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Buying your first house: from newbie to homeowner in 10 steps


Taking that first step on the property ladder is likely to be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make.

From the outside, the house-buying process is a minefield of red tape, legal knots and a cascade of money leaving your pocket. It can all be a little overwhelming.

But if you break it down into stages, things aren't as scary as they seem.

Here’s our 10-step guide to buying your first house. Each step has more information, tips and tools to help you along the way.

Step 1: Should I buy or rent?

There are pros and cons to each. So before you take the plunge it’s worth thinking about which option’s best for you.

Read step 1: Should I buy or rent?

Step 2: What can I afford?

In case you didn’t notice, houses are expensive. Here’s some help in figuring out what’s within your price range, and how to work out an affordable budget.

Read step 2: What can I afford?

Step 3: Saving for a deposit

Having a larger deposit means less money you’ll need to owe the bank. Here we give some tips on scrimping for that wad of cash.

Read step 3: Saving for a deposit

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Step 4: Finding the perfect home

Ready to get excited? Let’s find that dream home of yours! It’s not just about the building itself, but the local area too.

Read step 4: Finding the perfect home

Step 5: Getting a mortgage – agreement in principle

Time to get serious. Here’s how you apply for a mortgage, what types are available, and what pitfalls to avoid.

Read step 5: Getting a mortgage

Step 6: The viewing

You’ve seen it on your screen – now it’s time to see it in real life. Be thorough when viewing the house and bear these points in mind.

Read step 6: The viewing

Step 7: Make them an offer they can’t refuse

It’s time to put your money where your mouth is and make the seller an offer. This is also when you finalise the mortgage with your lender to pay for the house.

Read step 7: Making an offer

Step 8: Surveys and conveyancing

There’s a lot of red tape involved in buying a house to make sure everyone’s happy. This is where solicitors and conveyancers come in to do the legwork for you.

Read step 8: Surveys and conveyancing

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Step 9: Exchanging contracts and insuring the house

You’re almost there! Everyone shakes hands and agrees on the sale. The last important hurdle to jump is making sure that the building is insured against potential damage.

Read step 9: Exchanging contracts

Step 10: The big move

Are you excited? Time to pack up your stuff and move into your new home! You’ve worked hard for this, so here’s how to move house with minimal fuss.

Read step 10: Moving house checklist

And that’s all there is to it.

So are you ready to take your first step?

Next – Step 1: Should I buy or rent?


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