Before buying a property you will want to give some thought to what you are looking for and where you want to live.
Zoopla and Rightmove are a good starting point to find information as they have details of properties for sale across the UK, and can give you an idea of how much average house prices are, and also how much you are likely to have to spend for utilities such as bills and council tax.
If you have already decided where you want to live then you might want to look up local estate agents in the area who can help you with finding the property you want.
Applying for a mortgage and the costs of buying a property
If you are thinking about buying a property you will need to consider what you can afford. This means working out what you are able to pay towards a deposit and how much you can borrow from a mortgage lender.
A mortgage is essentially a loan taken out to buy a property. You can apply for a mortgage from a bank or building society or you can use a mortgage broker or financial adviser. There are different types of mortgage. You can either choose to repay only the interest on the loan or to pay off the loan and the interest. You can also choose to pay a fixed rate mortgage for a number of years so your payments stay the same each month or a variable rate so your payments may go up or down. You should take advice on what mortgage best meets your needs and financial circumstances.
You will also need to make sure you have enough money to pay for:
- Surveyor fees to carry out a valuation – for you and your mortgage lender (sometimes two separate reports)
- Stamp Duty Land Tax if you’re buying in England and Northern Ireland
- Land Transaction Tax if you’re buying in Wales
- Land Registry Fee
- Local authority searches
- Fees that may be charged by your mortgage lender or broker
- Solicitor’s costs for conveyancing
- Removal costs.
You can find helpful guidance on the Citizens Advice website.
You can find information and guidance on the costs of buying a house and moving and how to apply for a mortgage through Money Advice Service.
Can I buy a property while I am serving?
The Forces Help to Buy scheme enables service personnel to borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest free, to buy their first home or move to another property.
The scheme is currently running until 31st December 2022.
All regular personnel can use the scheme provided you:
- Have completed the pre-requisite length of service;
- Have more than 6 months left to serve at the time you apply;
- Meet the right medical categories.
You can find more information about the scheme and how to apply here.