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VMH’s Guide to Buying a Home

Guide to buying a home

The process of buying a home starts long before you put forward an offer. Below we outline the steps involved before you pick up the keys to your new home!

VMH’s Guide to Buying a Home 

Get a mortgage advisor

Finding the right mortgage advisor should be your first step. This will allow you to work out how much you can borrow. They will also assist you in obtaining a mortgage in principle. Whilst not necessary to have an advisor, they can help you search for a variety of mortgage products and advise which is best for your circumstances.

Work out your budget

With mortgage rates the highest they’ve been in 15 years, your budget may not be the maximum amount you can borrow. Rather what is an affordable monthly repayment to you. You’ll also need to take into consideration any repairs or improvements a property may need. And don’t forget about the cost of furnishing a new home.

Find a solicitor

You’ll need a solicitor to do the legal work on your behalf when buying a home. It’s important you get a good feel from the solicitor you use. They will be your guiding light on what can be a stressful process. VMH Solicitors have over 30 years experience in buying and selling property. We can give you an insight into the market and advise you on what might be a reasonable offer. As an ESPC Charter Firm we are also committed to providing outstanding service.

Find your home

Now it’s time to house hunt! Platforms such as, Rightmove and Zoopla are your best friend here. It’s important to check them often as new properties can appear at any time. Having an idea of what you’re looking for, you can use your search criteria to filter down the homes.

Hint – Some properties are Exclusive to ESPC for 72 hours! Get ahead of the game by signing up to ESPC property alerts to ensure you hear about them first. 

They don’t call it location, location, location for nothing! Go out and explore the areas you would like to live in. Factor in what’s important to you. Is it close to your favorite coffee shop? Easy access to work? Public transport on your doorstep? Maybe you have kids and are looking to be in catchment of a particular school.

Next, familiarize yourself with a home report. Every property in Scotland sold on the open market has to have one. It can be very useful in telling you about the current condition of the property as well as the value.

The last tip here is go out and view lots of properties. It will help you decide on what you like and look past the things you don’t but can easily change.

Make an offer

Once you have found a property, have a chat with your solicitor to discuss what level of offer to put forward. Your mortgage provider will only loan up to the value of your property and anything over and above that needs to come from your own pocket.

When a property is advertised at a Fixed Price, this is generally what the seller is looking for. If it’s Offers Over you will have to put forward an offer in excess of this and likely more than what the valuation is on the home report.

Should multiple notes of interest be received you may find yourself in a Closing Date situation. It’s essentially a blind auction and you’ll never know what any of the other bids are. It’s important that you think over your offer and make sure you are giving it your best shot as this will likely be the last opportunity to offer on this.

Finalise your mortgage

Congratulations, your offer has been successful! You now need to finalise your mortgage with your broker. Although you have your mortgage in principle the bank now needs to cross the T’s and dot the I’s and confirm they are happy to lend over the property you have purchased. You will be able to work out the deposit for your mortgage usually around 10% and if you have paid over the valuation you can work out what else needs to be put into the pot.

Conclude the missives

Your solicitor will be working in the background, while you finalise your mortgage. They will firm up the details of your offer including the date of entry (when you get the keys), what is or isn’t included within the sale and confirming the title of the property matches what you are buying. Nothing is final until the missives (sometimes referred to as the contract) have been concluded. after this you are legally obliged to purchase the property on the agreed date of entry.

Moving home

The time has finally come to move into your new home! There is no guarantee as to what time you will receive the keys so it may be first thing or it can be late in the day. Your solicitor will try to get you in as soon as possible. Once you’re in, make sure things, like the heating and appliances included within the sale, all work and then you can sit back, relax and enjoy your home.

If you’re buying a home and would like more advice or information, contact us on 0131 622 2626; email or visit us online.