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Buying process

Before you start to look for a property it makes sense to find out exactly how much you can afford to pay. Do you have a property to sell? Then you need an accurate up-to-date valuation. Contact us at Choice Housing for a FREE market appraisal. Once you have the sales price, if you need a mortgage you’ll need to find out how much you can borrow and what the costs will be. mortgage calculator Or book an appointment with our Independent financial advisor who will be pleased to help.


Once you know the price and type of property you are looking for, then register your details with Choice Housing and our friendly staff will do their best to keep you informed of suitable property as it comes on the market. We can arrange viewings at times to suit you. We will take full details from you, including daytime telephone numbers, home address, and a description of your perfect property. Do you need to be in the catchment area for a particular school? Would you like a big garden? Is parking essential? Would you prefer a house that needs renovating? Or an investment property? If so, you’ll need us to advise you on potential rent .



When you see a house that you would like to buy, you will need to make a formal offer. Often, this may be under the asking price but there are no rules to this process. We will inform the vendor of any offers in writing. If we receive any higher offers on the property we will let you know, so that you have the opportunity to revise your offer. Sometimes a property will be sold at a price higher than the asking price.

Once your offer has been agreed, you will need to instruct a solicitor to act for you. We can recommend a solicitor to you, who are efficient and knowledgeable of the local area. If you are applying for a mortgage, you must check that your solicitor is on the lender’s panel, or you may have to pay extra fees for a solicitor to act for the lender as well. Some solicitor’s will offer online facilities, such as tracking.
A solicitor will charge you, on average, approximately £450 plus VAT for a straightforward sale or purchase, plus disbursements. These include Land registry fees (to register the title deeds in your name) of approximately £200 plus VAT, and local searches at £200 plus VAT. These costs can vary from area to area, and also from solicitor to solicitor. You will also have to pay stamp duty on the cost of your purchase. Currently the costs are 1% of the value of the property between £125,000 to £249,999, 3% on a sale price of £250,000 to £499,999 and 4% on all property sold for more that £500,000. Stamp duty is levied on the whole price, i.e the buyer of a house sold at £140,000 will have to pay £1,400, a house sold at £700,000 will give rise to a charge of £28,000. it also worth noting that some ‘disadvantaged’ areas are exempt from stamp duty up to £149,999
The solicitor will request a contract from the vendor’s solicitor, and will raise enquiries. Local searches will also be applied for. Once the solicitor is happy with the contract and has ascertained that you have the monies available to complete, you will be asked to sign the contract. It is usual at this stage to lodge a deposit of 10% of the purchase price. A completion date will be agreed, and contracts will be exchanged. At this stage you are legally contracted to complete the purchase and you must insure the property.
Most purchasers will want to have the property surveyed by a suitably qualified person. If you are applying for a mortgage the lender will instruct a surveyor to inspect the property, to make sure that it is a suitable security for a loan. If you want a more detailed survey, you can request this, extra fee may be payable, or you can instruct your own surveyor. If you use your own surveyor, but are applying for a mortgage, you will still have to pay for the building society valuation. We can recommend a local surveyor if required.
Once the vendor’s solicitor has received the monies, the sale will complete and the purchaser will be able to collect the keys. This usually happens around midday on the day of completion. The purchaser should inform all local utilities that they have taken over the property, and read all the meters. Redirect the mail from your old address.
House buying can be a straightforward process and usually takes between 6 to 10 weeks. Problems can occur though and moving house is right up there amongst divorce and bereavement, in terms of stress. The majority of the stress derives from a lack of information and control over the process. Choice Housing staff are always keen to keep you informed of the progress of the transaction every step of the way.

You may be in a chain and if one person pulls out, then every linked transaction could fall through or be delayed. Sometimes people change their minds, due to an adverse survey, or a change in circumstances. Unfortunately, any fees spent are not usually recoverable, unless you had insured against this eventuality. At Choice Housing we only charge the vendor a fee on completion, so we only get paid when the sale has gone through.





First time buyers should consider applying for a decision in principle before you do anything, book a free appointment with our independent mortgage advisor who will go through `how the process works` etc and what the costs are. Before looking for a property, See our mortgage calculator to check how much you can borrow, this will let you know exactly how much you can spend and will put you in a strong position when it comes to making an offer.
These meetings are FREE and very informative, explaining the whole house buying process from start to finish. Contact Choice Housing now and we will call you back to arrange a suitable time, which can be in the evening or weekend if that suits you better.

During the hour you will cover
• How much can you borrow?
• What will it cost?
• Using a guarantor
• Reducing your monthly outlay
• The cost of buying a home
• Choosing a good solicitor
• The house buying process

You may also be able to obtain a mortgage decision in principle, so that you can make a serious offer when you find your ideal property.
We always carry a god selection of properties suitable for first time buyers, in all price ranges and to search through the details of properties currently available please click here BUY


Common reasons for a sale to fall through are:

The mortgage surveyor may value the property lower than the asking price, or find structural problems. A building society may not lend on sub-standard property, or you may not be able to insure the building. If you can’t get building insurance on a property you will not be able to mortgage it. For non-structural repairs the lender may require further reports and these can cover anything from timber and damp, electrical or roofing, for example. If there is a cost for these repairs the lenders may hold retention, i.e reduce the amount of money they are prepared to lend to cover the cost of the repairs. If the vendor and purchaser cannot negotiate a solution to these problems then the sale may fall though.
Choice Housing staff are trained ‘negotiators’ and it is our job to negotiate between vendor and purchaser to bring the transaction to a satisfactory conclusion to all parties. If your lender requires further reports, we can arrange them for you at Choice Housing. We are very experienced in dealing with survey reports, obtaining quotes and estimates that are acceptable to the surveyor.


This is when the vendor accepts a higher price from an alternative prospective purchaser. At Choice Housing we work for the vendor and we have a duty to put forward all offers to the vendor.

A purchaser may not be able to raise all the money needed to buy the Property.

A simple change of mind is one of the biggest reasons for a sale to fall through. On the other hand, there may be a reason - the new job offer is withdrawn, someone in the chain decides to divorce instead of move, your purchaser wins the lottery and wants a bigger property.

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