Guide to Buying

Howes Estates recognise that for most people, buying a home is almost certainly the largest and most expensive purchase they ever make. But that does not mean that it needs to be daunting or stressful so here are a few tips to help….


If you have a property to see, the first thing to do is put it on the market (Click here for information on selling) This will help you have a clearer idea of your available budget, and will also put you in a much stronger position when competing with other buyers, once you have found the home you wish to purchase.

Next, work out your budget so you only look at properties you can afford. Things to consider are:

  • How big a deposit can you put down?
  • Do you require a mortgage?
  • How much can you afford on your monthly repayments?
  • Please do not forget to factor in things like solicitor or conveyancer fees, Stamp Duty, and the other costs associated with moving.

Click here for more information on mortgages.

Serious house-hunting!

Be clear about your requirements, not just your absolute must-haves, but also those things that you are prepared to be flexible about. You may have to be prepared to compromise a little, depending on the market trend at the time. However, as a general rule, you should try to see as many properties as possible, if you’re lucky enough to find the perfect property early on in your search, don't delay. If you like it, someone else probably will too!

These days, most people conduct their initial searches online, however we also like to communicate with you the traditional way by registering with us and discussing your requirements. The more information you give us about things like your requirements, your financial position, and your timescale, the better we can help you find your next home.


Make a list of all the questions you would like to ask and make notes while on the viewing so that you can review them later and compare.  Try visiting the property at different times of the day, but for obvious reasons, try to look round in daylight, and don’t be put off by bad weather - pouring rain can reveal quite a lot about a property’s state of repair! Always try to take someone with you, for that second opinion! Lastly, make sure that everyone who has a say in the final decision also sees it, a second viewing would also be a good idea!

Making an offer

When you have found the property you want, don’t delay, make that all important offer - other buyers may also be interested! Your offer will be forwarded to our vendor, you must remember that the vendor has no obligation to accept your offer, even if it is the highest one on the table, that is why it is always important to be in the best possible position you can be.

If your offer is accepted, we will write to you confirming the details in the way of a “Memorandum of Sale”. However, all offers are “subject to contract” – which means they are not legally binding on either side until exchange of contracts.

What happens now?

Once your offer has been accepted and the sale agreed, your immediate priorities are to instruct your solicitor or conveyancer. When the conveyancing work has been carried out and your finances are in order, you will be in a position to exchange contracts. It is only at this point that the transaction becomes binding. The final stage in the process is known as 'completion,' when all the money has changed hands and the property legally becomes yours.