Home Buying Guide: Introduction


You have decided to buy a home - but what next? The maze of legal work, negotiations, dealing with surveyors and solicitors, finding a good mortgage deal and worrying about your deal falling through, on top of actually hunting down the home of your dreams, is enough to make anyone's hair stand on end.

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions that you will make in your life. It is a lengthy and complicated business, which while exciting is often fraught with stress and worry. But luckily there is a lot of good advice around helping you to make your home-buying experience as easy and problem-free as possible.

After finding a home you like, which can take anything from a few days to many months, the process from having your offer accepted to completion of the sale takes about 12 weeks. This is about twice as long as in many other countries - home-buying in Britain is a notoriously drawn-out business.

It is important to have a good understanding of the process as it will help you to avoid some of the most common hazards of home-buying. Home.co.uk has prepared an introduction to the home-buying process to help you to understand how it all works, how to plan it and what to watch out for. After reading this you should have a better idea of what to expect and how to set out to buy a home feeling prepared and ready to go!

The Buying Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

The links below cover the main stages you will go through when buying a home.

  1. Work Out How Much You Can Afford
  2. Get a Mortgage Agreement in Principle
  3. Choose Your Home
  4. Hire a Solicitor
  5. Make an Offer
  6. Have a Survey and Valuation Done
  7. Do Any Necessary Legal Work
  8. Arrange for Life Assurance
  9. Finalise Your Mortgage
  10. Exchange Contracts
  11. Organise Your Move
  12. Finalise Your Contract Details
  13. Move In!

Note: Before You Begin...

  • Note that the information on this site applies to buying a house in England and Wales. The process is different in Scotland.
  • If you are selling a property as well as buying one, and the purchase of your next home is dependent on selling, it is strongly advisable to sell your home before you get down to serious house-hunting. If not, you could end up frustrated and disappointed, as well as having noticeably less money in your bank account.