Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so it’s understandable that the process may seem a complex, especially for first-time buyers. With the right guidance and support, the journey to homeownership can become a pleasant experience. At Sanctuary, we’re committed to assisting potential homebuyers in navigating the process and making things as simple as possible. So to help, here are the first steps to buying a house with Sanctuary.

Understanding Your Financial Position

One of the most important parts of buying a home is knowing your budget. This will help you determine what’s attainable for you and give you a good idea of what to look out for during the property search. So, make sure that you consider:

• Budgeting and Savings: Begin by evaluating your current financial situation. Calculate your monthly income and expenses, set a budget, and start saving for a deposit. Consider additional costs such as stamp duty, survey fees, and legal fees too.

• Mortgage Pre-Approval: Contact a mortgage broker or lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Usually known as a Decision in Principle (DIP), pre-approval provides an indication of how much you can borrow based on your income, expenses, and credit history. This then allows you to make sure you are only searching for properties within your price range.

• Government Schemes: Research government schemes that could assist you in purchasing your first home, such as Shared Ownership, which can make it easier for you to enter the property market and own your home through staircasing. At Sanctuary, we have many homes available for shared ownership sale across England.

Initiating the Home Search

Once you know how much you can afford to buy your new property, it’s time to find your perfect home. So, start out by:

• Creating a Wishlist: Outline your priorities and preferences for your future home. Consider factors like the number of bedrooms, size of the garden, parking and proximity to public transport and local amenities.

• Viewing Properties: Take a look at potential homes with an open mind and a critical eye. Take notes on the property's features, positioning on the development, and location. You can learn a lot about properties by using property portals or attending viewings at development sites. While there, you can also ask questions about the neighbourhood, nearby amenities and the surrounding community to get a feel for the area.

Reserving and Completing the Purchase

With your target properties in mind, you can now move onto turning your plans into action and purchasing your new home. This can be quite a lengthy process, but it generally includes the following stages:

• Reserving: Once you find a property that meets your needs, it’s time to formally reserve. You can reserve your desired plot with the developer to make sure no one else secures it, ensuring you get the home you want.

• Legal Process: Hire a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the property transfer. They will draft the contract and liaise with the developer’s solicitor to close the deal.

• Exchanging Contracts: Once the legal work is complete and the mortgage is approved, you'll exchange contracts with the developer. At this point, the sale becomes legally binding, and you'll pay your deposit.

• Completion and Handover: On the agreed completion date, your mortgage lender will transfer the funds to the developer’s solicitor. Once the funds are received, the keys will be handed over to you, and you'll officially become the owner of your new home.

Find Your Perfect Home Today

Buying a house with Sanctuary involves several essential steps but is a straightforward process, even though it might feel daunting at first. From understanding your financial position to completing the purchase, our aim is to make the home buying process easy to understand and as streamlined as possible. By following these steps and working closely with professionals, you'll be well on your way to owning your perfect home.