Ten stages to buying your first home

A simple, step-by-step guide to what can seem like a very complicated process.

  • Find out how much you can borrow
  • Consider other costs

    Consider other costs

    Buying a home is an expensive business! There are costs on top of the purchase price that you need to think about before you move in, such as:

    And when you’ve moved in, there are other bills to think about:

    • Rates
    • Ground rent (if you're buying a leasehold property)
    • Management fee (if you are buying an apartment)
    • Buildings insurance
    • Home contents insurance
  • Find your home

    Find your home

    When you know how much you could borrow, it’s time to find a house.

    Local property sites/apps can help you search according to budget, number of bedrooms, postcode, and so on.

    You can also register with local estate agents, check in the local papers, and watch out for ‘For Sale’ signs in the area. View as many properties as you can to get an idea of what’s available.

  • Make an offer

    Make an offer

    Once you’ve found the property you wish to buy, it’s time to make an offer. Most houses are sold through an estate agent, so make your offer to the seller through them.

    The asking price is how much the seller hopes to get, so there may be some room for negotiation once you have considered how much you are willing to bid.

    Remember to remind the estate agent that you are a first time buyer with no home to sell.

  • Apply for your mortgage

    Apply for your mortgage

    Many providers offer exclusive mortgages for first-time buyers, offering things like a higher loan-to-value ratio of up to 95% (so you don’t need as big a deposit).

    Whichever provider you choose, though, make sure you get information on all available products, then you can make a decision on the best option for you. Mortgages can seem awfully complicated if you are unfamiliar with them, so ask your adviser or bank/building society to explain anything you don't quite understand.

  • Appoint a solicitor

    Appoint a solicitor

    They’ll prepare the paperwork and deal with the legal side of the purchase.

  • Get the property valued

    Get the property valued

    Your mortgage provider will appoint a valuer to look at things such as the age and condition of the property, and prices of similar properties in the area to confirm the purchase price is accurate.

    Be aware that if you wish to assess the condition of the property and check for any defects, you’ll need to pay for a more detailed survey.

  • Sign the contract

    Sign the contract

    Once your mortgage is agreed, valuations and surveys are completed, and the solicitors have prepared all the documentation, you’re ready to sign the contracts.

    After this there’s no turning back – both parties are committed to the sale and the date of completion will now be fixed. Start preparing to move!

    Bear in mind that the current occupant of the property you’re buying may be in a property chain, and if so the sale's completion will depend on when they can move on to their new home.

  • Get your insurance in place

    Get your insurance in place

    You’ll need buildings insurance to protect your new purchase, and it's a good idea to buy contents insurance for what's inside it! Usually buildings insurance policies start on the date the contract is accepted by the seller.

  • Move in and celebrate

    Move in and celebrate

    You’ve done it – you now have your own home. Don’t forget to notify the relevant people of your change of address (e.g. electricity company, doctor, your bank and even the DVLA) and contact Royal Mail to arrange for your post to be re-directed.

    And after all your hard work, invite your friends and family round for a house-warming party – and celebrate!

Danske Bank mortgages