Step 1: Work out how much you can afford

You'll need to work out how much you can afford to borrow, our affordability calculator will give you an idea of this.

You'll also need to consider your deposit so that you can get an idea of the properties you can afford. You'll usually need at least a 5% deposit, so look at the property prices in the area you're thinking of living in. Give thought to whether you need to be close to transport links or school catchment areas. You should think of every aspect of your day to day life to make sure you're looking in the right place and at the right price.

Remember, if you're struggling to save a deposit then our Family Assist mortgage may be of interest to you. It allows borrowers who are unable to source a deposit to borrow up to 100% of the purchase price, assuming that a family member is able to offer their property as additional security. Full product details can be viewed on our Family Assist mortgage page.

Couple researching online at home

Step 2: Talk to Tipton & Coseley

Once you've got an idea of how much you can borrow you should book an appointment with one of our Mortgage Advisers. In this initial meeting, your Adviser will look at what you can afford and determine whether we're able to lend to you. You should bring your last three months payslips and your latest P60 or if you're self-employed, your last two years SA302 forms.

If we can lend to you the Adviser can give you a mortgage certificate which details how much we're prepared to lend to you, subject to full criteria checks. Your certificate can be shown to estate agents when you make an offer on a property to show you're serious about buying and have access to mortgage funds.

You can book an appointment by calling us on 0121 557 2551, visiting any of our branches or completing our online form.

Step 3: Start looking for your first home

Once you've got your mortgage certificate and know what budget you have, it's time to find your first home. It's important to remember your research at this stage to help you make the right decision.

There are many places you can go to when looking for a home:

  • Visit your local estate agents;
  • Take a look on property sales websites such as Zoopla, Right Move or Prime Location;
  • Flick through the property pages in your local newspapers; and
  • Keep your eyes open for ‘For Sale’ boards in the area you are looking to move to.

When you do find a home you'll need to arrange a viewing. There are some important things to look for when viewing your potential new home:

  • Is it a freehold or leasehold property?
  • Does the property look in good condition?
  • Have there been any structural issues?
  • Would you feel safe and secure in the property?
  • Is there a working security system?
  • What are the neighbours like?
  • Does the property get much daylight?
  • How old is the boiler and is it serviced regularly?
  • Is the area normally noisy?
  • What fixtures and fittings are included?
  • What parking is available?
  • What direction does the house face?
  • Why are the current owners moving and when?
  • Is there a chain? What impact would it have if the chain broke?
  • How long has it been on the market?
  • How good is the local public transport?
  • What shops and services are close by?
  • What are the local schools like?
  • Does the house have much storage?

Step 4: Make an offer

Once you’ve found a property you like, you can make an offer. You'll make your offer direct to the sellers estate agent. If the seller rejects your initial offer you can go back with an increased offer as long as you can afford to. If your offer is accepted it's a good idea to ask for this to be confirmed in writing and request the property is taken off the market.

Tipton & Coseley Mortgage Adviser, Zoe Rollason

Step 5: Complete a full mortgage application

Now that your offer has been accepted, you'll need to book a second appointment with our Mortgage Adviser to complete a full mortgage application. You can book an appointment by calling us on 0121 557 2551, completing our online form or visiting any one of our branches.

During this appointment your Adviser will ask you more detailed questions about your needs, circumstances and finances to recommend a mortgage suitable for you.

Remember to bring:

  • Last three months payslips or last two years SA302’s or Limited Company Accounts if you’re self-employed;
  • Your accountants details if self-employed;
  • Latest three months salary fed bank statements;
  • Your most recent P60;
  • Your employers contact details;
  • Proof of any other income;
  • Your solicitors contact details;
  • Your landlords contact details if you are currently renting;
  • Estate agents contact details;
  • Proof of your identity and address;
  • Proof of your deposit; and
  • Full details of any outgoings.

Step 6: Appoint your legal representative

You'll need someone to deal with the legal side of buying your home. When choosing a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, make sure you ask for a full breakdown of their costs, confirm how often they’ll keep you updated and that they’ll be available when you need them.

Step 7: Property valuation

When you buy a home we'll need to complete a valuation on it as part of your mortgage application. This is to ensure the property is worth the price you are paying. We'll need a standard valuation to be completed as a minimum, however you can pay extra and have a structural survey completed which will go into greater detail than a standard valuation.

Step 8: Your Mortgage Offer

Once we have assessed your mortgage application and a valuation has been completed, as long as all underwriting checks have been passed we'll issue you with a formal Mortgage Offer. When you and your solicitor are happy with everything outlined in the Offer document you'll be ready to exchange contracts.

young couple buying their first home

Step 9: Exchange of contracts and set a completion date

You'll now need to exchange contracts with the seller. Until you have done this, both you and the seller are able to walk away from the sale. Once you have both signed the contracts, you're legally committed to complete the transaction. You'll also need to pay your deposit at this point and arrange a completion date.

Step 10: Insurance

You'll need to arrange buildings insurance before you move into your new home. Whilst we require buildings insurance to be taken out as a condition of your Mortgage Offer, you do not have to take out this insurance with us, so you're free to shop around.

Step 11: You've completed, now move in

This is the day when your solicitor arranges for the money to be transferred and the estate agent hands over the keys to your first home, congratulations!

Couple holding their new house key