Getting started

The home buying process

From how much you can borrow to house hunting

Check how much you can borrow

  • Whether you're a first time buyer or buying your next home, use our how much can I borrow tool to get an idea of how much you could borrow
  • When you have a property or purchase price in mind, you can get an Agreement in Principle to show how much we could lend you.

An Agreement in Principle doesn't affect your credit score or credit file as we use a soft credit check.

Save for your deposit

  • You'll need at least 5-10% of the overall price to put down as a 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.

Find your home

  • Is a garden a necessity or is off-street parking more important?
  • 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
  • And when you find something that you like, call the agent and arrange a viewing.

Get a bonus of up to £3,000 towards your first home

We're here to help first time buyers. With our Help to Buy: ISA you can earn 2.50% AER/2.47% (variable) tax free p.a. interest on your savings, and get an added bonus from the UK Government.

Available to first time buyers aged 16 and over and resident in the UK. Terms and Conditions apply.

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?

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