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Hampshire and Surrey are first-class locations. A key element to Charters’ service is our team’s detailed knowledge of the areas in which they live and work, actively engaging in our local communities. Every member of the Chartersteam has in-depth knowledge of the lifestyle benefits afforded by each locality and is well placed to guide and advise purchasers moving to Hampshire, Surrey and further afield.

The Charters’ way of doing business involves a carefully targeted approach which takes work patterns, schooling, leisure interests and other lifestyle needs into consideration.

Investment in the latest software enables the results of accurate, highly filtered search criteria to be instantly communicated by email, making the search for a new home as straightforward, enjoyable and fruitful as possible.

Here at Charters, we know that our business is about people and property. We also recognise how difficult and challenging moving home can be. We work hard to provide a service that makes the entire process as simple and efficient as possible – for everyone concerned.

With our experience, we have come to learn the property business inside out and therefore we use this knowledge to improve the way that property is bought, sold or let through advances such as customer-friendly opening hours, constantly updated advertising, e-mail and regular customer contact.

Once you’ve found the house you’ve been dreaming of, the next step is buying it. With lots to think about, it’s likely you’ll have plenty of questions and we’re happy to help. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of FAQs:

What is the procedure for buying a house in the UK?

  1. Save for a mortgage
  2. Find out how much you can borrow (mortgage)
  3. Find the property you want to buy
  4. Apply for a mortgage in principle
  5. Make an offer through the estate agent
  6. Apply for a mortgage
  7. Hire a conveyancer/solicitor
  8. Get a survey completed
  9. Amend offer if appropriate
  10. Arrange insurance
  11. Exchange contracts
  12. Complete and move in

Do I need a conveyancer or property solicitor?

The short answer is yes. It is extremely difficult to manage a property purchase without legal help. Mortgage lenders may also insist that you use a professional.

Should I get a property survey?

You don’t always have to get a survey but it is always a good idea! Property surveys will reveal any issues, ensuring you face no nasty surprises and may give you reason to reduce your offer. Mortgage lenders are also likely to insist you instruct a survey.

What costs are involved with buying a home?

  • The price of the house (covered by your deposit and mortgage)
  • Solicitor’s fees
  • Survey and search costs
  • Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees
  • Buildings insurance
  • Removals costs
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

How long does it take to buy a house?

The time it takes to buy a house varies a lot depending on the buyer’s and seller’s circumstances amongst many other variables. However, the average time it takes to buy a house is around 6 months.  

What’s LTV ratio?

LTV stands for ‘loan to value’ and is the difference between your deposit and the amount you want to borrow (mortgage). Generally, the higher your LTV, the higher the mortgage interest rate.

How much do I need to save for a deposit?

Usually you’ll need a deposit of 5% - 20% of the house price. Keep in mind that the more you put down, the less you’ll need to borrow and you’re likely to get better mortgage rates, too.

Can I buy a house and pay in full?

Yes. If you’ve got enough money to pay for a house without the need for a mortgage, you can absolutely do that. People who do this are called cash buyers and are attractive to sellers as they may be less of a risk.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a tax paid by the buyer on land and property transactions. It’s tiered and first time buyers (England and NI) pay no stamp duty up to £300, 000. You can read our Guide to stamp duty here.

What is the difference between exchange and completion?

  • When you ‘exchange’, you exchange contracts with the vendor. It is the moment you both make a legally binding agreement to buy/sell the house.
  • When you ‘complete’, you physically get the keys, move in and gain legal ownership of the property. There is usually a gap between exchange and completion: anything from a couple of days to a few weeks is normal, although it can be longer.

What happens on completion day?

Both parties’ solicitors will carry out final checks and then your solicitor will transfer money for the property on your behalf. The vendor’s solicitors will confirm completion and tell the estate agent to hand over the keys once they’ve received the money. You will be told the completion has gone through, you can pick up the keys and move in!

Do I have to move in on completion day?

No, although you will be the legal owner of the house and responsible for it.

What is a chain?

A chain is a group of properties whose sales depend on one another. Long chains i.e. a long list of buyers and sellers make for potentially complicated property transactions because if one sale falls through, the chain is broken and nobody can move!

What bills do you pay as a homeowner?

Once you own your own home you’ll various bills to pay which are likely to include:
  • Mortgage repayments
  • Buildings insurance
  • Contents insurance
  • Council tax
  • Gas and electricity bills
  • Water bills
  • TV license
  • TV, broadband and phone packages
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Services charges and ground rent (flats)

Who can help answer my house moving questions?

Talk to your local estate agent if anything is unclear or you need help. Moving house can be daunting and confusing; your estate agent has gone through the process countless times and will be happy to answer all your questions. You can also read our step by step guide to buying a property.
Guide to stamp duty
What else

is of interest to you?

Register with us

Guide to Stamp Duty

A step-by-step guide to buying a property

Mortgages and finance

Meet the team


Survey and valuation

How buying a new build could save you money

Buying property to let