Guide to buying a home in the UK

There’s a lot to think about when buying a property. Our guide lists some of the stages you might go through and gives you a general idea of what’s involved.

1. Work out how much you can afford to borrow

  • Decide whether the mortgage will be in your own or in joint names
  • Calculate how much deposit you’ll be able to put
  • Factor in additional costs such as fees surveys, valuations, solicitors and stamp duty
  • Speak to a Barclays mortgage adviser to find out how much you can borrow and how much your monthly repayments would be
  • The mortgage adviser will provide you with an Agreement in Principle.

2. Search for your property

  • You might want to consider the following when searching for a property: 
  1. Location
  2. Property type
  3. Transport links
  • Using a specialist property search company could help you find the property you’re looking for.

3. Make an offer

  • Decide how much you are prepared to pay
  • Make an offer you’re comfortable with
  • Remember to factor in additional costs such as fees surveys, valuations, solicitors and stamp duty
  • Also remember to factor in your future monthly repayments and your overall living expenses
  • If your offer is accepted, appoint a solicitor to complete the legal paper work, land registry and local searches required to complete your property purchase
  • It's recommended that you also take independent tax advice before buying a property. Barclays does not provide tax advice.

4. Complete your mortgage application

  • Tell us exactly how much you need to borrow
  • Make sure you have enough money available to pay your deposit and all additional costs
  • Give us details of the property
  • Give us your legal representative’s details
  • Complete the mortgage application.

5. Ask us to arrange a valuation

  • We’ll always ask for a valuation of your property to help us make sure the property is worth what we’re offering to lend
  • Once we have the valuation report we can make you a formal mortgage offer
  • You should also consider getting a more detailed report or survey on the property so you can identify any problems before you commit to buy
  • Your mortgage adviser will be able to confirm the cost of the valuation and the reports you require.

6. Arrange insurance cover

  • Buildings insurance – when you exchange contracts you must have enough buildings insurance cover in place
  • You might also look to insure your home’s contents and possessions, alongside taking out personal insurance, to ensure your family is protected against any loss of your income.

7. Exchange contracts and pay your deposit

  • If you’re happy with the survey and there are no legal problems with the purchase, your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will exchange contracts (identical contracts signed by the the seller and by the buyer). From this point on, if you or the seller pull out you could lose your deposit and face possible legal action
  • Pay the deposit at the exchange of contracts
  • Agree a completion date: this is when you pay the full price of the property and ownership transfers to you
  • Arrange for buildings insurance and any personal insurance to start on this date.

8. Complete and move in

  • Completion is when your legal representative pays the balance of the purchase price and the property legally becomes yours. At this point we'll put a charge against your property
  • It’s possible to exchange and complete on the same day
  • Your mortgage will start on the day of completion.

Make your dreams happen

We’re ready to move, invest and preserve your wealth, so you can make the most of your world. Apply for a Barclays International Bank Account today.

Please note

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Your investment property may be repossessed or a receiver of rent appointed if you do not keep up payments on your mortgage.

Remember that where the mortgage is denominated in a currency other than your home currency, changes in the exchange rate may increase the equivalent value of the debt in terms of your home currency.