Buyer's Guide

Saving for deposit

The deposit put down on a new property will be one of the biggest investments in your lifetime, with lenders asking for at least 5% of the property price upfront.

The type of mortgage you choose will determine how much you need to save, with some of the most popular being:

  • Repayment/interest-only
  • Fixed-rate
  • First-time
  • Variable rate
  • Guarantor

Speak to a lender/broker about mortgages

Speak to a lender or broker about your options and they will be able to inform you of how much you can afford to spend up to. They will inform you of the mortgage you can afford based on income, and the cash deposit you have available. They will take into account your earnings, savings, any additional source of funds and your credit score – this will also to apply to an co-purchasers.

If you are buying outside of your current area, do your background research to ensure it has everything you need for the time you will be there. You may want to consider the following:

  • Public transport links
  • Local schools and catchment areas
  • Nearby facilities such as shops and supermarkets
  • Development plans that could increase or decrease property value
  • Crime levels
  • Nearby doctors, dentists and hospitals

At Hotblack Desiato, you can register your purchase requirements with us online and keep up-to-date with the latest properties that are relevant to your search. We will email you when a new property comes onto the market which matches your requirements, ensuring that you are kept ahead of the competition.

Put in an offer

Once you have found a property you’d like to buy, the next stage is to put in a strong bid. Don’t commit all your money at once, as you want to leave room for negotiation with the seller – you may even get very lucky and have your first offer accepted.

Make a mortgage application

The next stage is to seek a mortgage agreement in principle (AIP) from the lender. This states they are, in principle, happy to provide a loan. This sets you up as a serious buyer to sellers and can give you the edge over others as it shows you have the backing of the lender to afford the property.

Find a solicitor

You will need a solicitor to handle the legal work associated with the purchase of the property. This will involve dealing with things such as stamp duty, Land Registry, obtain local searches and transfer of funds once the deal has been completed. If required, our team will be happy to recommend a friendly and dependable local solicitor who we’ve working with for a number of years.

Organise a survey

This is optional when purchasing a house, but highly recommended. It allows you to identify any problems with the property so it can be budgeted for and the sale price potentially adjusted. Alternatively, if issues are raised, the seller can arrange to solve these themselves. There are usually three types of survey available – a condition report, HomeBuyer’s report and a build survey.

Finalise the deposit

The money you have available for the deposit will have to be handed over to the solicitor. This can either be raised from the money you originally had for the deposit, or by the sale of any existing property you may own.

Exchange contracts

When the contracts are exchanged you become legally obligated to proceed with the sale – so be sure you are happy with everything at this point. Should you decide to withdraw after this happens you could lose your full deposit. Before exchanging contracts you will need to agree a completion date, which is typically 4 weeks after the exchange. Also ensure that buildings insurance is taken out from the same day of the exchange.

Complete the sale

The solicitor will update the land registry with your details at this point. They will also be in contact with your mortgage lender to verify funds are available, so have this prepared to transfer to the solicitor. The day of completion is when funds and property deeds are transferred between seller and buyer, and the keys to the property can also be handed over.

Final actions

The solicitor will send a statement listing all of their costs, along with the cost of the property and stamp duty. The stamp duty will usually be paid by the solicitor, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with that element of the transaction. You may also receive a reimbursement of costs if the solicitor calculates they have overcharged you.

Can't recommend Hotblack Desiato highly enough. They were attentive, readily available and highly professional, and came up with numerous creative solutions to problems that presented in the process of selling my flat. Mark managed the negotiation proces ... Read More

Judith Fadlon

Highly professional agency. Very smooth process and enjoyed working with the staff. Strongly recommend!

Ahmed Mehdi

Nina and the team at the Camden office have done an excellent job managing my flat over the past. They are professional, and get things done quickly -thank you!

Martha Lipovac-Dew

Having rented across London for the past 6 years, this is the first time I've felt compelled to leave a review for a positive reason. My girlfriend and I have recently decided to move in together and came across a listing we liked the look of managed by H ... Read More

Daniel Prince

Decided to list our property with Hotblack as they are experts on the Camden market place and selling through a difficult period. The service we received from Mark was brilliant, a (very) quick and seamless process. I couldn’t have asked for more. Much ... Read More

Katie Davis

We were very pleased with the professional and effective service we received from Stuart Sheirs and his team in the sale of our flat in Islington. Stuart marketed it well, responded promptly to queries and kept us informed. There was no 'hard sell' and ... Read More

Kath and Andy

Just bought from Stuart and Rafe. Stuart is higly responsive and dedicated to the mission of getting to exchange and getting it done. Rafe is charming. It hard to find good agents, I have used several over the years and can recommend these guys.

Matthew Coulter

Hotblack have found new tenants for my properties for 10 years or so. I have always found them to be at the top of their game and the quality of tenants, the best that one could possibly expect.

Phil Bradbury

We rented with Hotblack Desiato back in 2014 for 2 years, and I’d just like to say a belated thank you to Paulina, Jane and Zehra who were helping us throughout the two years as tenants. They were very professional, very responsive, and so kind and help ... Read More

Xiao Ma

Contact us

If you are looking to buy a property in North London, we have an extensive selection of properties for sale. Visit one of our branches today or contact one of our expert estate agents for more information on available properties.

Islington Estate Agent – 020 7226 0160
Highbury Estate Agent – 020 7288 9696
Camden Estate Agent – 020 7482 2894

Your Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and to personalise the content, provide social media features and to analyse how our site is used.

More Information