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The Kentwood Guide To Purchasing A Home As A First Time Buyer.

The Kentwood Guide To Purchasing A Home As A First Time Buyer.

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you'll ever make. If you're a first-time home buyer in the UK, navigating the legal process can seem overwhelming and intimidating. In this guide, we'll explore the current mortgage rates, legal process and more to help put your mind at ease and ensure you make the best decision when it comes to buying a new home. 


Overview of The Housing Market 


The UK housing market is one of the most stable and secure in the world. Despite fluctuations in the economy, the demand for housing in the UK continues to track upwards remaining strong. The first-time buyer scheme ends in March 2023 although new applications had a cut-off date back in October 2022. For now, there are no other schemes available and thus first-time buyers will need at least a 10% deposit to obtain a mortgage. 


The average house price in the UK sits around £281,000, although this will vary depending on location. London is the most expensive place to buy a home, with an average price of over £600,000. Mortgage rates may has increased in the wake of the mini budget crisis however, these do seem to be lowering at a steady pace. 


What Does a First Time Home Buyer Need to Know? 


As a first-time home buyer in the UK, there are a few things you need to know in order to make the process as smooth as possible. For starters, you'll need to research current mortgage rates and compare them with your budget to see how much you can afford to spend on a home. Additionally, it's important to be aware of the legal process involved in purchasing a home.  


Negotiating The Property’s Price 


Once you have found a property you like, it is time to start negotiating the price. The seller will usually have an asking price, but this is not always the final price. There are a few things you can do to try and get the price down. 

The first thing you should do is find out how long the property has been on the market. If it has been on the market for a while, the seller may be more willing to negotiate on the price. You should also research prices of similar properties in the area. This will give you an idea of what the property is worth and whether the asking price is realistic. 

If you are buying through an estate agent, they will usually be able to give you some guidance on negotiating a lower price. However, it is ultimately up to you to make an offer that you are comfortable with. 

Remember that the asking price is not always set in stone – there is usually room for negotiation, so don’t be afraid to haggle! 


The Legal Process 


The legal process of buying a home in the UK is relatively straightforward. Once you have found a property you wish to purchase, you will need to instruct a solicitor to carry out searches and enquiries. Your solicitor will get in touch with your local authority to request a search of the property you are interested in. This search will reveal any planning permission applications, restrictions and building regulation issues, as well as carrying out a title search to make sure there are no hidden problems with the ownership of the property.  

There is no shortage of solicitors to choose from but be wary of making your decision on price alone. A good solicitor can be the difference between securing your home or the sale falling apart altogether. As an estate agent we see all too often the negative affects a poor solicitor can have on a sale. That is why we have a panel of preferred solicitors we can recommend should you wish to use them. Some solicitors will pay a referral fee to us in return however not all do. As a company we would prefer a working relationship that focuses on a satisfied sale over a referral fee. Once you have chosen your solicitor you will then need to arrange mortgage finance.  


Obtaining Your Mortgage


Again, this can be difficult waters to navigate but it is worth speaking to a mortgage broker over going direct to your bank. A mortgage broker is a professional that will work under the umbrella of a much larger company and will has access to wider field of view. Much like appointing a solicitor finding the right broker is equally important as not all mortgage brokers have the same products available.  

Some brokers are limited to the lenders in which they can use. This means that they may see a product that would suit you better and potentially save you money however, because they are not approved with this lender, they cannot provide that product as an option.  

At Kentwood we work with a couple of brokers who have 100% coverage with lenders. Again, similar to solicitors as a company we may receive a referral fee in return. However, this is entirely optional. You have no obligation to use any of our referred services and our focus is always on what's right for you and not the fees we may obtain. Find out more about our mortgage services here.

Once your mortgage has been accepted the lender will arrange a date to send a surveyor. The surveyor will attend the property and generate a full report on its condition. This will help to identify any structural issues that could cause problems down the line including things like damp, mould or subsidence. (Find out more about conveyancing here). This will be reported back to the lender so they can make an informed decision on lending the mortgage amount to you.  

Once the mortgage has been offered and the searches and enquiries have been satisfied, we begin to look at Exchange of contract. This usually takes place around 8 weeks after offer acceptance, at which point you will pay the deposit and become legally bound to purchase the property. Completion usually takes place around between 1 and 2 weeks later when you will pay the remaining balance of the purchase price and take ownership of your new home! 


Completing The Purchase Process 


Purchasing a home for the first time can be an intimidating experience, but with the right knowledge and guidance you can make it as smooth and stress-free as possible. We hope our ultimate guide to purchasing a home as a first-time buyer has been insightful. With this knowledge in hand you will be able to confidently purchase your dream property in no time! 

If you have any questions regarding the purchase of a property please get in contact and one of our friendly professional agents will be able to assist you.