Buying a home

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Rent or buy – which is the best option for you?

“Should I rent or should I buy?” is something a lot of people ask themselves. Buying a house or a flat is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make, so it’s important to get it right. This guide will help you decide if you should look into buying a house, or if you’re better off renting.

A guide to Help to Buy ISAs

Help to Buy ISAs are a new type of ISA designed to help first-time buyers save up a deposit for their home. The government will add 25% to your savings, up to a maximum of £3,000 on savings of £12,000. Find out how Help to Buy ISAs work and who qualifies.

Saving money for a mortgage deposit

To get a good mortgage deal with low interest rates, you often need a dauntingly big deposit. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to make saving for a house or flat manageable and turn your home-buying dream into reality.

The cost of buying a house and moving

Wondering how much it costs to buy a house or a flat? There are a number of fees to consider when buying a new house, including the cost of moving home, your deposit and solicitor fees. This guide will help you plan for all of these when you work out your budget.

Why mortgage applications are declined and what to do next

If your mortgage application gets declined, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of getting approved next time. Don’t rush off to another lender as each application could show up on your credit file. This guide will help you understand why your application might have been refused and what you can do to increase your chances next time.

Shared ownership housing schemes explained

Shared ownership schemes are a cross between buying and renting; aimed mainly at first-time buyers. You own a share and then rent the part you don’t own at a reduced rate. Read on to find out how they work and how to apply.

Leasehold vs freehold: What’s the difference?

Wondering what the difference is between a leasehold and a freehold? This guide breaks down the ways you can own a property: freehold, leasehold, or leasehold with a share of the freehold. It also examines the costs and responsibilities of each, and how they affect what a property will cost to buy, sell, and maintain.

First-time home buyer guide

If you’re a first-time buyer wondering what you need to buy a house or flat, you’ve come to the right place. This guide takes you through the process of buying your first home, including saving your deposit and applying for a mortgage.

Contract exchange and completion when buying a home

Until the exchange of contracts, both the buyer and seller of the home can pull out of the deal without incurring serious costs. This guide examines the process, including how long it takes to go from exchange to completion, how to pull out of a house sale before exchange and how to prepare for your move.

Stamp Duty - Everything you need to know

If you’re buying a home that costs more than £125,000, you’ll have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on your purchase. Use this guide to find out about how Stamp Duty works, including Stamp Duty for first time buyers, rates for second homes and how it is paid.

How much can you afford to borrow for a mortgage?

Before applying for a mortgage, you need to think about more than just whether you can afford the monthly repayments. Mortgage providers will look at your income and outgoings to see if you can keep up with repayments if interest rates rise or your circumstances change. Learn more about how lenders assess how much you can borrow.

Buying property in Scotland – a money timeline

Thinking about buying a house or a flat in Scotland? This guide will take you through the different steps you will need to take, including getting a mortgage, speaking to a solicitor and completing home surveys, all the way through to completion.

Quick house sales

Need to sell your house fast? You might be tempted to use a ‘quick sale’ company. They offer to buy your house very quickly at a discounted price. However, there are concerns that homeowners could be misled and lose out financially. Read on to make sure you know what you’re doing.

Find the right solicitor or conveyancer

A solicitor or conveyancer will handle all the legal aspects of buying or selling a property for you. A good one will keep you updated regularly, and can really support you in what is likely to be a stressful process. Find out how to choose a solicitor, the fees and the questions to ask.

Homebuyer surveys and costs

Homebuyer surveys are a good way to avoid unexpected repair costs further down the line. Getting a survey for a house or flat will give you an idea of just how much you might need to invest in a property after you buy it. This guide examines the different types of survey available and their costs, including RICS Condition Reports, RICS HomeBuyer Reports and more.

How to apply for a mortgage

Thinking about getting a mortgage? This guide will help you understand the mortgage application process, the different borrowing options available and why you should speak to an adviser.

Help to Buy ISA FAQ

Help to Buy ISAs are a tempting proposition for first time buyers, but how do they work? We’ve pulled together some of the most common questions, including who can get one and how much you can save.

How to buy and sell a home through estate agents

Wondering how long it takes to buy or sell a house through an estate agent? Not sure what questions to ask when viewing a property? This guide explains what estate agents do, what fees they might charge and looks at other ways to buy and sell property, including online.

Find an adviser

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