Guide to buying with ACJ

Our guide to buying a new home

Need a guide to buying your new property? Buying a home, particularly for the first time can be a daunting experience. We are here to help – here is our step by step guide to buying a home. Click to view the step you are at for a guide on what’s next.

1. Decide on your budget

How much do you want to spend? This might be dependent on how much of a deposit you can get together. A minimum of a 5% deposit, plus your stamp duty and solicitor fees will be required. You may find more mortgage options available to you if you have a bigger deposit.

2. Get your finances in place

Whilst you can’t get a mortgage before you buy, you can get a mortgage “Agreement in Principle”. This will put you in a stronger position and show that you are a serious buyer. A Mortgage Broker can be particularly helpful if you would like advice on mortgages. They will be able to scan the full range of mortgages in the market and provide advice if you have special circumstances, such as being self-employed.

3. Begin your property search

Most people start this online nowadays, but we also recommend talking to us about your requirements in these early stages, particularly if you are not familiar with the area. We will ask for your minimum criteria and may suggest properties that you had not even have considered. Try to keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to view something a bit different, you may find your dream home was not what you originally expected!
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4. Make your offer

There is nothing wrong with offering a lower asking price than advertised, however, you should do your homework beforehand and ensure it is a serious offer. Make sure you know at this stage if the property is freehold or leasehold. If you own the freehold, it means that you own the building and the land it stands on outright. Most flats and apartments are leasehold, this means that you have a lease from the freeholder (sometimes called the Superior Landlord) to use the home for a number of years. For more information on leasehold and freehold properties, click here:

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5. Offer accepted? Now to hire a solicitor and arrange your mortgage

You now you need to instruct a solicitor so we can complete a “Memorandum of Sale”, the document that records that both the buyer and seller have agreed to the transaction. You should have already arranged your Agreement in Principle so you should now complete your mortgage application.

You will also need to choose which survey you require at this stage. A valuation survey only determines whether the property is worth the amount you have agreed to pay for it, you may decide that a more in depth survey detailing any possible issues with the property is more appropriate. The right survey will depend on the type of house you are buying. We recommend that you seek independent advice if you are unsure which survey is best for you.

6. Arrange your deposit

Before you can exchange contracts, you need to arrange a deposit, usually a small percentage of the property sale and give it to your solicitor.

7. Wait to exchange

The buying process is a bit of a waiting game and how long it takes will depend on the circumstances of your move and any other buyers or sellers in your chain. The more links in the chain, inevitably, the more complex and time consuming your move may become. This can be a stressful time so try to have realistic expectations about how quickly you can move house. If you expect at least an 8-10 week period, then you will be delighted if it takes less time. We always aim to keep in regular contact and keep you updated throughout this process.

8. Exchange contracts

You can only exchange contracts after the solicitor is satisfied with the searches, a formal mortgage offer has been received, and arrangements have been made for the deposit. This point is when you should ensure that the new property has buildings and contents insurance in place for your legal ownership.

9. Complete the sale

Completion is when you pay for the property and take ownership of it. Completion usually takes place at a certain time of day, often midday. The seller has to leave the property by the time of completion, and you should then be able to collect the keys. The property is then yours!

Don’t forget to read the meters when you move in and inform the utility companies/ telephone provider and council that you now own the property.

Want to sell your property with us?

ACJ have the time and resource to sell you home for the best price, faster.

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Do you have another question?

If you have further questions following on from our buying guide, please fill out our online contact form.

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