Buying Guide


1) Deciding your budget

Buying a property is a big step involving a substantial long-term financial commitment, so think hard about what you can afford. You will need to consider the assets you have - such as savings and investments - as well as the money that’s coming in and going out.

Although it may reduce your buying options, you don’t want to commit to a mortgage and then realise you can’t afford some of the nicer things in life! It may sound obvious but take time to think of all the things you spend money on throughout the year, even without a mortgage.


2) Getting a Mortgage

For most people buying a property, the biggest on-going cost is the mortgage - simply a loan secured against a property.  If you don’t keep up the repayments, the lender can repossess the property.  It is vital that you secure a mortgage with a lender before starting the searching process,this way, when you find the right property, you will avoid being beaten to it by another buyer and you will also be in a much stronger negotiating position. This is called an "agreement in principle" and most lenders will provide you with a letter confirming they are willing to offer you a mortgage subject to certain conditions.

Generally, the most competitive mortgage rates are available to people who put in at least 15% of the property’s value, leaving the mortgage company to lend the other 85%.

If you put in less than 10%, you may have to pay a “Higher Lending Fee” (sometimes called a Mortgage Indemnity or a Mortgage Guarantee Charge) which will add to the cost of your mortgage.

For further advice please contact our offices who will put you in touch with Chancery Mortgage Services Ltd who are able to offer a range of mortgage solutions to suit your current needs and circumstances. They are independent financial advisors who are committed to providing our clients with professional, independent and competitive advice, thus guaranteeing the personal touch every step of the way.


3. Finding the perfect property

In order to find the ideal property you will need to consider what aspects of a property are most important to you:

Number of bedrooms / bathrooms

Parking provisions

Separate kitchen and dining room

Private garden


How much time/money you may want to spend redecorating etc.

Let us know exactly what type of property you are looking for and the elements that you could possibly compromise on.  Please be sure to mention any deal breakers or particular dislikes .

Use our website to find out as much as you can about a property you like using the photographs, floor plans, virtual tours, online brochures, and local information that is available with most descriptions.  Always call or email Oliver Jaques to check any missing information.


4) Conveyancing - the legal aspects

Here is our quick guide to understanding what a conveyancer does. They will:

Obtain sellers’ responses to questions, such as who owns the boundaries, whether they have had any disputes with neighbours and what fixtures and fittings are included

Check copies of any guarantees on the property, details of planning permissions and building regulation certificates

Check the seller really is the owner of the property and prepare a Report on Title for you

Check local authority searches and plans for the local area

Pay stamp duty tax on the property

Arrange registration of title in your name


5) What Happens Next?

In England and Wales, Exchange of Contracts is the last stage of the legal process after which you cannot withdraw from the sale  (without losing your deposit and any legal costs you may have incurred).

Once everything is ready, you’ll then be asked to pay a deposit- usually 10% (but sometimes 5%) of the purchase price agreed , before contracts can be exchanged. If the buyer pulls out after this stage, they will lose their deposit and may face legal action from the seller. It is essential to have Buildings Insurance cover in place at this stage and buyers should also consider other protection such as Life Insurance.

A date for completion is usually set for at least one week after contracts are exchanged. This should give you enough time to arrange moving in.

Your conveyancer will call you to tell you when your money has arrived - so you can collect  the keys and move in. The conveyancer will also send you a completion statement. Read it carefully - it should reflect their original quotation.


6) Preparing for Moving Day

It is unusual to hear from someone who didn’t have a stressful time moving, but being organised is the trick to minimise your stress levels during this time.

Here are some tips to make moving day as smooth as possible:

Use a good removal firm - seek recommendations from Oliver Jaques or friends.  Look for members of the British Association of Removers who operate a strict code of conduct.

If possible, try to stagger moving days so you don’t have to do everything all in one day.  This can also give you time to do any essential work to the new property such as carpet cleaning or any decorating before all your belongings arrive.

Try to avoid Mondays and Fridays which are the busiest days on the roads.

Save time and cost by doing some of the packing yourself.

Check out the best value utility contracts for your new property well in advance and read the meters in both properties on moving day.

Redirect post well beforehand - this is especially essential to protect yourself from identity theft.

If your new home has any appliances left behind, download the instruction manuals from the manufacturer’s website.


7) Completion

Completion is when the residual monies are transferred from your solicitor to the seller’s solicitor’s account. We will release the keys once the money has cleared in the seller’s account

Congratulations, you are now the legal owner of your new home!

Here at Oliver Jaques , we understand what a happy and exciting time this is and we present all our purchasers with a goody bag with a bottle of champagne and two flutes.