Things to know as a first-time buyer

Purchasing your first house is an exciting step in life. Whether it is moving out of your family home for the first time, or simply moving from rented accommodation into your own home, it is a process which can be daunting for the first-time buyer.  

To help you understand the ins and outs of buying a property, here are some tips to get you started.  

Finding a solicitor 

Finding a solicitor is an important step after you have first applied for your mortgage. They can help support the purchase of your first home by: 

  • Explaining how home-buying works 
  • Handling important processes for you, such as conveyancing searches 
  • Giving you ongoing advice 
  • Resolving any legal issues by working with the seller’s solicitors  

Think about costs 

Buying a house includes additional costs as well as the property itself. Additional things you need to budget for include Stamp Duty, surveying fees, and land registry fees to name a few.  

In addition to these costs, there will be solicitor fees to pay, as well as the general costs that come with moving house such as removal companies. These are equally as important to think about when organising finances. 


Having a property surveyed is an important step in buying a house. It will identify if there is anything wrong with the property you intend to buy, and if the present homeowner needs to do anything to change this.  

A survey also gives some protection should later faults that should have been spotted during a surveyor’s assessment become apparent. Chartered surveyors are required to have professional indemnity insurance which covers the costs to a homeowner if legal action is taken at a later date.  

Get organised 

Often, you will be asked to produce documents ranging from your own forms or identity (such as passports, utility bills, and birth certificates), to information about the property which you intend to buy. 

To help you speed up the process of moving, having the right information and documentation to hand is essential. Organising it from the beginning will help reduce stress the further along the process you are and assist your solicitors and other advisers. 

For help and advice on matters relating to the commercial and residential property sector, contact Tony Kent on or at 020 7240 0521. 

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Tony Kent
Tony is Head of the Property Litigation team at Mackrell.Solicitors’ London office, where he has particular expertise in a wide range of property dispute areas, residential and commercial, acting for both landlord and tenant. His team advises on leasehold enfranchisement, rent and service charge recovery, residential and commercial possession proceedings and a variety of other types of litigation, including the recovery of estate agents’ fees and property-related matters.
Tony Kent

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