A handy checklist can make all the difference when you're buying a home.
If you're looking to buy a new home, here's a straightforward planner where you can tick off each of the stages as you complete them. Hope it comes in handy.
1. Are you ready?
- Do you have a large enough deposit saved?
- Calculate how much you can afford to spend per month
- Find the best mortgage offer. Compare current deals at our partners Money
- 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
2. Starting your property search
- Draw up ‘would like' and ‘really need' lists
- Work out a ‘home triangle': budget, space and location
- Consider existing vs new homes
- Weigh up 'free' offers or incentives from developers
- 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 schemes
- Meet and register with estate agents
- Check out parking and storage
- Check our running costs such as council tax and utility bills. Use our handy tool for this.
- Check out crime rates, transport links and whether prices have risen or fallen in the area
- Consider extending your search if you can't find anything within your budget
- Ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property
- 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?
3. Making an offer
- Choose a solicitor
- Research prices paid recently for properties in the area and current home value trends
- Make an offer in writing
- Ask for the property to be taken off the market as soon as your offer is accepted
- Agree a date when the vendor moves out and you move in
- Show proof that the lender will give you money, if you are taking out a mortgage
- Check the solicitor is making enquiries and getting title deed information
- Choose a surveyor and organise a survey
- Set the completion date
4. Moving date
- Book a van or removals company
- Inform authorities such as utility companies, Electoral Roll, your employer and Inland Revenue of your new address
- Contact the council to suspend a parking bay for the removal van
- 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
- Tell the removals company about narrow roads or unusual directions
- Pack, ensuring fragile items are well wrapped
- Label each box with a number or letter corresponding to the room where it will go
- Pack a ‘moving box' with essentials including tea, cleaning materials and a bottle of bubbly
- Keep passports and other vital items with you
- Pack a bag for each person with a toothbrush and change of clothing
- Get someone to mind your pets (or make sure they're secure)
- Get the keys to the property
- Enjoy living in your new home!
Check out our dedicated Move Planner and guides for more information on moving.