How Long Does It Take to Buy a House UK? The Road to Home Ownership

Meta: When you are ready to move, you should learn the steps involved so you recognize how long does it take to buy a house UK and what can slow the process. 

Buying a home in the UK is a lengthy process that involves several steps. Since several things can happen to delay the process, it is difficult to assess precisely how long does it take to buy a house UK. If you are planning to move in the UK, be ready for anything, as anything could happen. 

Buying and selling real estate in any country is stressful. Not knowing how long does it take to buy a house UK can only add to the stress. Understanding property transaction timelines helps you understand why problems can arise that lengthen the process. Transactions can go smoothly, but more often than not, something unexpected happens. 

If you are still wondering how long does it take to buy a house UK, it could take a few weeks, or it could take over a year. 

Understanding the Cost of Moving

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There are several steps involved in buying a home. They tend to go in a specific order as many steps depend on others. Before you decide to move, you should look closely at what you can afford and how much a move will cost. People often forget that the cost of buying a new home includes more than just the price of the house. 

Moving involves the cost of the home and several other things:

  • Legal fees
  • Loan and lender fees
  • Broker fees
  • Expenses related to moving
  • New utility expenses

Fortunately, when you are ready to move, you do not have to figure out the cost of moving on your own. You can work with a broker or a negotiator to help you determine what you can afford. As soon as you realize that you can afford to buy a new home, you can begin to understand how long does it take to buy a house UK. 

Know Your Budget

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The next step in the process is to understand how much you can afford to borrow for a mortgage. You should meet with a mortgage expert to determine what the best product is for your situation. Mortgage brokers will tell you how much you can safely borrow, but you might not want to buy a home at the highest end. 

After you determine what amount is the best for your budget, your mortgage advisor will give you what you need to make an offer on a home. They will also give you a mortgage promise from a lender that you can show to prove you can afford a home that you want to buy. 

Start Looking for Your Perfect Home

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As soon as you have the promise for a mortgage, you can begin looking for a home that fits your needs and budget. Of course, you can start looking for a property at any time, but until you have the decision in principle, you do not have proof that you can buy the home you want. With that letter, a seller knows you are ready to buy. 

When you begin looking for properties, find an estate agent who can show you around and update you when new homes enter the market. Agents know the cost of living in different neighborhoods, and they might know about gems that fit your budget. You might think you can do it on your own, but most people appreciate working with an agent.  

After you have found a home, you will want to see it. Set up a viewing with your moving agent. Pay attention to the details inside the home and around the neighborhood so you can make a wise decision. Homes in some price ranges sell quickly, so you if you love it, you will want to make a move before someone else gets it. 

Make the Offer

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Your mortgage promise gives you the tools you need to make an offer. If you find a home that you want to buy, you should make an offer. Your solicitor or your mortgage agent can help you with the processes. Keep in mind that some sellers decline offers at first; sellers want to negotiate and get the best price. 

The process involves some legal documents, so you will have to sign them as you make the offer. You will have to sign again if negotiation happens and you make changes to your offer. 

If you are lucky, the seller will accept your offer. Then, the process gets going. You and the seller will enter into a contract, and you should receive a legal document called a Memorandum of Sale. 

For many people, the longest part of buying a property is finding a home and getting to the point where you receive the Memorandum of Sale. Take your time to find the perfect home. Don’t rush, or you might regret getting a home that isn’t perfect for you. 

Hire a Solicitor

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At some point during the early stages of the property-buying process, you should hire a solicitor. There are several complicated legal requirements for buying a home, and solicitors are experts in the process. You will have to pay the solicitor, but some accept flat rates and others will agree to a no-sale-no-fee if the deal does not happen.  

Solicitors can keep the transaction moving along, so the process does not take too long. Without a solicitor, you could make a mistake that could prolong the ordeal and possibly end it altogether. 

Complete the Mortgage
Application and Inspect the Property

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Even if you have a mortgage promise, you still will have to complete a mortgage application. Your mortgage agent can help you get the job done in a timely fashion. Prior to completing the mortgage process, check into mortgage protection for the chance that you might not be able to make your payments due to unfortunate circumstances. 

To confirm that the home is worth the value of the mortgage, the lender will do a valuation of the property. Along with the assessment, smart buyers arrange home surveys and inspections to determine the condition of the property. If there are severe issues with the property, you can decide to back out before it is too late. 

The Conveyance Begins

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After the offer is accepted a complicated procedure called a conveyance begins. This is why you need a solicitor so that the legal necessities can be completed correctly. The seller will also have a solicitor who will work on the title deeds and contracts, too. Your solicitor will communicate with the seller’s to keep the process moving along smoothly. 

Along with completing paperwork, your solicitor will communicate with the seller’s solicitor. They will talk about the home you are planning to buy to learn about boundary issues, legal disputes, or other problems that could slow the completion of the sale. They will talk about what appliances and other fixtures will be included in the sale, too. 

The solicitor will search for background on the property. This search will include issues with the locale regarding planning talks in the past, present, and future. 

If all goes well with the solicitor’s work and you are happy with the results, your mortgage offer should be approved. Before you decide to sign the mortgage agreement, see that the terms and conditions are what you expected. Prior to getting the deed of the home and the final contracts, you will need to show that the mortgage is approved.  


Get Insurance

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Before the process ends, you need insurance to cover the property and contents. Check into several options because insurance companies have a range of prices. The solicitors cannot exchange contracts until you have the right insurance for the property. 

Finalize the Process

After the solicitors complete the legal process, you get to sign the contract. Your solicitor will make sure the deal is ready before you put your name on the dotted line. Then, the solicitors chat again to decide when the contracts are exchanged and the date that you get to possess the property. You can then arrange for a moving day, but be prepared for it to change. 

The final legal step is to buy the property by signing the contract. Any deposit you put down will be given to the seller’s solicitor, and then the property is yours. At this point, the insurance you arranged earlier in the process becomes active. You will get the contract from the seller, and the seller will get the deal from you. 

Change Your Address and Move In

You will also need to arrange for address changes and service changes. You have to inform utility companies of the day you obtained the property, so everything is sent to your new property. 

Change your address with HM Revenue and Customs as well as with your employer, bank, and every other business that needs to know your new address. You should also change your address with Royal Mail, so your post can be forwarded to you.  

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