How to Buy a House (UK)

Introduction: How to Buy a House (UK)

Looking at getting on the property ladder but not sure where to start? This instuctable will take you through all you need to know about how to buy a house through an estate agent. The internet is chock full of tenants or home owners who have had a torrid time with estate agents. The housing market is tough enough as it is at the moment without having to deal with a horrid estate agents, this guide will try and get you through all the troughs and peaks of buying your first home.

Although often contributed with the work of the devil, estate agents are, most of the time, just regular people like you and me. Buying a house is an incredible stressful experience, you can often find yourself paying over the odds for services you never thought you’d need. These unexpected costs can really put a strain on your budget. Make sure you know upfront what charges your estate agent will ask for so that there are no nasty surprises at the end of the process.

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Step 1: Finding Your Perfect Home

Whether you search on the high street or the internet it’s important to take a look at what’s on the market and narrow down the selection of what kind of house you want. A good idea is to actually pay a visit to the area you want to move to. It’s one thing reading about a place on the internet or the paper but to get the best idea and feel of a place it’s always best to take a visit and walk the streets of what could potentially become your new neighborhood. Check out where the local shops are and where the train station and bus stop is, work out how long your commute to work will take and see what kind of houses the local area is made up of. You also need to think about the size and the amenities that you want your new home to have, how many bathrooms and bedrooms do you need, do you need off the road car parking or a garage and do you need a garden? All these questions will affect your search and, ultimately, affect the size of your budget.

Once you’ve found the right house for you, whether it’s a terrace house, a detached, semi-detached or a flat, you should go speak to an estate agent who specializes in letting and selling those kinds of property.  They’ll be able to help you get settled and show you around different types of properties that might suit you.

Step 2: Negotiation

So you’ve found the perfect house and you’re ready to make an offer. Don’t run in screaming and shouting your love for the house and your estate agent, remember they’re working on commission and will want to get as much money off you as possible. Play it cool and try to squeeze an much information out of them as you can. Ask how long it’s been on the market and what the situation is with the current owner, do they want to make a quick sale? If so may be able nock a couple of thousand pounds off the price.

Step 3: Getting to Grips With the Law

Once the negotiation stage is over and you’ve made an offer, it’s important for you to get to grips with the kind of law you’re going to be dealing with. Ensure that you mortgage is primed and ready and that you have a solicitor to help walk you through the contract on the house to ensure that there are no hiccups or pitfalls in the process.

If you offer is accepted then it is up to the seller to provide you with the contract for you to sign. This contract should include all of the following:

• The sale price
• The property boundaries
• Which fixtures and fittings (like carpets and kitchen units) are included
• Any legal restrictions or rights, like public footpaths or rules about using the property
• Any planning restrictions
• Services to the property, like drainage and gas
• When the sale will complete

Once both parties are happy with the contract and each one has signed then that’s it, the contract is mutually binding and neither one can back out without paying compensation. After this process all you need to do now is have the money transferred from you to the seller, the legal documents need to ensure the house is now yours will be given to you by the seller, the seller moves out and gives you the keys and you can finally move into your new home.

Step 4: Stamp Duty

When buying a property in the UK you are required to pay a certain amount of money to the government as a tax in the form of Stamp Duty, this is applicable on all purchases of houses flats and other land buildings. The amount of Stamp Duty you have to pay depends on three determining factors:

1) The purchase price of the
2) Whether the property is residential
3) Whether the property is in a disadvantaged area

For more information and to find out how much Stamp Duty you may have to pay go to Direct.gov/stamp-duty-land-tax-rates.

Step 5: Moving Day

You’ve spent the past week bubble wrapping everything you’ve ever owned and you’re packing the last of your stuff away into the van. Whether you’re moving somewhere bigger, smaller, across the country or down the road, you’re out of the woods now. All you’ve got to do now is unpack the van you’ve spent all week packing, decorate every single room of the house and start your life in your new home. My advice is to pack the kettle and some mugs last, unpack it first and put a brew on; you’re going to need it.

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