Step by step guide to buying a house in the UK
There’s a lot to think about when you buy a house. Here’s a short step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Please note your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Step 1: Work out how much you can afford to borrow
- Decide whether you want to live on your own or with someone else and whether your mortgage will be in joint names.
- Ask a Barclays mortgage adviser for a rough idea of how much you can borrow.
- Find out how much your monthly mortgage repayments will be.
Step 2: Decide which type of mortgage is best for you
- Choose a capital repayment, interest-only or combination mortgage.
- Choose a fixed interest rate, a variable rate or a combination of the two – for example, a rate that is fixed for a certain period and then becomes variable.
- Ask about any special rates, discounts or cashback offers.
Step 3: Find the right property
- Think carefully about the location you’re looking in: this is often the most important factor in a property’s future value.
- Decide on the right type property for you. Will it be detached, semi-detached, terraced or a flat? Old or new?
- Consider using a specialist property search company. These companies can take a lot of the legwork out of finding the right purchase.
Step 4: Make an offer
- Decide how much you are prepared to pay.
- Make an offer you’re comfortable with: don’t stretch your resources.
- If your offer is accepted, appoint a legal representative. In the UK this work is usually carried out by a solicitor.
- Take independent tax advice before buying a property. Barclays does not provide tax advice.
Step 5: Finalise your application
- Tell us exactly how much you need to borrow.
- Make sure you have enough money available to pay your deposit and cover other costs.
- Give us details of the property.
- Give us your legal representative’s details.
- Complete the mortgage application.
Step 6: Ask us to arrange a valuation
- We’ll always ask for a valuation of your property to help us make sure the property is worth what we’re offering to lend.
- Once we have the valuation report we can make you a formal mortgage offer.
- You should also consider getting a more detailed report or survey on the property so you can identify any problems before you commit to buy.
Step 7: Arrange insurance cover
- Buildings insurance – when you exchange contracts you must have enough buildings insurance cover in place.
- You might also look to insure your home’s contents and possessions, alongside taking out personal insurance, to ensure your family is protected against any loss of your income..
Step 8: Exchange contracts and pay your deposit
- If you’re happy with the survey and there are no legal problems with the purchase, your legal representative and the seller’s legal representative will exchange contracts. From this point on, if you or the seller pull out you could lose your deposit and face possible legal action.
- Pay the deposit at the exchange of contracts.
- Agree a completion date: this is when you pay the full price of the property and ownership transfers to you.
- Arrange for buildings insurance and any personal insurance to start on this date.
Step 9: Complete your purchase and move in
- Completion is when your legal representative pays the balance of the purchase price and the property legally becomes yours.
- It’s possible to exchange and complete on the same day.
- Collect your keys from the seller or, more often, the estate agent.
- Your mortgage will start on the day of completion.
Want to buy a UK property? Talk to us about your mortgage options. Call us on:
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