Getting Your Foot on the Property Ladder

A pair of first time buyers going over planning permission with lawyer

Excited by the prospect of owning your first home, but daunted by the process? Fiona Bruce Solicitors are here to help with a quick-fire guide to get you started.

What is involved?

Buying a property can be a stressful experience, but knowing what to expect and how to navigate your way through the process will assist you greatly.

The key steps to take and be aware of are as follows:

  1. Think about how much you can afford to spend on a property (see below ‘Money Matters’ section for more information);

  2. Find a property you like and within your budget, and make an offer to the seller;

  3. Should your offer be accepted, you need to confirm how you are going to pay for the property. If appropriate, this would be the time to apply for a mortgage, and to ensure you have sufficient funds for the deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price);

  4. Instruct a solicitor to help you with the legalities of buying the property;

  5. Instruct a Surveyor to carry out a survey of the property. You have a choice of surveys depending on the depth of analysis you require and how much you would like to pay;

  6. Exchange of Contracts. Following solicitor advice, and provided both you and the Seller(s) consent, exchange of contracts will take place. This is a particularly significant stage as at this point:

    1. you are contractually committed to purchasing the property;

    2. you have to pay the deposit (which is usually 10% of the total purchase price); and

    3. your moving date (also known as ‘Completion’) is confirmed contractually. If you change your mind about buying the property after this time then this will have serious financial consequences.

  7. Completion/Moving day. This is the day in which you will pay the remaining balance and receive the keys to your new home.

How long will it take?

Once you have found a property, your offer has been accepted and you have instructed solicitors, the purchase of a property can take 4-6 weeks from when the seller sends your solicitor the initial paperwork. This time frame can vary however depending on the property and the client(s).

Money matters - What will it cost?

The following expenses are typically involved in buying a home:

  1. Mortgage;

  2. Surveyor’s fee;

  3. Deposit;

  4. Estate agent fees;

  5. Solicitor fees;

  6. Search fees (e.g. drainage and water search, environmental search, local search etc);

  7. Stamp Duty Land Tax. This can be between 0 - 5% of the total purchase price depending on the value of the property;

  8. Land Registry registration fee (for registering your ownership at the Land Registry);

  9. Removal costs;

  10. Buildings insurance; and

  11. Furnishing and decorating costs.


Home Ownership Schemes

As a first-time buyer, there are various schemes to help you afford a home. Please follow this link for more information.


Why Fiona Bruce LLP?

At Fiona Bruce Solicitors we understand that purchasing a property for the first time is not just a transaction - it is a mile-stone and a cause for celebration.

We do our utmost to ensure the process is clear, you are guided and advised every step of the way, and that buying your first home is as stress-free as possible.

Contact us today and we will provide you with a free, competitive, no obligation quotation.

Article Disclaimer

This article is for general information only and does not constitute specific advice. You should not rely on the information in this article. Fiona Bruce Solicitors recommends that you seek our specific advice if you wish to rely on the any part of this article. Whilst Fiona Bruce Solicitors makes every effort to ensure that the article is accurate, Fiona Bruce Solicitors excludes all liability for claim, loss, demands or damages of any kind whatsoever (whether such claims, loss, demands or damages were foreseeable, known or otherwise) arising out of or in connection with the use of this article or any other information contained on this website. Any information provided only applies to England and Wales.