Firstly find out how big a mortgage you can afford. See a mortgage advisor for more advice about this.

Secondly, once you know the amount you have to spend, decide on the property that you want to buy. The property search feature of this site will help you.

Thirdly negotiate with the agent the actual purchase price of your desired property.

Having agreed a price find a solicitor to arrange all the conveyancing work.

Conveyancing

This involves all the legal work involved in buying or selling a property. There are various stages involved in the conveyancing process and the main activites briefly comprise of:

Draft contract
The sellers solicitor draws this up from the information gained from the property deeds. This contract will also contian information such as items included in the sale, buyers and sellers names, the date of transaction and the sum the propert is being sold for.

The contract has two parts – Particulars of Sale and Conditions of Sale. The conditions will have details about the proposed completion date and any deposit required on exchange of contract. The particulars describe the property and the details of the freehold.

Preliminary Enquiry
The solictor acting on behalf of the purchaser will send the a list of pre-contract enquiries to the seller’s solicitor. Some basic information will be uncovered at this point with regard to the boundaries of the property, wether the property is connected to the apprpriate utilites and what is included in the sale.

Land charge and registry charges
The purchasers solicitor will scrutines the title deed of the property and the Land Registry certificate to make sure that the seller is in a position so sell the property.

Property Information Form
Sellers solicitor will require information such as fixtures, fittings, boundaries etc to put into the draft contract.

Local Searches
This particular search can highlight quite a few important matters regarding the property and the immediate area. The search will highlight the water and drainage systems amongst other infrastructure and will also establish if any new developments are plannned for the area. Any planning restrictions attached to your propery will also be unearthed.

Local searches can take some time, anything from two to ten weeks, dependant on the local authority. Personal searches can speed up the process will cost you slightly more.

Approval of Draft Contract
When both parties are happy with the details of the contract, it is sent to the purchaser and seller for signing.

Formal Mortgage Offer
You must have a formal mortgage offer from the company that is lending you money before the sale goes ahead.

Arrange completion date
The solicitors will co-oridinate with their respective clients to arrange a suitable compoletion date – you will then be in a position to exchange contracts.

Exchange of Contracts
The contract is not legally binding until exchange has taken place. You will not exchange contracts unless:
• Yourself and lender have accepted the survey and valuation report
• The conveyancing work has been satisfactorily completed
• A formal mortgage offer has been received from your lender
• Any outstanding issues with the vendor have been settled
• A completion date has been agreed

Completion

On the day of completion transfer of the ownership of the property will take place, subject to the seller receiving the money for his property.

Congratulations – You are now ready to move into your new home.