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Closing The Deal On Your First Home? Here’s All You Need To Know

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You’ve found the home you want, so what next?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve shared advice on everything from saving your deposit to putting down an offer on your new home. You’ve come this far and are so close to nabbing your dream gaff – but what actually happens before you have the keys in your hands?

First Time Buyers – yeah, we’re talking to you – listen up and take note.

Contact your bank

So your offer has been accepted – YES! You’re over the moon and have already begun mentally redecorating, but before you do that there are a few things you need to know. The first thing you do is put down a booking deposit. This is refundable until the contracts are signed but it shows the vendor you mean business and are serious about your offer.

Once this is done, things really start to move. You’ll need to contact your bank and let them know you’ve made an offer and now want to proceed. At this stage, you’ll need to provide details of the property, your solicitors and the valuation report before a Letter of Loan offer is issued.

Speaking of solicitors, you may have already contacted one before you started searching for your home or you may have waited until making an offer. Either way, you’ll need a solicitor for the next stage. Many of us are recommended solicitors from friends and family, but your bank is also a great place for advice and they’ll be able to provide info on how to contact one.

Contract of Sale

This is the binding agreement between you and the Seller and it sets out the agreed price and planned completion date. Remember last time we told you to be firm with your end date when in talks with the Seller? This is where it comes into play and where you can make sure things don’t drag in closing the sale.

This is subject to checks that you must be 100% happy with and once your solicitor is satisfied everything is in order, you’ll then sign the Contract for Sale. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, it’s returned to the Seller and the closing date is agreed.

One step closer – it’s really starting to get exciting now!

Surveys and Reports

It seems pretty standard, but obtaining a survey and/or engineers report on the house is a vital step in the home buying process.

If it’s a new home, the builder will provide the Structural Guarantee Cert, if the house is bring build on your own site you’ll need a letter from a qualified architect or civil engineer confirming that they:

  1. Consider the costings adequate to complete the building to a good standard;
  2. Will supervise the building construction through all stages; and
  3. Will provide a Certificate of Completion, confirming that the building has been constructed in line with recognised good building practice and the relevant planning permissions, and that no further work is outstanding.

Valuation

Once you’ve made your offer and the vendor is happy, a full valuation of the property needs to be carried out by a valuer on your bank’s residential mortgage valuers panel.

This work usually costs in the region of €150 – AIB has a Central Valuations Team to take the reins on this part of the process.

You need to be smart when planning this valuation – if it’s carried out more than four months before you submit your request to draw the loan or at the final stage of payment a re-evaluation will be needed at a further cost of €65.00.

Your overall drawdown will be based on the purchase price or the valuation of the property, whichever is lower.

Insurance

Another step ticked – you’re on the way now! But before the mortgage amount is transferred to your solicitor, you’ll need to show that you have mortgage protection and home insurance in place.

A consultation will be organised with a Financial Advisor to discuss your life and/or illness cover and income protection options so that all eventualities are covered here.

The Loan Funds

A few days before completion, your solicitor will request the loan funds from the lender (your bank) and arrange for the completion of the transaction.

You know what that means. THE KEYS ARE YOURS!

It may have taken a while and these final stages can be complex but it’s not something to be overwhelmed by. One thing to always remember is that your lender and solicitor are there to help you through it and keep things on track. They’re the experts and they do this day in, day out.

Feeling inspired to get started? The first step is booking a mortgage appointment to get the ball rolling. Head here to kick off your journey!

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