Getting started

The steps to buying a house

From how much you can borrow to house hunting

Find out how much you can borrow

  • Our mortgage calculator can give you an idea of how much you could borrow and how much it may cost per month
  • As long as you have a specific property or purchase price in mind, we can give you an Agreement in Principle to indicate how much we could lend you
  • We use a soft credit check to calculate an Agreement in Principle, meaning it will not have any impact on your credit score.

Saving for your deposit

  • You'll need at least 5-10% of the overall price to put down as a mortgage deposit
  • The bigger your deposit, the smaller your mortgage and the less interest you'll pay in the long term
  • A larger deposit could also help you get a better mortgage deal
  • Our tips can help you save regularly - you can even set up a goal and track your progress

Finding your dream home

  • Is off-street parking more important then a large garden?
  • When you know what you want, register with estate agents and start looking on websites like Zoopla
  • Sign up for email alerts so you’ll know as soon as a property that meets your criteria is listed online
  • Contact your estate agent to schedule a viewing when you find something you like

Make an offer

When you've found the right place, make an offer through an estate agent.

Remember the sale price is what the seller hopes to get, but you may be able to agree a lower price.

So that you're confident in your discussions, you can use our Agreement in Principle tool to find out how much we could lend you without affecting your credit score or credit file.

Offer accepted?

Now's the time to finalise your mortgage. Speak to your lender to see what paperwork and information they need from you. They'll arrange a valuation to see what the property is worth. You can get a more detailed survey, read about different types of surveys in our guide.

You'll also need to find a solicitor or conveyancer to take care of the legal transfer of the property.

Exchange contracts

When you exchange, you'll sign a contract that legally commits you to buying the property. You'll need to pay your deposit, the signed contract will be exchanged with the seller's solicitor or conveyancer, and the two side will agree a date to complete the sale.

At this point your solicitor or conveyancer will have carried out all necessary land searches. You'll need to have buildings insurance in place too, in case something happens to the property before you move in. If you're buying a leasehold flat, this might be covered by the landlord who owns the freehold.


It's time to pick up the keys to your new home - this is when the property legally becomes yours. All the forms have been signed, Stamp Duty has been paid and the money has been transferred to the seller's solicitor. 

Don't forget to:

Tell your old utility suppliers you're moving and take any final meter readings

Let the council know you're moving so you can stop paying council tax at your old address

Tell your new utility suppliers when you move in and give them meter readings

Get in touch with Royal Mail to redirect your post from your old address

Is there something else you're looking for?