the details are correct.

Once signed, you’re committed to the sale and you’ll be asked to pay your deposit (typically 10% of the property value). Most lenders will also require you to have buildings insurance in place at this point.

Step 2

Appoint a Financial Advisor

Once you’ve found your new home you’ll need to appoint a financial advisor who will help you decide which mortgage to go for, whether to use Help to Buy and arrange any insurances you need (such as building and contents).

Step 4

Your mortgage and valuation survey

A valuation survey will be carried out by your mortgage lender to prove the property is worth the price you’ll be paying. The lender may charge for this. If they do it’s normally around £150 – £750 (depending on the value of your property).

Once completed, if there’s nothing wrong, you’ll receive a binding mortgage offer. An arrangement fee (£0-£2,000) will be added at this point. You can pay this immediately or add it to your mortgage. If you add it to your mortgage remember you’ll pay interest during your mortgage term.

Step 6

Completion and final steps

The final balance to purchase the property is released by the lender to your solicitor’s account. There is usually a transfer fee of £25 – £50 for doing this. At this point you’ll need to pay the remainder of your solicitor’s bill and any stamp duty owed. Your solicitor will arrange this for you.

If you need to work out how much stamp duty you’ll pay, use this calculator.

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Make your dream home a reality with help to buy

Help to Buy is designed to assist existing homeowners and first time buyers with the purchase of their new home. You might be able to get more for your money or get your foot on the property ladder sooner than you thought.