Step 1 – Work out what you can afford
It’s not much fun committing to a massive mortgage if it means you can never afford to go out. Think about what you spend throughout the year. Are there some outgoings you can cut back on? What’s non negotiable? When you’re comfortable with a monthly mortgage amount, stick to it.
Step 2 – Arrange a mortgage
Nothing’s more disappointing than finding your dream home and then discovering the banks won’t lend you the money to buy it. So it’s important to arrange a mortgage with a lender before you start your property search so you know exactly how much you can afford. Having a mortgage in place will also mean you’re in a stronger negotiating position and a more attractive proposition to sellers.
Step 3 – Think about the home you need
If you're considering properties to buy in Tooting and surrounding areas, you have to take into consideration whether the property you choose will meet your needs. If you have kids, you’ll need schools close by, so maybe you should consider looking for spacious houses to buy in Tooting near schools. If you commute, perhaps you should consider buying a flat near good transport links. If you’ll be working from home in the future, you may need an office or study area. Are you happy to renovate? Or just decorate? Think about the kind of property you need for your lifestyle. Not someone else’s.
Step 4 - Look at properties for sale
Register your interest. Then take a look at the properties for sale in Tooting and the surrounding areas. Check the photographs, floor plans and map. Google maps is also a great tool to use too. See something you like? Give us a call and book a viewing.
Step 5 – Arrange viewings
We’ll arrange a viewing that’s convenient for you and the seller. Unlike some other estate agents, we don’t believe viewings should be ‘office hours only’. If a viewing needs to be at the weekend or later in the evening, we’ll be there. And we’ll give you as much time as you need to look around too. Buying a property is the most expensive purchase you’ll make, so take as much time as you need to inspect every nook and cranny.
Step 6 – Make an offer
Love what you saw? It’s time to make an offer. Remember to let us know if you’re not in a chain, or you’re mortgage free, or you’re a first-time buyer. These all swing in your favour when it comes to negotiating the best price. As we know both you and the seller, we can advise both parties on what is a good and reasonable offer.
Step 7 – Your offer is accepted
Good news. Your offer is accepted. So now you need to let your solicitor know you want to buy a property and to start working on the contract. If you haven’t got a solicitor we can recommend one for you. Your solicitor will send a questionnaire to the seller, which they’ll need to compete. These will be questions such as what fixtures and fittings are being left behind (like carpets and curtains).
Step 8 – Arrange a survey
Your mortgage lender will arrange a surveyor to value the property. This is a basic survey, so it’s worth arranging your own full structural survey as well, especially if it’s an older property or you’re planning extensive renovations.
Step 9 – Read the survey
If the survey has highlighted any issues that need work you might want to renegotiate the price of the property. We can help you do this and arrange access to the property so you can get quotes for the work that needs doing.
Step 10 - Exchange contracts
Once all parties are happy and your solicitor has completed all the necessary checks, you’ll be asked to sign a contract. This will legally commit you to buying the property and at this point you’ll pay the deposit, normally around 10%.
Step 11 - Buy buildings insurance
If it’s a freehold property, you’ll need buildings insurance in place before completion date. If it’s a leasehold property, buildings insurance may already be included in your management fee. Your solicitor will let you know.
Step 12 – Complete and move in
Completion day is usually a week or two after you’ve exchanged contracts. This is when your solicitor lets you know that your money has reached the seller’s solicitor and you can collect the keys and move in to your new home. Congratulations!
If you have any questions or issues on how to buy properties and the surrounding areas, remember you can always give us a call. We’re here to help.