Buying a property is a huge step whether as a first-time buyer or someone who is creating space for a family, downsizing or moving to a new area. There are a few key issues you can address to reduce risk, and many involve using some common sense.


Here are six tips on areas you may wish to address.

1. First off, understand the legal requirements. The best place to find information on the conveyancing process and what it involves can be found at the government’s own website.

2. Make sure you have your mortgage arrangements in place if you are dependent on borrowing to purchase your new home. Over the past decade many lenders have tightened their requirements. Understand that a mortgage agreement is an indication of the funds you may be able to raise rather than a legal commitment from the lender. Independent mortgage advisors may be able to help with options.

3. There may be some disparity between the lender’s valuation of the property and either the asking price, or what you are prepared to pay for your new home. The lender is assessing whether the property offers adequate security for the loan in case of default. It is important that you have your own independent valuation. Wherever you are seeking a home buyers survey Berkshire, Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire, you will find options at sites such as

4. Research the area you are moving to thoroughly before making a decision on a property. This can involve the commuting distance to work or schools where children are involved. Value for money also comes into play, and so you will want to have a handle on comparable prices in the area as well as whether the property is located in a neighbourhood which is considered up-and-coming and where there is evidence of investment in travel links and other infrastructure.

5. Check ancillary costs such as Stamp Duty thresholds and legal fees. The former depends on the value of the property, but the latter could be subject to negotiation.


6. Always remember that any timescale for a house purchase is, at best, a guess. Hold your nerve if things seem to be going wrong and keep negotiations alive. If your purchase falls through learn lessons from how it failed even if this means biding your time and saving more money.