West Hampstead has a lot to offer: a thriving property market, excellent transport links, high-rated schools and plenty to do in the local area. We've helped countless buyers to find the ideal property, and here we explain more about what happens during the process.
Register your interest with Living Residential
We'll keep you updated on the latest properties as soon as they are available and can arrange viewings at short notice to suit your routine, whether if it's during the day or after work in the evening.
By registering with us, you can beat the rush and get to see properties early, giving you a better chance of securing the one that catches your eye.
Start your property search
Once you have organised your finances to see what you can afford, you should get started on your property search. First, consider the type of house you want to live in, the number of bedrooms and any essential features, such as a garage/driveway for cars, an attic/basement for storage or a garden for young children and pets.
Look at the area as a whole and see what type of local amenities are available. This includes schools, transport (trains/buses/road journeys), nearby shops, doctors and dentists.
Once we know all these details, we can match you with appropriate properties as and when they are available, sending email and text updates so you can take advantage of them.
Viewing a property
When you are buying a property, you need to ensure you look at every aspect before you put down an offer.
Check the general condition of the property, looking out for any damp and ask the seller about the age of the boiler system. Inspect the locks on the windows and front and back doors and look around at the front and back of the house, including the roof, for any missing titles or potential leaks.
It's also a good idea to ask the owners how long the property has been on the market and the current level of utility and council tax charges.
We can arrange to meet you at the property, or one of our agents can take you there. They will guide you around the property and answer any questions you may have while passing on anything more specific to the buyer for them to respond.
Arrange your Mortgage
Before making an offer on a property, you should have a mortgage lined up. This can help you get ahead of other bidders, especially if you have a 'mortgage in principle' agreement from a provider (which we explain more about below).
Unless you are eligible for one of the government's mortgage schemes, you will need to raise at least 10% of the property's value for the deposit. An in-depth credit check will be involved to look at your current financial circumstances in detail. Before exchanging contracts on any property, you must receive a formal offer from a mortgage lender.
Making an offer
When you have found a property in West Hampstead that you would like to live in, you will need to submit an offer which we can pass on to the seller. If an offer is accepted, we will organise a memorandum of sale.
There is a chance that you will be one of many people interested in the property, so the offer should be competitive so the seller can seriously consider it.
Your status as a buyer can also help strengthen your offer. Most sellers want the transaction to move as quickly as possible and tend to look for buyers who are not tied into a long chain. If you are not a cash buyer, it can also help to secure a 'mortgage in principle' from your lender, as it can give you a head start against other buyers.
Instruct a conveyancing solicitor
The legal side of the transaction will require expert help from a solicitor or conveyancer who can look at the finer details of the contract. The seller will also instruct their solicitor or conveyancer to represent their side of the deal.
Aside from looking at the finer details of the contract, your conveyancer will handle any negotiations that may arise, ensure the relevant surveys are carried out and transfer all the funds, including the deposit and final payment.
We will work closely with your conveyancer throughout the process, helping with the negotiations and any other requirements that may be needed whilst ensuring you are kept updated.
The mortgage lender will initially request that a valuation survey be carried out, although this is different from a complete survey to check the property's condition.
A survey valuation is used to determine the property's value to get a better idea of its actual market value, ensuring you are paying the right amount.
You can choose the type of additional survey carried out on the property. To get a better idea of the property's condition, you can choose between the following:
- RICS Home Survey – Level 1
- RICS Home Survey – Level 2
- RPSA Home Condition Survey
- RICS Home Survey – Level 3
Costs rise depending on the level of search you choose, so do some research to learn what each one involves and the benefits it could offer.
Exchange of Contracts
The point where the transaction becomes legally binding is when the contracts are exchanged. This occurs once the negotiations have finished, the searches completed, and the contracts finalised, with both parties happy to proceed.
Completion is also arranged (usually around four weeks later), and the deposit is paid to the seller via your conveyancer.
On the day of completion, the rest of the money is paid to the seller via your conveyancer. They will also update the Land Registry, so you are officially named as the property owner.
This is also the day you will receive the keys to move into the property. Once the funds are confirmed as having arrived in the seller's account, we'll happily release the keys for you to take full ownership.
Try to ensure everything is ready on completion day so you can move out, collect your keys and settle into your brand-new home.
Buy your next property with Living Residential
Living Residential can help you take the next step on your property journey, whether you're a first-time buyer, moving to a larger home or a property investor. We specialise in properties located in West Hampstead, Hendon, Golders Green, Cricklewood, Kilburn and Temple Fortune, guiding you through every stage of the buying process. Contact our team today to find out more.