Step 1

Start by calling your nearest Mortgage Bureau office or complete the enquiry form opposite to get your Mortgage Agreement In Principle.

London 0203 319 3679
Cambridge 01223 656412
Milton Keynes 01908 822646
King’s Lynn 01553 770102
Norwich 01603 624623
Bury St Edmunds 01284 337069
Peterborough 01733 358488
Ely 01353 383773

This speeds up the whole house buying process because it means you can move as fast as possible once you have found the right house. Then register with an estate agent.

Step 2

When you find a property you want, make a formal offer – ‘subject to contract’. Call The Mortgage Bureau. It’s time now to put in an official application for a mortgage with your chosen lender.

Step 3

The lender will arrange for an approved surveyor to carry out a ‘valuation report’ on the property. (A lender’s offer will be conditional on the value, as shown in the report.) To check the property is in sound condition, it is well worth getting a more comprehensive survey too. You need to arrange this. The same surveyor can usually do it on the same visit. You need to instruct a solicitor to act for you. Their main job is drawing up contracts (ie ‘conveyancing’), and checking there are no building plans that might affect the property.

Step 4

The Lender sends you a copy of the valuation report. Assuming all is OK, your mortgage is confirmed. Alternatively, the lender may agree the mortgage subject to some conditions, such as some repair work being done to the house. In this case, you need to get quotes for the work and see if you can negotiate a reduction in the price, or get the seller to pay for the job. You can ask your solicitor to do this for you. The surveyor will usually reinspect the property to make sure that the work has been done.

Step 5

Your solicitor now does the searches, checks the ownership of the property and so on – before drawing up the contract.

Step 6

Contracts are exchanged (between you and the seller). You get the contract to sign and – in most cases – now pay the deposit for the property. You are legally committed to buying the property when you’ve signed the contact. Make sure you arrange immediate insurance cover. Your solicitor will give you a ‘completion date’ (ie date when the property becomes yours). Start planning your move.