KIS Bridging Loans
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KIS Finance
For most people, buying a home is the biggest type of purchase made in a lifetime - and there is lots to consider. From choosing the right house/flat that you can make a home, to ensuring that you have covered all the fees and costs.

1. Your mortgage & other costs

ost first time buyers will need to take out a mortgage to cover most of the cost of the property, but a minimum deposit of 10% is usually required  in order to obtain a mortgage. There are other costs in addition to paying for the property, which can be easily forgotten. You will need to use a solicitor and budget for their fees and it would help to keep at least a couple of hundred pounds aside if you have furniture to move to pay a removal firm or just hiring a van. If the property is over £125,000, you will also need to factor in a cost for stamp duty.

Here is a list of fees that are likely to be unavoidable when buying your home along with average costs of each to help you to budget:

Mortgage arrangement fee - average £1,500 - not usually to be paid upfront.

Valuation survey carried out by mortgage lender - £200 to £400

Stamp duty (if property over £125,000) - amount to pay depends on property purchase price

Homebuyers report - approximately £250 to £500 on average

Buildings survey - £500 to £1,200 on average

Solicitor (conveyancer) fees - between £500 and £1,500

Moving costs (Removal firm or do this cheaper by just hiring a van) - average around £600

Before you begin your house search, find out your budget by working out how much savings you have and what proportion can be used as a deposit after budgeting for fees and costs as above, then take some time to find a mortgage (assuming this is required). Once you have peace of mind that you can obtain a mortgage of a certain amount then you can go ahead and look at properties surrounding that price range. Don't be put off viewing houses priced slightly above your budget, as some sellers will be open to offers and as the saying goes, if you don't ask, you don't get! Property listings on the popular property website Rightmove state when the property was first listed -  if the property has been on the market for a long time this could be a good indication that the seller may already be reconsidering the asking price, or may be more keen to accept a lower offer.


2. The location of the property

Property prices vary greatly depending on the area. If you find you are disappointed with what you can afford in a certain area which you had hoped to live in, consider compromising on the area if you need that extra bedroom or maybe look at cheaper properties that require updating and do the work as and when you can afford to do so to get the most space for your money. Once you have found a property that you like, go and view it more than once as chances are you won't take everything in on the first viewing and may not notice potential problems.


3. Commuting to work

Whilst considering area, think about how easy it will be to get to work. Most of us have to commute to work at a different location. It's likely that you are looking at properties near your place of work but it is worth considering whether you are likely to change your job in future. Sticking to rural locations may limit your work choices in future, whereas buying a home near good transport links may help. Moving house can be stressful for a lot of us as well as costly - you may be glad if you don't have to move house to find a job later on. Even if houses nearer city centres and towns are more expensive than surrounding areas, think about how much it would cost each week in petrol or train fares.

4. Future saleability

Most people browse websites when looking for a house such as Rightmove, which states the date that each property went on the market (or when the price was last reduced). If a property you like has been on the market a long time - ask the agent why. It may be because the buyer has had other people interested who have had to pull out of the sale for their own reasons or maybe there is a reason for concern. Ask the agent why the property has been on the market for so long, or if others have pulled out of the purchase then find out why. It could be that their solicitor found out that there were plans for undesirable developments nearby, there's a risk of flooding or there was an issue with the lease, for example. It could just be that the property is over priced in which case don't be afraid to offer them less.


5. Does the property look good on the outside?

First impressions are important. Don't be put off by a dodgy front door as thinks like that can be changed easily. In general, bear in mind if you find an affordable house that looks good on the outside but not so good on the inside, remember the inside can be changed when you have time and money. The construction and location of the property is for keeps.


6. Choosing a good solicitor & understanding the purchase process

Once you have made an offer which has been accepted, you'll need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf for the purchase. The entire process usually takes between 8-12 weeks but can take even longer, so understanding the different stages of the sale can make the whole purchase a little less frustrating. Having a good solicitor can make the process so much easier - ask friends and family for recommendations.

  • Firstly, once the sale has been agreed, the estate agent will send out the Memorandum of sale to both your solicitor and the solicitor acting on behalf of the seller to confirm the agreed purchase price and swap details of the other parties involved in the transaction, including your details as the buyer, the seller and their solicitors.
  • The seller's solicitor will then take some time to obtain a copy of the Deeds from Land Registry (and also the lease if it is a leasehold property, which usually applies to flats as opposed to houses) and get other information needed from the seller. Once they have the details they need, they will then send your solicitor the Contract package.
  • Your solicitor will review the Contract package and obtain any searches needed, such as an environmental search for example. Your solicitor may have some queries about the property or the surrounding area so may need to correspond with the sellers solicitor who may need to even refer to the seller for more information.
  • Once your solicitor is happy with the responses to any questions asked, they will make arrangements with you to sign the Contract and any deposit will be requested at this stage. When the funds are cleared, you have signed the Contract and your solicitor has received a copy of your mortgage offer (assuming a mortgage is needed) all queries have been answered satisfactorily, then you will be in a position to Exchange Contracts.
  • Your solicitor should then contact the seller's solicitor to advise you are ready to exchange contracts and a Completion date is agreed. Once they have agreed a completion date (the date you will receive the keys and own your new home) the solicitors will exchange contracts. At this point both you and the seller are now committed to the sale on the agreed date at the agreed price. Now that you know for certain the date you can move into your new home, you should look to book any time off work that you need, arrange any removal services that you want and also take out insurance for your new home.
  • On the Completion date, your solicitor will transfer the money to pay for the property to the seller's solicitor. Once the seller's solicitor confirms receipt of the funds they will authorise the estate agent to hand over the keys of the property to you, although sometimes it is pre-agreed that this will all take place in time for you to collect the keys at midday.


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