First Time Buyers Checklist

May, 2022

If you are thinking of taking the plunge and buying property for the first time, here is a comprehensive checklist of all things you need know.

Buying your first home can be hard to know where to start, that’s why we have put together a checklist of all things first-time buyers should tick off before starting their home buying journey.


Don't forget to check out the various government first-time buyer schemes that are available to you. There’s no point getting excited about the property of your dreams if you've got no idea whether you can afford it or not. The maximum you can spend on a house will depend on the amount you’ll be allowed to borrow which is ultimately based on your household income and on the size of your deposit.

Get an AIP

Speak to independent mortgage advisors who will help you find the best deal on your mortgage. They will also be able to give you a AIP (agreement in principle) which will show others how much the banks will lend to you.

Find a property

Once you have locked in your budget and have your AIP, you are ready to find your new home. House hunting fun, but also very time-consuming and daunting. The trick is to stick to your budget and be realistic. If the property needs cosmetic work, this cost needs to be factored in when budgeting.

Make an offer

Keeping in mind the condition of the property and the work involved, make an offer accordingly. Check out my blog on how and when to negotiate on a house price here.  Do not spend more than you can afford.

Choose your conveyancing firm

Do this as soon as you start looking for your new home. Your conveyancing firm will take care of all the legalities, necessary documents, and will handle all the money transfers required for the purchase itself. Be mindful as the process can cost £1500 (or more) so this also needs to be factored in when budgeting.

Property Checks

Property checks are an important step in the buying process. When you have had an offer accepted on your new home, your mortgage provider or lender will carry out certain checks on your financial background and the property you want to buy.

Do not cut corners on these checks or take anyone else’s word for it that the house is free of problems. The cost of a property survey is insignificant compared to the potential cost of sorting out any structural issues. 

Review the results and either renegotiate the price or walk away if the property is worth less than you originally offered.

Building insurance

Even though you don’t own the property yet, you should take out the necessary insurance. Ensure that your cover begins on the day you exchange contracts.

Your deposit

You must have at least 10% deposit (usually) of the total property price which is not included in the mortgage borrowings. You will be required to show proof of these funds to the mortgage lender and the Estate Agency that you are buying the property from.

Exchange contracts

This is the big day when the ownership of property is transferred to you. Make sure you receive a completion statement and sign the transfer deed.

Pay stamp duty & register ownership 

Your conveyancing firm will pay the stamp duty and register your details with the Land Registry. Registration usually costs £200-300.


This is when you finally get the keys to your new home.

Moving day

The only thing left now is to move in, celebrate and enjoy your new home.


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