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How to buy a house – where to start?

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How to buy a house

There is nothing more exciting and terrifying than trying to buy your own house. Take things one step at a time, and you’ll find things aren’t as scary they originally seemed.


Everybody is a tourist online when looking at homes. We’re all guilty of looking through a listing of the 10 bedroom mansion, with a pool, hot-tub and cinema room.

However, you need to work out your affordability before organising a pool party.  Speak to a mortgage advisor, who will check over your financial circumstances. They will let you know how much you’ll be able to borrow, and how much deposit you will need.


You will need to start getting stricter with your spending, so you have as much money as possible to put towards a deposit. 

The minimum deposit is 5% for a first-time buyer, but it is easier to get a mortgage with a 10-20% deposit. You will also get a better lending rate, the higher the amount of deposit you have.

Find a house

What factors are most important to you? Make a list to easily refer back to whilst looking for your perfect home, but try to keep an open-mind. Sometime your perfect home is one you would not have considered.

House viewings

It is always so exciting when viewing properties, but it is one of the toughest stages of the house purchase. It is very easy to let your heart rule your head, and to forget about practicalities. 

Make sure you see any properties you love twice, and take a family member/friend with a cool head to give their advice. More advice on what to look for during viewings here.


You will call the estate agent once you’ve found your dream home, to negotiate your offer. You can read some handy tips on how to negotiate your offer here.

Mortgage application

Once an offer is accepted, the estate agent will send you a confirmation letter so you can apply for your mortgage.

Surveys and solicitors

After you’ve applied for your mortgage and the vendor has accepted your offer, the surveys, valuations and conveyancing will happen.

Your lender will send out a surveyor to find out the value of the home, and you can choose to have an additional home-buyers survey.

Read more about the different types of survey here.

You will also need to find your own solicitor to ensure your purchase is sound, and the legalities runs smoothly.

Final countdown

At this point, everyone should be happy with the contracts, price and survey results. You will need to purchase home insurance, possibly life insurance, and then sign all contracts so you can legally exchange.

Your deposit will need to be in your solicitors bank account at this stage.

Moving day

It’s time to pack up and move into your first house – congrats! Don’t forget to ring the utility companies to get everything put in your name.

If you would like any more information in relation to the purchase process, contact us at Coppenwall Estate Agents.