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First Time Buyer? Lets get you on the property ladder pronto

First Time Buyers -Buying your first home is one of life’s more stressful events and one of the biggest financial commitments most of us will make. It should also be an exciting time that marks the transition from renting to becoming a homeowner and getting your feet on the property ladder. We appreciate that the list of ‘to do list’ for a first time buyer is seemingly endless – which is why we propose to sort out the legal, while you sort out the lounge! Our comprehensive conveyancing service covers everything from sales, purchases and remortgages to the leasing of residential properties. Working closely with estate agents, brokers, mortgage lenders and other financial institutions, we use the latest information technology to speed up the legal process. EAD’s First Time Buyer team are here to help make the legal work as straight forward as possible and are on hand to help you whenever you need us – before, during and after the purchase. This pack offers a simplified guide to first time home buying, to make your experience as stress free as possible.

What can you afford?

What we buy is generally governed by what we can afford. This may sound obvious, but a First Time Buyer can often over extend themselves by borrowing the maximum that can be lent, often forgetting that the cost of running a home does not just involve keeping up the mortgage payments. Therefore anybody contemplating buying a property should also consider the following:-

  • The level of council tax
  • The costs of heating and lighting
  • The costs of ground rent and/or service charges (in the case of a Leasehold property or a Leasehold flat)
  • General repairs
  • Buildings and contents insuranceThe information on the first three can easily be obtained from the Estate Agent handling the sale but it is worth looking at all aspects of these potential expenses so that you can budget properly. Call a mortgage broker to get an idea of how much you can borrow. He or she will be able to search the market for the best available deal and to help you maximise your borrowing power.

Start looking for your Ideal home

Buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make and there are many considerations you should think about before you actually go ahead and buy it. Think towards the future, about what needs you have now and how they may change. You should think carefully about what your “ideal house” is. Perhaps some of the following ideas will help you determine what kind of house you are going to need.

    • Do you want a townhouse, apartment or a house?
    • Do you wish to live in the inner city, suburbs or country?
    • How many rooms will you need?
    • How many bedrooms do you want?
    • Will the property accommodate your changing needs over time?
    • Do you want a garden?
    • Do you prefer an old or modern residence?
    • Are you happy to renovate or extend?
    • How close do you wish to be to facilities such as schools, shops, childcare, parks, beaches and hospitals?
    • How much you are willing to pay?


Make an Offer

When you find somewhere you like, make an offer. Before you do so, try to glean as much information from the estate agent as possible. Ask how long it’s been on the market and if the seller wants a quick sale.

Many buyers initially make an offer below the asking price, and often this is accepted. You may want to start low and negotiate with the agent to find a price that satisfies both parties. But if you want to be sure you get the property you like – and you think it is worth the asking price – you may want to offer the full amount straight away.

Applying for a Mortgage

Most people who contemplate taking on a mortgage will have surfed the net and have been confronted with a myriad of mortgage products. Fixed interest rates, standard variable rate, tracker, setting up fees, exit fees, early redemption penalties – you can feel the headache coming on already can’t you?

There is no doubt that as you embark upon acquiring the most expensive asset you will ever acquire, you will need to obtain the best financial professional advice and employ the services of an Independent Financial Advisor (I.F.A.). The mortgage industry is a minefield and requires someone with knowledge and experience of the industry to find the products best suited to your needs.

The I.F.A. will give you working examples of the mortgage repayments and will also calculate the effect of interest rises upon those payments.


Your lender should arrange a surveyor to value the property within a few days of agreeing the mortgage in principle. Its valuation will be very simple and you should arrange your own survey to get an idea of what problems there may be with the property. To save money, it’s worth asking if the lender’s surveyor will also put together a homebuyer’s report for you – you will have to pay for that, but not the valuation on top.

It is most unlikely that a detailed survey will come back to you without some adverse comment on the state and condition of the property. Your survey is also likely to highlight any particular issues which the Surveyor considers should be referred to your legal advisor and there is normally a section within the report that you refer the matter on to your legal advisor.

Legal proceedings

Conveyancing is the legal transfer of a property from one person to another. The majority of people choose to use a conveyancing solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to do this and if you are getting a mortgage your lender will insist you have a professional handle the work.

It is the role of the solicitor/conveyancer to:

  • Liaise with the seller’s solicitor to receive a contract pack
  • Request and obtain a copy of your mortgage offer
  • Follow through local authority searches in relation to the property
  • Analyse the results of local authority searches
  • Arrange potential completion dates with both parties
  • Swap signed contracts with the seller’s property lawyer
  • Transfer the deposit to the seller’s property lawyer
  • Prepare the completion statement and transfer deeds for you to complete
  • Transfer signed transfer deeds to the seller’s property lawyer
  • Initiate payment from your mortgage lender
  • Transfer the agreed sale monies to the seller’s property lawyer
  • Send transfer deeds and applicable stamp duty to the Stamping Office
  • Forward documentation regarding proof of ownership to HM Land Registry
  • Forward title deeds from HM Land Registry to mortgage lender for proof of purchase


Completion of the purchase usually takes place about four weeks after exchange of contracts, although it can be earlier. On the day agreed for completion:

  • The mortgage lender releases the money
  • The deeds to the property are handed over to your solicitor or licensed conveyancer
  • The seller must hand over the keys and leave the property by an agreed time

We also offer this service in Chinese (Cantonese)

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What others say about us

Extremely happy with the outcome of my Personal Injury Claim and can only thank Paul McCarthy and his team at EAD Solicitors and also Tim Trotman my barrister arranged by EAD, for all their work and efforts on my behalf. As such I would highly recommend EAD to anyone in need of their service. Once again thanks to all involved.
Brodie Martin, Merseyside
Excellent, very professional, approachable when I needed advice. I would just like to say thank you to your staff.
Robert Adams, West Midlands

  • Liverpool City Centre

    Prospect House, Columbus Quay
    Liverpool L3 4DB
    Phone: 0151 735 1000

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