A guide to buying your first home

Help & Advice - A guide to buying your first home.jpg

We know that buying your first home is very exciting, but we understand it can be stressful too. We’re sure you have lots of questions and will want to understand every part of the process so we have put together a quick guide to buying your first home. Please contact us if you have any further questions.

STEP 1 - Find a Property

The first thing to do is search on our database to find a property that meets your needs – new properties are added daily so keep checking back if you don’t find what you’re looking for right away. You will then need to view the property, either make an appointment with the Sales Advisor or pop along to the show home.

STEP 2 – Reserve your property /Apply online

Once you have chosen your Help to Buy home, the Sales Advisor will guide you through signing the reservation agreement. You will need to pay a reservation fee at this point so please bear this in mind (the reservation fee for a Help to Buy home should not be more than £500). You will also need to fill out the Property Information Form which can be done with your house builder or online here.

Once you have chosen your Shared Ownership home you can fill out our online application form.

Dependent on the scheme, you may need to provide the following documents to the Developer or your IFA:

  • 3 months wage slips or your most recent P60
  • Proof of savings you may have
  • Photographic ID
  • Proof of address (recent utility bill)
  • If you currently rent from a social landlord e.g. a housing association or local authority, we will also require an up to date rent statement

We will run a broad eligibility assessment to ensure you meet the requirements of your chosen scheme. If you are not eligible we will write to you explaining why.

Please see our How to Apply page for more information.

STEP 3 - Mortgage and Legal Advice

If you need to obtain a mortgage to buy your home you will need to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), bank or building society. We have a list of recommended Help to Buy & Shared Ownership IFA's you can use.

To buy a home, you will need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf. They will handle the conveyance for you (transferring the title to you legally), explain the terms of your lease and deal with the seller's solicitor on your behalf.

They will also check contract documents and carry out legal searches. These searches provide vital information on what may happen in the area surrounding your home such as other developments, sewer and road adoptions or any major works. There will be a cost to this and your solicitor will clarify the costs associated with this work with you. We also have a list of recommended solicitors that you can use.

STEP 4 – Exchange of Contracts

About four to six weeks after reservation, subject to legal and mortgage arrangements being in place, contracts will be exchanged. The balance of the deposit is normally paid at this stage and the whole transaction becomes legally binding. If the exchange does not take place on the agreed date, the property can be put back onto the open market.

STEP 5 - Completion

Now comes the final step of the buying process – legal completion. This is when your lender releases the funds to pay for your home, at your solicitor’s request.

You can arrange the most convenient date for this to take place after physical completion of the property. If your new home is already built when you make your reservation, completion will be as soon as possible after the exchange of contracts. In either case your Solicitor will arrange for the funds to be transferred to your house builder and in return they will provide the title deeds of your home.

On the day of completion a Sales Advisor will meet you at the property to give you the keys, a handover pack, take meter readings and answer any questions you may have.

And that’s it! Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of your new home!

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