Purchasing Checklist:

Making sure you’re ready to buy

Are you ready?

  • Decide if you're ready to buy a house
  • Deposit saved
  • Calculate how much you can afford to spend per month
  • Find the best mortgage offer for you
  • Get an offer lined up from a lender
  • Calculate other costs you'll have to cover
  • Check out our definitive guides for first time buyers
  • Draw up ‘would like' and ‘really need' lists
  • Work out a ‘home triangle': budget, space and location
  • Consider existing vs new homes
  • Consider doing up a wreck, buying at auction or with a friend or family member
  • Think about shared ownership schemes, such as the Help to Buy scheme
  • Check out parking, storage and Council Tax
  • Check out crime rates, transport links and whether prices have risen or fallen
  • Consider extending your search if you can't find anything within your budget
  • Ask about service charges
  • Ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property
  • Ask agents to show you ‘comparables' (prices of similar property in the area)
  • If buying with a friend or partner, get a co-ownership agreement drawn up
  • Make enquiries if buying a leasehold flat (who's the freeholder and managing agent, how much are ground fees and service charges, can you keep pets?)
  • Choose a solicitor
  • Research prices paid recently for properties in the area and current home value trends
  • Make an offer in writing
  • Agree a date when the vendor moves out and you move in
  • Show proof that the lender will give you money (if getting a mortgage)
  • Check the solicitor is making enquiries and getting title deed information
  • Choose a surveyor
  • Organise a survey or valuation
  • Set the completion date
  • Book a van or removals company
  • Inform authorities (such as utility companies, Electoral Roll, your employer and Inland Revenue) of your new address
  • Get the mortgage deed for the solicitor to sign
  • Sign contracts for exchange
  • Pay the balance of the property's price
  • Get the transfer document and title deeds
  • Take out building and contents insurance
  • Pay Stamp Duty, Land Registry and solicitor's fees
  • Check your insurer covers you for any damage while moving
  • Get the keys to your new home.
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