Five Top Tips for First Time Buyers

Posted on: February 2nd, 2017

You’ve searched and searched and found your first home, so what happens next…

1. Deposit and Mortgage Funds

As a first time buyer, you should consider whether you have enough money for a deposit.Typically in a conveyancing transaction you will usually need to try and save 10% of the value of the home you are purchasing to be used as the deposit. For example, if you want to buy a home costing £200,000, you’ll need to save at least £20,000 (10%).

You should then ensure that your finance arrangements and/or other savings are enough to make up the balance of the purchase price. So in the example above your mortgage offer and savings would need to equal £180,000.

2. Budgeting

You should also consider how you might fund other costs associated with buying your first home, such as:

  • Mortgage Broker Fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Solicitor’s Fees and Disbursements (i.e. search fees)
  • Survey
  • Removal Fees
  • Furnishing and Decorating
  • Buildings Insurance
  • Utility Bills
  • Council Tax
  • Monthly Mortgage Payments

3. The Conveyancing Process

Most people instruct Solicitors or Conveyancers to assist them with the property purchase process.  

Conveyancing process

4. Following Completion

It is important to let people know that you have moved home and therefore have a new address. Firstly, make sure your friends and family know where you are moving to – you won’t miss out on those moving cards!!

It is also important to let certain Government agencies, such as the DVLA, your local council and HMRC, your bank or building society and also any  insurance providers know about your change of address.

A number of weeks after completion your solicitor will send out to you a Title Information Document. This is a copy of the new Title to your property showing you as the registered owners.

5. Some Helpful Terminology

  • Freehold – this will typically be a house and you will own the property and the surrounding land
  • Leasehold – this will typically be a flat and you will own the floor space of your flat but not the building itself. You will usually pay a ground rent to your landlord.
  • Deposit – this is usually 10% of the total purchase price and will need to be in your solicitor’s bank account before they can exchange contracts
  • Exchange – both solicitors (for the seller and the buyer) will confirm to each other that they hold a signed contract on identical terms and is when the completion date is set. It is at this stage you become legally bound to purchase the property
  • Completion – funds will be transferred to the seller and the keys released to the buyer. 
  • Searches – these will usually include a Local Authority Search, Water and Drainage Search and an Environmental search (for more information please see our related article on Searches)

What can Coffin Mew do to help?

Coffin Mew has a dedicated team of experienced lawyers ready to take you through this exciting time in your life. We understand how daunting and stressful it can be as a first time buyer and so we aim to make the whole experience as smooth as possible for you. 

Here at Coffin Mew we are also experienced in dealing with any Help to Buy Schemes, Help to Buy ISAs and the Forces Help to Buy Scheme.