Buying a home in London – How long will it take?

London is one of the most expensive places in the world to buy property. Be it seasoned investors or overseas buyers, and even first-time buyers, almost everyone has their eye on the London property market at all times. The process of buying a house in London can take anywhere from three months to six months. Of course, at times, it could take longer due to unforeseen circumstances. To make the process a little easier and just a little quicker, you should get in touch with estate agents in Cobham to help you buy a house in London. As for how long the process will take, here is a breakdown of the house buying process along with an approximate timeline that might be helpful.

Getting your finances in order

Before you even start the process of house hunting, you need to understand how much you can afford to spend on your new home. The rule of thumb is that your new property investment should not cost more than three to five times your annual income. In addition, if you are investing with your partner or family, it should not cost three to five times more than the annual household income. The best way to figure out your budget is to sit down with a financial expert and figure out exactly how much you can afford to spend on your new purchase without burning a hole in your pocket. This process should not take longer than one or two weeks. 

Finding the right estate

Once you have saved for a deposit and got approval for a pre-mortgage, it is time to hire a good estate agent. You should get in touch with multiple estate agents in the area and try to find the estate agent who best meets your requirements. A good estate agent is someone you feel is reliable, experienced, hands-on and easy to communicate with. It is always a good idea to meet multiple estate agents, have a conversation with them about what kind of property you are looking for and see how they respond to you. You need an estate agent whom you can talk to freely and one that you fully trust. Also, it is always a good idea to hire local estate agents. For example, if you are looking for a house for sale in Cobham, get in touch with local agents in Surrey. The process of finding the right estate agent could take days or weeks.

Getting a mortgage and pre-mortgage approval

As long as you have your documentation in order, getting approval for a pre-mortgage should take no longer than 24 hours. However, getting the actual mortgage could take a little longer. To secure a mortgage without any hassle, you should start saving for a deposit at least 8 to 12 months before you start looking at properties. It would help if you also started working on improving your credit score 6 to 8 months before applying for a pre-mortgage approval. Once you have the pre-mortgage approval and finalize the property deal, it should take about three to six weeks to get the mortgage once you have paid the deposit.

Checking out potential properties

Once everything is in order, it is time to start the process of house hunting. You can view properties online, attend open houses and visit all the properties your estate agent recommends. Remember, finding the right property is the most time-consuming part of the whole house hunting process. Ideally, finding the right house should take one to two months, but it could even take some people a full year.

Making an offer

Once you have found the perfect property, it is time to make an offer. Of course, there will be negotiation from both sides, so it is implausible that you can close a deal overnight. Usually, making an offer, negotiating and finally signing the contract can take one to two weeks. It would help if you always made a smart offer – an offer that is too low might deter the seller, whereas an offer on the higher side might not leave any room for negotiation. If you decide to get a property survey or a house valuation done before making the offer, that whole process could take about two to three weeks. 

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