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Buying a home can be an exciting time, particularly for first-time buyers. It can also be very daunting as it is such a big commitment. The team at Gorvins can help you to navigate the home buying process with ease.

If you’re ready to start the steps to buying a house or apartment, get in touch with our team on 0343 507 5151, email us at, fill in the online form or use our conveyancing guide to get your quote.

Decide on your budget

The first step to buying a house or flat is to decide what you can afford. You will have to think about your existing monthly commitments and what you can afford to pay towards a mortgage every month. It’s important that you don’t overstretch yourself and make sure that your monthly payments will be affordable, even if your circumstances change.

Choose your mortgage provider

Once you have established your budget, you will need to shop around for a mortgage. Once you have found a mortgage that you like, you will apply for something known as a “mortgage in principle”. This will tell you how much a lender is likely to give you and the rate of interest you can expect to pay.

Check your credit report

At this stage, you should check your credit report to make sure everything is up to date and there aren’t any errors. Lenders will look at this when making a decision, so you should check that everything is as it should be.

Find your property

Once you have found a property you like within your budget, you will make an offer, usually through an estate agent. You should only have to pay for an estate agent if you are selling a property, so this stage shouldn’t cost the buyer anything.

Find a solicitor

If the seller accepts your offer, then you will instruct a specialist solicitor known as a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal matters. Your solicitor will carry out the required research to ensure there are no hidden issues with the property. They will also handle the legal process of transferring the property from the seller to the buyer. If you would like to instruct Gorvins as your conveyancing solicitor, get in touch with our team on 0343 507 5151, email us at, fill in the online form or use our conveyancing guide to get your quote.

The valuation survey

This is a check carried out by the lender to make sure that the property is worth the price that you are willing to pay. It isn’t an extensive survey and it won’t tell you anything that is wrong with the property, it is just to confirm the value for the lender.

The property survey

You will need to commission a survey of the property to make sure that there are no pressing issues that could impact the value of the property. If the survey finds something that will cost £4,000 to fix, then you can use this information to negotiate a better deal on the price. There are three types of surveys that you can request, with different levels of reporting.

RICS Condition Report – This is a basic survey that covers the essentials. It is most suitable for new builds or where the home is in very good condition. No advice or valuation is given.

RICS Homebuyer Report – This is a more comprehensive survey, ideal for homes in fair condition. It’s more detailed and looks at the inside and outside of a property. This type of survey will also include a valuation.

Building/ Structural Survey – This is the most comprehensive and is advised for older homes or homes that obviously need repairs. This will help you to understand if the repairs needed are cosmetic or structural.

Finalise the mortgage

This is often the most stressful stage of the home buying process as so many things have to fall into place at the same time. The most common reasons for a sale to fall through at this stage is if the survey uncovers problems that will be very expensive to fix, or the lender values the property lower than your agreed price and leaves you with a shortfall in funds.

Other reasons include the mortgage provider rejecting your final application, the seller deciding they don’t want to sell, or another bidder offering a higher price.

Finalise the sale

This is the most exciting stage of the process as it means that you will soon have the keys to your new home. Up until this point, you will still be able to back out if you change your mind. If you decide to go ahead, your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will exchange contracts. As soon as you have signed and exchanged contracts you need to ensure you have buildings insurance in place as the property is now your responsibility.

After this, all of the fees and money is paid. This includes the cost of the property, your mortgage account fee, solicitors fees and estate agent fees. Your solicitor will register the sale with the Land Registry and the home will officially be yours. If stamp duty is due, your solicitor will usually arrange for this to be paid.

The process might sound complicated, but when broken down into the individual steps, it’s all quite straightforward. It might be stressful at times, but when you finally get the keys to your new home, it will all be worth it.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards owning your own home, get in touch with the conveyancing team at Gorvins to find out how we can help.

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Meet the Residential Property team

  • Lorraine Lockie

    Head of Residential Property and Conveyancing
    Residential Property

    View profile

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