What are the first steps to get on the property ladder?

- Tue 21 Feb 2023

If you are beginning to think about taking the next step in your life to buy your first home, exciting times really do lie ahead for you. However, we wanted to remind you to not rush the process as getting easily carried away can lead to a mistake, and when buying a house, this could be costly!

At Bradleys Estate Agents, we will help and guide you with your first property purchase and ensure you have the best expertise available to you at all times across our 30 branches in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. We have put together a timeline of the key events that should provide you with a guide of what to do and when. These aren’t set in stone but will give you some good guidance when getting on to the housing ladder…

  • 1 – Establish your mortgage affordability. A mortgage is a specialist loan term when borrowing money to purchase a property/land. It is essential to know what you can afford and then you can be confident when you start looking at properties as to what is realistic. We can arrange a free consultation with a mortgage advisor to discuss this with you. A large part of your affordability will depend on how much in savings you are able to use for a deposit, the larger the deposit, the easier a mortgage will be to secure and potentially cheaper repayments.
  • 2- Start your search! There are lots of property websites available to get you started, although we would strongly recommend that you contact us and register your details, which will enable you to ask our friendly and helpful team any questions you have. We will also be able to tell you of properties coming to the market before they are on the internet, which is always useful to give you a head start.
  • 3- Once you have found the property that gives you that tingly feeling and you just somehow know it is the right one for you, you should contact your Mortgage Advisor and let them know the price to double check the repayments and affordability for you, based upon the price you are looking to pay for the property. Some advisors will even put an offer forward on your behalf should you wish.
  • 4- Once you have made an offer on the property, you will need to find a solicitor to do your conveyancing. Conveyancing is the legal term for the transfer of a property or piece of land from one person to another. A conveyancer is a qualified individual who specialises in this area. Here at Bradleys Estate Agents, we are in a position to provide you with a local firm that we will know, from our experience, will provide you with a quality service on a no sale, no fee basis should you wish.
  • 5- Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to instruct a conveyancer and inform your mortgage advisor to arrange a time to apply for a mortgage. Your mortgage lender will arrange for a surveyor to inspect the property you have agreed to buy, that is what is known as a mortgage valuation. A mortgage valuation simply checks whether the property is worth the money you have agreed to pay for it. You may wish to consider having a homebuyer’s report or a building survey carried out which will be far more in depth, particularly if it is an older property. This will have to be done independently of your mortgage application. Bradleys Chartered Surveyors provide this service across the region and their website offers details on the various types of reports available.
  • 6- The purchase of the property can take anywhere from 10 to 20 weeks depending on the number of different parties in the chain, (the term for each buyer and seller involved in a transaction form a chain of transactions). As your purchase progresses you will then need to arrange a home insurance policy for your property, as a condition to obtaining a mortgage and it will be advisable to have insurance to protect your first home.
  • 7- It is now time to exchange contracts! This is when both parties have agreed to the terms of the deal (signed a contract) and your solicitor will then send your deposit to the seller’s solicitor to legally bind the deal. The deposit is typically 10% of the purchase price, although this can vary.
  • 8- Your conveyancer will then send the remainder of the purchase monies to the seller’s solicitor. Once the monies are received they will inform the estate agency (selling the property) who will in turn contact you so that you can collect the keys to your first home.

Time to celebrate becoming a homeowner! At this point you can breathe and enjoy your first home. We hope the above didn’t feel too daunting to read, however any of our teams within our offices are always on hand to answer any of your property related questions or queries. We look forward to guiding you through your first property purchase.