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Advice for Buyers Buying a property is probably the biggest single purchase you will make. Even if you only put down a small part of the price yourself and borrow the rest, all that money actually changes hands and you carry all the risks if the value of your new property falls.

Affordability

Once you have decided to buy a property, you will need to know exactly how much you can afford. Having your finances in place and having a mortgage agreed in principle (if required) before you start looking at properties is an important first step in buying a property.

On top of the cost of the house itself, there are other expenses involved in buying a home and moving such as Stamp Duty, Survey fees, Solicitors Fees, Removal Fees and any final bills from your current home

Finding your new home

Looking for a new home can be a time-consuming process. It is worth taking the time to sit down and think about what you want from your new home.

Begin to research the general areas which would interest you as a buyer based on the important criteria to you such as convenience to local schools, shops, public transport, cultural and sports facilities. A good idea is to make a list of your criteria detailing what is essential and what can be compromised on.

Arrange viewings of any houses which may seem of interest, don't afraid to view several properties or ask the vendor questions, you are the potential buyer and you need to be thorough so do not feel you are causing any inconvenience. Once you have identified a property which may be of interest it would be prudent to view the property at least twice to enable you to take in all the details and features.

Making an offer

Once you have found the property that is right for you the next step is to make an offer. At this point you should make it clear if your offer is to include anything and specify it clearly. Connolly Longhurst will put this offer forward to the vendor on your behalf. You may be asked to provide proof that you have the finances in place or a mortgage agreed in principle. Once you make an offer make it clear that it's subject to contract and a satisfactory survey.

Legal work

You will need a solicitor to act on your behalf when purchasing a property. Connolly Longhurst will happily recommend a local solicitor if you don't already have one.

Conveyancing refers to all the legal and administrative work associated with the process of transferring the title ownership of property from one person to another. Your solicitor will act on your behalf with the assistance of Connolly Longhurst and you will be kept well informed throughout.

Insurance

When you buy a new home, it is important to think about insurance and any other affairs connected to the purchase of your home, especially if you are a first-time buyer.

Most mortgage lenders insist that borrowers take out home insurance to protect your property especially in a situation where you are unable to continue to pay off mortgage loans. You should also consider making a will once you're a homeowner especially if you have dependants.

Exchange contracts

Once you and your solicitor are satisfied that everything is in order, the contracts can be exchanged. You sign a copy of the contract which is passed to the vendor, and the vendor signs a copy of the same contract which you receive. Once contracts have been exchanged both parties are legally bound to follow through with the transaction.

Completion

On the day of completion your solicitor will send a cheque to the vendor's solicitor for the purchase price of the property. Once the money from your mortgage lender is received by your solicitor they will give the vendors solicitor authority to cash their cheque and they will then in turn contact us to authorise release of the keys to the property.