First-time buyer timeline: From deposit to completion

Buying your first home is a huge milestone and a very exciting time. However, buying a home is also a very stressful process, so you need to be clued up on all steps and what is required from you.

You need to make sure you can actually afford to buy the house you want, which includes saving for and paying the deposit, obtaining a mortgage and paying the moving costs.

Keep in mind that the larger the deposit, the better your mortgage deals will be. Although saving up will take a while, the independence and reality of being a homeowner will be worth it!

When it comes to getting a mortgage, you need to do your research to find the best rates and deals.

Take your time with your property search as you may need to make some compromises when it comes to the location and size of the house. The best thing to do is keep an open mind, especially if you are buying a home with your partner, it’s important you consider their opinions too.

Once you have found the perfect property, make an offer through your estate agent. If it’s accepted, you will need to hire a solicitor to oversee the legal and administrative work, arrange the stamp duty and check for planning issues.

The next step is to organise your first property survey to assess the building for any structural issues. Your lender will want the property to be valued so they can be sure it is worth the asking price. There are three types of surveys:

  • Condition reports
  • Homebuyer reports
  • Building or structural surveys

This guide on house surveys will help you determine which property survey you need.

When both you and your solicitor have confirmed you are happy with the property, it’s at this stage when you will be exchanging contracts with the sellers and paying the deposit.

Packing will take some time and effort, so make sure not to leave it to the last minute. Go through all your items and donate anything you haven’t used or needed in the past 6 months. If you find it is too much, some removal companies offer packing services to help you.

At this point, you should receive your moving date, and can start finding companies to help you with your house removals. Try to remain flexible as the moving date can change due to unexpected circumstances, but do your research and get several quotes before deciding.

On the day of completion, the property will legally belong to you! You can pick up the keys and deeds to the house and move in – you will officially be a home owner!

Getting on the property ladder can feel daunting, but breaking down the process into individual steps to follow will help simplify things and make the process less overwhelming.

Finally, for a simple break down of your mortgage points, look at the following infographic: