About this guide
Buying a house can seem daunting, especially if it’s your first, but if you’re prepared it will be a lot easier. From doing your initial research to learning what happens on completion day, every stage is just as vital as the next. We’ve created an in-depth buying guide to ensure you’re familiar with each step of the house buying process.
Arguably the most important step of the process is understanding how it works first. Creating a plan and setting a budget for your move will allow you to have a realistic expectation. This guide begins with a step by step breakdown of what you need to do and when you need to do it during the buying a house process, from applying for a mortgage in principle to making an offer.
When you’re buying a house, unexpected costs will crop up. Many people are unaware of hidden costs and forget to factor these into their budget. It costs £25,569 to buy an average 3-bedroom house costing £237,834. Throughout our buying guide, we explore the true costs of buying a house, from the typical upfront fees to the on-going costs, we cover everything for you to budget realistically.
Another aspect of the buying process that can often be unclear is the time it takes to buy a house. How long it takes to buy a house will vary, but it will take 3-6 months for the average buyer. From how to avoid conveyancing delays to being in a property chain, we will also explore the average timeline for buying a house to help you plan a clear timescale.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of the process, a budget and a timeline, then you can start choosing an area to live. Your desired area must be in your budget and have all the required amenities such as doctors, dentists, supermarket and good schools if needed. We explore in-depth the criteria and factors you should be looking at when deciding where to live, from employment opportunities to crime rates.
By having all the important information in one place, with a focus on the house buying process, the cost of buying, the time it takes to buy a house and choosing an area to live, you will be fully prepared. After reading through the complete guide, we hope you’ll feel confident about what to expect when buying a house.
- Buying a house is the biggest purchase most of us will ever make, so it's important you know exactly how the process works. We've put together this article to guide you through the 30 steps of buying a house.Read this article
- In this guide, we review all the costs associated with buying a house, ensuring you’re prepared to take the first steps towards buying a new home.Read this article
- It takes around 6 months to buy a house. From 12 weeks to 6 months, every buyer has a different experience and this guide explains the average timeline for buying a house.Read this article
- When it comes to buying a house, there are various stages and expenses to consider. If you’re buying a home in Scotland, a number of these factors differ from the rest of the UK. From Note of Interest to the Home Report and Missives, we’ll take you through the steps of buying a house in Scotland.Read this article
- Deciding where to live is a key aspect of buying a property. Our guide reviews the crucial factors, such as crime rates and affordability, to help you choose where to buy.Read this article
- House hunting shouldn't be a struggle and with Compare My Move's ultimate house viewing checklist, you'll be ready to explore your dream home in no time. Ease yourself into the process with our list of important questions you should be asking to get the most out of your viewing experience.Read this article
- If you have any doubts when buying a house, then preparing a list of questions to ask during the process will help you get more information.Read this article
- Compare My Move explore the differences between freehold and leasehold properties, and explain all of the nuances involved in buying a leasehold home.Read this article
- Since 1993, groups of leaseholders living in blocks of flats have had the right to purchase the freehold of their property. This process is called collective enfranchisement.Read this article
- Right to Buy is a government-run scheme that allows most council tenants to buy their council home at a discount of up to £112,800 in London Boroughs, and £84,600 across the rest of England.Read this article
- Obtaining building regulations approval is a statutory requirement set by the government to ensure buildings are constructed with health and safety in mind. However, it is not uncommon to find that work has been carried out on a home without approval.Read this article
- Buying a house with cash is when a buyer purchases a property without the aid of a mortgage or loan. We've created this article to explain the definition of cash buyers only and what it really means to buy a house with cash.Read this article
- Making an offer on a house can be daunting, but by doing your research and presenting yourself as a serious buyer, you’ll have more of a chance of getting your offer accepted.Read this article
- With Compare My Move’s handy guide, you’ll know exactly what to do once your offer has been accepted on a house and how to start the buying process.Read this article
- The term under offer means a buyer has presented an offer but the seller is still considering it. It does not mean the property in question has been sold.Read this article
- “Sold Subject to Contract” (STC) means an offer has been agreed between a buyer and a seller. “Under Offer” is when a seller is considering a buyer’s offer. Neither is legally binding until contracts are exchanged.Read this article
- Sealed bids are a type of auction used when buying a house. It often means a quick sale but there are still other issues to consider.Read this article
- It could take up to 4 weeks to complete the conveyancing process when buying a house with no chain. However, it is difficult to provide an exact average for the length of time the entire buying process will take with no property chain.Read this article
- Gazumping is when a buyer who has had an offer accepted is then pushed out of the sale due to the seller accepting a different offer from someone else. Compare My Move will go through everything you need to know about being gazumped and, more importantly, how to avoid it.Read this article
- On average, the cost of buildings and contents insurance will range between £95-£120 plus a year. It doesn’t have to cost much but if you don’t sort it out before exchanging contracts, you could risk your mortgage falling through.Read this article
- We’ve put together this guide with everything you need to know about exchanging contracts during the conveyancing process. From what happens once you’ve exchanged contracts to how long it takes, we’ve got you covered.Read this article
- The day of completion can be a complicated and stressful day, so it is vital to be prepared. This guide will explain what happens on the day of completion as well as help you build a brief timeline of what to expect.Read this article
- Compare My Move explore all you need to know about Stamp Duty across the UK, including how much it costs, how you pay it, and who's exempt.Read this article
- The benefits of buying a property with solar panels include using green energy, lower utility bills and the opportunity to make money through a government scheme.Read this article
- For those able to do so, buying a second home can be a great investment - either be it as a holiday home, for a family member or as a source of income through renting the property.Read this article
- Japanese knotweed or ‘fallopia japonica’ isn’t just another type of plant – it’s the UK’s most invasive plant which can cause extensive damage to your property. It’s notoriously difficult to get rid of.Read this article
- A standard property would include one with brick or stone walls and a roof made of slate or tile. Anything that doesn’t conform to this would be considered non-standard construction.Read this article
- Steel frame houses are considered non-standard construction or non-traditional properties. If you’re buying or selling a steel frame house, know that there will be added implications when it comes to finding insurance, a mortgage and a property survey.Read this article
- Precast reinforced concrete or PRC houses are a type of non-traditional housing. They are not made from the conventional materials of brick or timber frames but are instead built with precast concrete panels.Read this article
- Getting a mortgage for buying a house at auction works in the same way as if you were buying through the more traditional route.Read this article
- The Land Transaction Tax replaces Stamp Duty in Wales from 1st April 2018: Compare My Move explain the changes, and explore the savings faced by the average home buyer in Wales.Read this article
- Buy-to-let can be a successful investment as well as a way to earn a monthly income, but it’s important to understand the costs and potential risks involved before you commit.Read this article
- If you’re buying a second home in the UK, you’ll be subject to paying an extra 3% Stamp Duty Tax in England and Northern Ireland, 4% Land Transaction Tax in Wales and 4% Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland.Read this article