Checklist for buying a new home

Posted August 9th, 2022 by SimpliSafe

Buying a new home can be stressful. That’s why we’ve created a checklist to help you stay on track with what can be a long and tedious process. We are going to break down the stages, so that it will help you to breeze through the process between now and the big move-in day, leaving you plenty of time to celebrate.

Stage one: Set a budget.

Before you start house-hunting, it’s a good idea to work out what you can afford to spend on buying a new home and monthly mortgage payments. Setting a budget will help when it comes to looking at the right house for you. Things you will need to consider include:

  • What the estimated value of your current home is and if you will you make any profit from it

  • Review your  savings and what deposit you would like to put down

  • Look into whether you have to pay Stamp Duty. This can differ depending on whether you’re a first time buyer, spending a certain amount etc.

  • Factor in solicitor legal feesWork out what you can afford to pay for monthly mortgage repayments 

  • Get a mortgage in principal to find out how much lenders will let you borrow you based on your earnings and outgoings.

Stage 2: House hunting and making an offer

This is arguably one of the most exciting parts of buying a new home. Although, it can be quite daunting as there's lots of things that you should consider. We have three non-negotiables to consider when finding your home:

  • Budget - Set an amount you’re able to spend

  • Location - Is it in your desired area? Use our crime in the UK tool to see what crime is like in different areas

  • Dream home - Can you picture yourself living there? Check out our blog on how to find your dream home for more tips.

Once you’ve found a home you want to buy, the next step is to make an offer, usually through an estate agent.

Stage 3: Arrange a solicitor and surveyor

A surveyor will value the property and check for any problems, which might affect the cost of the home - essentially making sure it's worth the money you will be paying for it.

The solicitor or conveyancer will handle the legal work around the property. They will tell you how much you can expect to pay and might ask for a deposit upfront – this is usually 10% of their fee. When choosing your solicitor and surveyor ensure that you explore the following avenues:

  • Ask friends and family for recommendations.

  • Use past experience as a guide. Who did you use when you last went through this process?

  • Do your research online, there are lots of reviews that you can browse through to get a good idea.

This can be the most lengthy process of moving home, but can be made smoother with good communication from all parties.

Stage 4 – Finalise the offer

Once your surveys are complete you might want to go back and renegotiate the price of your new home.

There are two reasons for this:

  • Your survey might uncover problems with the property that will be expensive to fix. You can use this information to ask for a reduction in price.

  • The lender might value the property at a lower price, leaving you with a shortfall. This means you won’t be able to match the asking price or what you originally intended to offer.

Stage 5 - Finalise the mortgage

If everything has gone according to plan, contact your lender or mortgage adviser to proceed.

If you have a mortgage on your existing property, many lenders will allow you to transfer it to the new home, this is known as 'porting' your mortgage. Alternatively, you might find it works better to pay off the mortgage on your old house and take out a new mortgage for the new property. Again, this is something you will have to discuss with your lender and they must give you seven days to think about whether or not this is the right mortgage for you. 

Stage 6 - Exchange contracts

A couple of weeks before you receive the keys to your new home, you should receive the contract to sign and complete the sale. Here are a couple of things to think about during this part of the process: 

  • If you and your solicitor are completely confident with what is in the contract before you sign.

  • If you're happy with what the sellers have agreed to leave in the property and that all your queries have been answered.

  • You’ll need building insurance to cover the structure of the property in place once you have signed the contract.

Stage 7 - Completion

The exciting part is finally here! Here are a list of thing you will need to do at this stage:

  • You’ll now need to pay your solicitor’s bill (minus the deposit and local searches if you’ve already paid them). 

  • You will transfer your deposit over to the solicitor so that they can transfer from their account to the seller's solicitors account. 

  • You will need to pay your estate agent on completion of your current home. This fee will be agreed based on a percentage of the sale price. 

  • Buyers of residential homes have 14 days from the completion date to file the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return and pay any tax due in England and Northern Ireland. Your solicitor will usually arrange this for you. In Wales, you will need to pay Land Transaction Tax.

Stage 8 - Moving house

Moving everything from one home to another can sound like a mammoth task, and in some way it probably is. That’s why we have made the process of moving our security systems so simple - it is in the name afterall. First of all, we have a home movers guide that you can download so we can walk you through the steps of moving our DIY systems to your new home. Below are some things to think about when moving with a SimpliSafe home security system: 

  • Contact us ahead of the move - Your system should be the last thing you unplug and the first thing you plug back in! All you need to do when it's time to move is give our Security Experts a call on 0808 258 5695.

  • Your monitoring plan - Our Security Experts will talk through your move dates and how to pause your current professional monitoring plan so that you’re protected up until the move.

  • Your personalised Movers Pack - You’ll be offered a free, personalised Movers Pack that includes packaging and bags to keep your systems, sensors and accessories organised. Plus optional new adhesives, screws, and stickers!

  • Added extras for your new home - Your system is designed to grow with you. Extra sensors , detectors or accessories can be added with ease - our security experts can carry out a walk through of your new home and offer you an exclusive home moving discount on any extras you need.

Furthermore, why not have a look on our home movers hub for extra tips when moving home. 

Top tip: If you’re using a removal company, moving on a weekday is cheaper.