Getting started

The home
buying process

Your first steps towards buying your home

Checking how much you can borrow

  • Whether you're a first time buyer or buying your next home, use our how much can I borrow tool to get an idea of how much you could borrow
  • When you have a property or purchase price in mind, you can get an Agreement in Principle to show how much we could lend you.

An Agreement in Principle doesn't affect your credit score or credit file as we use a soft credit check.

Saving for your deposit

  • You'll need at least 5-10% of the overall price to put down as a deposit
  • The bigger your deposit, the smaller your mortgage and the less interest you'll pay in the long term
  • A larger deposit could also help you get a better mortgage deal
  • Our tips can help you save regularly - you can even set up a goal and track your progress.

Finding your home

  • Is a garden a necessity or is off-street parking more important?
  • When you know what you want, register with estate agents and start looking on websites like Zoopla
  • Sign up for email alerts so you’ll know as soon as a property that meets your criteria is listed online
  • In some cases you may want to formally note your interest in a property via your solicitor.

Making an offer

When you've found the right place, make an offer through your solicitor.

Remember the sale price is what the seller hopes to get, but you may be able to agree a lower price.

So that you're confident in your discussions, you can use our Agreement in Principle tool to find out how much we could lend you without affecting your credit score or credit file.

When your offer is accepted

Now's the time to finalise your mortgage. Speak to your lender to see what paperwork and information they need from you.

They'll arrange a valuation to see what the property is worth. You'll also get a Home Report giving information about the property, so make sure you read this carefully.

Firming up the deal

Once your offer has been accepted, your solicitor and the seller's solicitor will deal with the formal process of transferring title and firming up the deal, known as concluding missives. Once this has happened you'll be formally bound to purchasing the property.

At this point your solicitor or conveyancer will have carried out all necessary land searches. You'll need to have buildings insurance in place too, in case something happens to the property before you move in.


It's time to pick up the keys to your new home - this is when the property legally becomes yours. All the forms have been signed, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax has been paid and the money has been transferred to the seller's solicitor. 

Don't forget to:

Tell your old utility suppliers you're moving and take any final meter readings

Let the council know you're moving so you can stop paying council tax at your old address

Tell your new utility suppliers when you move in and give them meter readings

Get in touch with Royal Mail to redirect your post from your old address

Is there something else you're looking for?