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Buying a property on your own in the UK can be a significant financial decision, but it can be a feasible goal with careful planning and understanding of the process. Whether you are purchasing on your own, or considering buying with a friend or using a guarantor.

The process can be complex, so it’s crucial to seek professional advice at each stage. Consider consulting with a financial advisor, mortgage broker, and an experienced conveyancing firm such as Clarity to ensure a smooth and successful purchase.

Here’s a step-by-step guide, including information about shared ownership, buying with a friend, or using a guarantor:

  1. Assess Your Finances: Before beginning your property search, evaluate your financial situation. Check your credit score, calculate your savings, and determine your budget for buying a property.
  2. Save for a Deposit: Most lenders in the UK require a deposit that typically ranges from 5% to 20% of the property’s value. The larger the deposit, the better your chances of securing a mortgage with favourable terms. Thoroughly check the mortgage market as some lenders have begun to offer 100% mortgages,
  3. Get Mortgage Pre-Approval: Approach multiple lenders or ask your mortgage broker to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval will give you an idea of how much you can borrow and the interest rates applicable to your situation.
  4. Start Property Search: Look for properties that match your budget and preferences. Online property portals, estate agents, and property auctions are common ways to find properties.

In some instances, where your financial situation is not appropriate for you to buy a property on your own, you could consider the following options:

  1. Shared Ownership: Shared ownership is a government-backed scheme designed to help first-time buyers and those with lower incomes. Under this scheme, you buy a share (usually between 10% to 75%) of the property and pay rent on the remaining share owned by the housing association. Over time, you can gradually increase your share through a process called “staircasing.”
  2. Buying with a Friend: Purchasing a property with a friend can make it more affordable and share the responsibility. However, it’s essential to have a legal agreement in place, such as a co-ownership agreement or Trust Deed, outlining each person’s financial responsibilities, ownership share, and what happens if one party wants to sell.
  3. Using a Guarantor: If you’re struggling to secure a mortgage based on your income or credit history, you may consider using a guarantor. A guarantor is someone (usually a family member) who agrees to take responsibility for the mortgage if you default. The guarantor should seek independent legal advice before committing to this role.
  4. Conveyancing: Once you’ve found a property and agreed on the price, you’ll need to appoint a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the purchase. Clarity, can handle all the legalities for you. We’ll conduct all the necessary searches, communicate with the seller’s solicitor, and ensure that the property’s title is checked.
  5. Survey and Valuation: Your mortgage lender will likely require a valuation survey to ensure the property’s value matches the purchase price. You may also want to commission a more comprehensive survey to identify any potential issues with the property.
  6. Exchange Contracts: Once all the legal work is complete, and you’re satisfied with the survey results, you’ll exchange contracts with the seller. At this point, the sale becomes legally binding.
  7. Completion: On the agreed completion date, the Clarity team will transfer the purchase funds to the seller’s solicitors/conveyancers, and you’ll take ownership of the property.

Conclusion:

In all the above scenarios, obtaining legal advice from a qualified conveyancing team such as Clarity is paramount. An experienced conveyancer can help navigate complex legal aspects, ensure all paperwork is in order, any questions answered and protect your interests throughout the buying process, giving you peace of mind and minimising potential risks.

Clarity has offices in Milton Keynes and Northampton and we serve the surrounding areas. Please contact our friendly team for a quote if you’re buying or selling your home.

Looking for some legal advice?

Clarity has offices in Milton Keynes and Northampton and we serve the surrounding areas. Please contact our friendly team for a quote if you’re buying or selling your home.