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Calculate your costs

When thinking about buying a property it is important to calculate your moving budget down to the last penny. All too often buyers make the mistake of overlooking additional costs such as lender fees, solicitor fees, broker fees, surveyor fees, removal costs and many more. It is vital that you remember the cost of the house might account for a large fraction of your budget, but these minor fees do add up and should not be disregarded.

Mortgages and deposits

Before beginning your property search, you should assess how much money you are able to contribute towards your property, without the aid of mortgage lender. In some cases, you might be willing and financially able to contribute towards the entire cost of a property, this would make you a cash buyer, this works in your favour during a property search and unleashes a whole host of benefits.


The majority of first-time-buyers across the UK will require a mortgage to secure their property. In this case, your mortgage lender will need a cash contribution from you, the buyer, in order to acquire the mortgage. This cash contribution is often referred to as a deposit, a deposit is often equivalent to 10% of the property’s value at a minimum, although some lenders offer mortgages based on a 5% deposit. However, you must be mindful that mortgages obtained with a larger deposit (10% or more) often offer the best rates.


In a nutshell, a mortgage describes a sum of money that is borrowed from a bank or building society against a property. The borrower is required to pay back this money, in addition to any incurred interest, over an agreed period of time.

When evaluating the mortgages offered by various banks/building societies, it might be worth hiring the services of a mortgage broker, they provide specialist mortgage advice and suggest mortgages deemed suitable based on your personal circumstances. Mortgage brokers may also have access to competitive deals that are not readily available on the market, this service is accessible to anyone for a fee. It is certainly worth engaging the advice of a specialist to help you understand all the options available to you. Mr Homes work closely with Mortgage Advice Bureau to ensure their clients receive can select the right mortgage.

There are a large variety of mortgages on the market, when choosing the right mortgage you will need to assess a number of variables such as your deposit size and preference towards fixed or variable rates. Mr Homes have negotiated special rates for their clients, contact us on 02920 204555 to book an appointment over the telephone today.

Securing a mortgage will also involve thorough consideration of personal factors such as household income, credit checks, bank statements and more.

We recommend obtaining an API (agreement in principle) from a lender before starting your property search. This means the lender has agreed, in principle, to provide you with a mortgage, however, this is not guaranteed.

A Mr Homes recommended mortgage adviser will produce an API which you can take to any estate agent to ensure you receive priority treatment when placing an offer on a property. We can explain all of your options and help you select the right mortgage.

Start your search

After calculating your total costs, determining a budget and securing an API you’re ready to start searching for your dream home. Whilst you are able to begin the property search without completing any of the previous tips, we recommended undertaking these tasks before starting your search to ensure you are as prepared as you can possibly be.

When starting your search, it can be useful to build a list of property ‘must haves’, this information can then be passed onto estate agents to help narrow down your search. You can start by answering the following questions; do you want a house or flat? A garden? How many bedrooms do you really need? Specifying your search in this way can help filter out any irrelevant properties and avoids your time being wasted.

For more information on what to look for when searching for your ideal property read our handy guide.

Make an offer

Providing your property search is successful you should have found somewhere you’d like to call home, time to put in an offer.

Making an offer will usually be done with the aid of your estate agent, they will liaise with both yourself and the seller to agree upon a selling price.

It is at this point that your mortgage API can prove beneficial, as a first-time buyer this can often serve as reassurance that you are able to secure a mortgage. Providing your offer is accepted you should now think about formally applying for the mortgage.

Find a solicitor

When the seller has formally accepted your offer, you will need to find a solicitor, they will undertake the conveyancing of the property.

We understand that the term ‘conveyancing’ can sound boring and intimidating to someone who is new to the buying process, however, it simply describes essential procedures taken to ensure the property is legally yours. Mr Homes have a specially selected panel of solicitors they work with to ensure transactions work to agreed timescales to allow both parties to plan their future securely.

This process can be more than a little confusing for the average person, which is why you’ll likely need a solicitor to take care of this. The process will involve some of the following:

  • Contract distribution – The seller’s solicitor will receive the property deeds and draft a contract. This in turn will be forwarded to the buyer’s solicitor.
  • Contract discussion – Your solicitor will liaise with the seller’s solicitor, they will discuss the contract and establishing exactly what is included with the property’s sale.
  • Investigation – Your solicitor will begin an investigation into the property and surrounding areas. They will check planning history, as well as any proposed developments around roads and drainage surrounding the property.

Secure a mortgage

By this point you should have received your mortgage offer. Review this carefully, ensuring you are happy with all arrangements, terms and conditions. Providing you are happy you can accept the mortgage offer.

Exchange contracts

Your solicitor will begin the conveyancing process, following the completion of these legal processes you will be asked to agree to the sale. When agreeing to the sale you will not only agree to the price payable but also the date of completion, upon which the property will legally be yours.

This will involve signing a contract which will then be returned to the seller. This exchanging of contracts will result in a legal bind to the property and at this point your deposit will be taken.

Take care of the nitty gritty

Now that the property legally belongs to you there a few ‘nitty gritty’ details you may still need to address, these can include the following:

  • Advise relevant parties of your change of address – this can include friends, family, employers and various organisations that might require a postal address.
  • Arrange removals – You may require a removal service to transfer any items of furniture to your new property.
  • Acquire insurance – It is advisable to secure home and contents insurance for your new property. It is worth noting that certain mortgage lenders might require you to secure this insurance before completion of the property sale.
  • Settle remaining debts – You might need to pay your solicitor’s bill or mortgage lender’s fee.

Buying with Mr Homes

At Mr Homes our experienced team of estate agents are able to provide complete support throughout the entire buying process. We have been assisting first time buyers in their property search since 2006.

Don’t just take our word for it, we have many hundreds of satisfied customers who are now returning to buy their second third and fourth homes with us! A true measure of customer service from Mr Homes’ valued and trusted staff.

Our agents can help find your dream home in Cardiff and surrounding areas, contact us today to begin your search.


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