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A step by step guide for first time buyers

Financing the purchase of your first home is one of the biggest decisions you and your family will undertake. When looking to buy your first property, it's important to understand the different stages that make up the journey to successfully buy your first house.

Our step by step guide provides an easy way to help first time buyers understand the process of buying your first property, and our team of friendly advisers are always on hand to offer help and support whilst you look at your options.    


1. Work out your budget

As a starting point, you need to work out how much you can afford - both when buying the property and the associated costs that go with the purchase process as well as the monthly mortgage repayments which make up your mortgage plan.

You can get an estimate of what you can afford by ringing a mortgage broker, who will guide and help you understand your financial options. At Leek United, we're always happy to talk through your options and what mortgage will work for you.

To get an idea of the monthly mortgage payments you can expect to pay and size of mortgage you can afford - our calculator below will help. You simply pop in the amount you wish to borrow, the interest rate and over how many years you would want to take the mortgage and the calculator will tell you what you can expect to pay. 

2. Get a 'Mortgage in Principle'

You can agree a ‘mortgage in principle’, which gives a good indication of what a mortgage company is willing to lend, whilst also learning more about their terms and other important information which you will need to consider when looking for the perfect property that suits your budget.

Mortgage in Principle


3. Find that perfect property

If you have found your dream house, the next big step is to make an offer. This is where the negotiation really begins - usually you would make an offer less than the asking price and see if the vendor is willing to negotiate on price - however if you are in a highly desirable neighbourhood, you may have to bite the bullet and offer the full asking price. 

Once you have made an offer, negotiated and settled on that final price, there are still some important steps which will ensure you are buying a structurally sound home, for the right price.

4. Appoint a solicitor and get a survey underway

Next, you will need to ask a solicitor to submit searches to the local council, this will unearth anything which might affect the value of your property – such as planning issues.

Obtaining a survey will ensure that the property is structurally sound and highlight anything which may need work within the house that may not have been apparent beforehand – this could allow you to ask the seller to reduce the price in recognition of these issues.

5. Sign that contract

This is where the house becomes your home. The final step is the all important contract which will be supplied by your solicitor - the signing of this contract confirms that sale and you are now legally bound.  

So before the grand signing, it's really important to go through the contract with your solicitor and check everything is correct.

6. Signed, sealed and delivered

Once your contract has been signed (this is known as exchanging) a deadline will be agreed for when the sale needs to be completed. When this is completed, certain charges are applied such as a telegraphic transfer fee, and a mortgage account fee may be payable.               

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"Leek really helped with every stage of the process, which as a first time buyer was extremely helpful, and a load off my mind."

Steve Arnold, Leek

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