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. 

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Have we missed anything from our buyer checklist? Let us know in the comments, below?

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