Buying a flat in London: the process and some tips

Hi,

It’s been long time since last post – so many things have happened.

Between those, a big one which is worth mentioning is the fact I am buying a flat in London. After months of desperate searching, long phone calls (I refuse to look at my phone bill!) and flat viewings, finally I found one and it looks like I am very close to the exchange (which the previous step to the final one, the completion).

 

But what does the buying process imply?

Let me explain very simply in this post, hopefully it may clarify a thing or two.

1) Generally speaking, a bank may lend up to 5 times your salary, having said that probably 4.7 times would be probable. This should give you a guidance in what you can afford.

2) There are a few government schemes to help first time buyers worth to look at, I personally chose the 5% deposit.

3) Set up alerts on rightmove or zoopla, you receive emails on a daily basis on new available flats

4) Search for a mortgage and get it agreed in principlethis will help you to get credibility when you find a flat that you really like and make an offer

5) When searching for a mortgage, use more than one broker: you’d be surprised how much difference it can be between them, I could find even 50K worth of difference!

6) I personally would avoid in consulting a broker suggested from the estate agent, those two could illegally communicate with each other and make you pay more money on the flat!

7) Do speak to lenders straight away: you could get a cheaper product and avoid the broker’s fee! I recommend Yorkshire Building Society: cheaper, faster and efficient. It really worked for me.

8) Make sure you check your credit score signing up to Experian or / and Equifax. Very important: you should be registered at the electoral roll at your Council before applying to a mortgage.

9) When making an offer, be sure that the estate agent isn’t fooling around. Be tough in your offer decision and stick to it for a day or two.

10) Offer accepted, congrats! Now find your lawyers. You can compare them on this link http://www.moneysupermarket.com/conveyancing/

11) You might want to organise a survey for your property to make sure it is worth the money you’re paying

12) The mortgage application is a nerve wracking process. It truly can drive you mad and / or leave you without a piece of soul. If you can get away with it with a few problems, you’re lucky.

13) Mortgage offered. Now you can truly celebrate. The flat is almost yours.

14) Exchange: the conveyancers exchange the contracts and you start signing some, plus you have to pay for the deposit

15) Completion: yay! flat is yours! Now you can move in 🙂

 

home buying process

 

I’ll let you know how my new flat will look like.

 

Sonia

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