Your five step guide to buying property in the UK

Buying a home is never a simple process, understanding some of the basics of UK property buying systems will help to make the process easier

Buying a house abroad is exciting and daunting in equal measures. Buying a home, especially in London is probably one of the most sensible investment decisions you could make this year. As we pointed out in our Buying and Investing in Property e-guide, central London property had enjoyed an impressive 40% value hike since 2007. But it’s not all plain sailing.

Did you know that the practice of “gazumping” means you could lose out on a deal even after your offer has been successful? Also buying in another currency can add its own difficulties as you’ll have to be wary of exchange rate volatility.

The intricacies of overseas buying systems can trip you up so if you are considering a move to the UK, you should familiarise yourself with the basics. Here’s our quick five step guide covering the essentials of purchasing domestic property in the UK.

1)In the UK, the majority of people fund home purchases with mortgages, though if you are in the business of property investment you are likely to be using your own cash and if you are emigrating you should have the cash from your own home sale. This puts you in quite an advantageous position as if you do make an offer; you will be able to provide sellers with a quick sale because you have the funding already in place.

2)Whether you are planning to live in the property, use it as a business stop off or rent it out, choosing the right property can be difficult if you are not familiar with the area you are buying in. It’s always worth getting local experts in to help you and advise you on key indicators such as local schools, area potential and crime. The police force in England and Wales give details on crime by area on this website, which should stop you from purchasing in an unwelcoming neighbourhood.

3)When you’ve pinpointed the property you want to purchase, you need to draw on the skills of a team including a solicitor and surveyor, who will put things in motion should you have an offer accepted. Having this team identified in advance will help you negotiate the process quickly and avoid being gazumped.

4)Once a home survey has been complete and you have guarantees the property is safe, UK residents would usually finalise their mortgage arrangements, though if you have the cash in the bank you can move straight on to making arrangements to take possession of the property.

5)On the day of completion of the deal, the title deed will be transferred into your name and you will be required to pay stamp duty and land registry fees. All that remains is paying your lawyer, putting your property to use and making sure it is adequately protected with relevant home insurance. There are many brands operating out of the UK including Can Can Cover, which you should be able to research online in advance.

So what are you waiting for? Start trawling the property sites today to find your dream UK home (sites like Zoopla offer a great selection and contain the minute details you will be looking for).


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