A Guide to buying a property in Guernsey

A Guide to buying a property in Guernsey

Purchasing a property is likely to be the biggest financial commitment a person makes in their lifetime, and the process can be somewhat stressful. However, this step-by-step guide will arm you with all of the information you need to make buying your next place a breeze.

Step 1

Find out what you can afford to spend

It is likely that you have a rough idea of how much you can afford to place as a deposit on your future home.

However, you must also consider all of your outgoings throughout the year - from energy bills to food expenditure, motor fuel and Christmas gifts - and work out just how much you can afford to repay towards you mortgage on a monthly basis.

This can be daunting, however an Oracle mortgage adviser can guide you through it, making the process easy and stress-free.

Find out what you can afford to spend

How much money can I borrow?

Typically, those looking for a mortgage can expect to borrow between 4 and 5 times their annual income, however this may depend on your other outgoings, and could be slightly more or less. Couples applying for mortgages will likely be able to borrow significantly more when applying for a joint mortgage together, as both of their salaries are taken into account.

Step 2

Contact a mortgage advisor

Contact a mortgage advisor

Securing your mortgage before searching for properties will put you in a stronger negotiating position, and allow you to close a deal quickly without any other potential buyers interfering. Therefore, you should get in touch with an advisor prior to house hunting.

Oracle will help you to find the mortgage that best suits your financial situation, ensuring there are no unpleasant surprises further down the line, as can sometimes happen when borrowers go straight to a bank or building society without any prior consultation.

Step 3

Arrange your mortgage

In an initial meeting, an expert adviser will assess your financial situation and ascertain which lenders would accept you, as well as helping you to understand the different mortgage options available to you. If you are not yet in a position to purchase a property, they will advise you on what you should do before buying.

Once everything is in order, your adviser will agree a mortgage in principle, and you can begin searching for your new home.

Arrange your mortgage

What is a mortgage in principle?

A mortgage in principle, also referred to as an agreement or decision in principle, is a preliminary figure estimating how much you will be able to borrow. Your mortgage broker will use some of your basic information and perform a credit search, and then use that data to calculate an estimated figure that they would be prepared to lend you.

Step 4

Find a property you can afford

Find a property you can afford

There are a number of ways to find your future property, including contacting local estate agencies, browsing the property pages in the Guernsey Press, or looking online. You will of course want to bear you own needs in mind when searching, such as number of bedrooms, vehicle parking and location.

Be aware however that unless you are a qualified resident or hold a local housing license, you are restricted to only buying property listed on Guernsey's open market.

Step 5

View the property

Once you have found a suitable property, the next stage is book a viewing with an agent. If the agent or owner gives you permission, you may want to take photos of the property while viewing it, for future reference.

You should also bring a tape measure along, so you can ensure that your larger pieces of furniture would fit if you were to move into the property.

View the property

Step 6

Make an offer

Make an offer

If you are sure that you want to buy the property, you should now make an offer. Having arranged your mortgage in advance, you will be seen as an attractive potential buyer, particularly to those looking to sell their property quickly in order to purchase another one.

Decide how much you are willing to spend on the property in the beginning and do not exceed it in your negotiations, unless the seller refuses to budge on the price. In this case, evaluate whether or not it is really worth the extra money.

Stipulate that your offer is subject to contract and a survey, and if it is accepted, ask the agent if they are willing to take the property off the market.

Step 7

Return to your adviser

After having an offer accepted, you should return to your mortgage adviser who will assist you with the application process and guide you through the next steps, making things as easy for you as possible.

Return to your adviser

Step 8

Have the property surveyed

Have the property surveyed

Next, arrange for a surveyor to take a look at the property, in order to identify any potentially costly hidden problems that could cause you trouble in the future. The mortgage lender will also conduct a survey to ensure that the property is worth the amount that you are paying, before approving your mortgage.

You will meet one final time with your adviser to review all of the figures, and arrange the necessary insurances. If the surveyor uncovers problems with the property, or the lender values the property at a lower price, they will advise that you go back and renegotiate the price.

Step 9

Conveyancing

The next stage is arranging for the transfer of the property's legal ownership, from the seller to you. This is handled by a conveyancing clerk, of which there are many to choose from in Guernsey. It is worth asking for quotes from more than one before selecting which is right for you.

The conveyancing clerk will arrange the transfer of ownership, which will occur in court. Once you have exchanged signed copies of contracts and agreed to your mortgage, you will officially have gained ownership of the property.

Conveyancing

Step 10

Moving in

Now the property is yours, you can move all of your possessions in, notify people of your move and arrange for your post to be redirected to your new property.

Then, you can finally settle down and enjoy life in your new home!

Moving in