Buying Guide


Buying a property can be stressful and there will be highs and lows. Osbornes will be on hand every step of the way for advice and guidance making your purchase as smooth as possible.

Work out your budget

It is likely that buying a flat or house will be the single largest transaction you will ever make. The budget you set for the house or flat you wish to buy will depend on a number of factors, such as: You and/or your partner’s salary/income The equity in your existing property (if you have one) The deposit for your mortgage (if you need one) Any outstanding debts or committed outgoings.

Remember additional charges that you may incur as part of the property buying process such as;

  • Your deposit
  • Stamp duty
  • Estate agency fees
  • Solicitor’s fees
  • Lender’s valuation fee
  • Survey fee
  • Removal costs
  • Buildings and contents insurance
  • Furniture and fittings

Stamp Duty (correct as of 2014)

  • 0% – Up to £125,000
  • 2% – £125,001 – £250,000
  • 5% – £250,001 – £925,000
  • 10% – £925,001 – £1.5 million
  • 12% – Over £1.5 million


Contact or drop by our office and help us understand your needs. Invest sometime in talking to us;

  • Which areas you are looking in?
  • What kind of property are looking for?
  • What are the ‘must haves’ and ‘don’t wants’?
  • What is your price range and budget?
  • When do you want to move by?


  • When viewing properties be prepared.
  • Prepare a Checklist of Questions – Print our ‘Viewing Checklist’. Don’t be afraid to ask the agent or vendor lots of questions about the property, the area, how long they have lived there? Why are they leaving? What are their timescales?
  • Look Past Furnishings – Don’t let the existing furnishings put you off. Try to see past any current clutter and focus on the size, the layout and the light in each room. Take measurements of your own furniture to see how it might work.
  • Visit at Different Times of the Day –View the property three or four times, at different times of day, to find out what it’s really like. It will give you an idea of what the area is like at rush hour, when the pubs close, at weekends and on a weekday. Try to drive from the property to work or school during rush hour to check your commute.
  • Look around Communal Grounds and Communal Areas – Viewing a property in a gated development or block of apartments it’s worth taking note of the appearance. If the development is well cared for and well maintained this will give you an idea of how well managed the development is. Ask the agent or vendor about the Service Charge (fee for maintenance) if the property is Leasehold or Freehold, how long is the lease and who manages the Freehold. Leasehold may require you to pay an annual ground rent.
  • Schools – If you need to be near a school a search of the official database for primary, secondary and special needs schools near you can be accessedwww.gov.uk/find-school-in-england. This also provides access to Ofsted reports and information on school performance or alternatively on our websitewww.osbornesestateagents.co.uk.
  • Go back for a Second Look – Once you feel you have found the right property – go back for another look. It might be worth taking a friend or family member to offer an impartial second opinion, they could spot something you have missed.
  • Research the agent – It is important to make sure you are dealing with a reputable estate agent. Ask the agent whether they are members of ARLA (lettings) or NAEA (sales).

Commission a Survey

  • Once an offer has been accepted, subject to contract, you should think about getting a survey conducted on the property. The survey acts as a kind of health-check on the property you are buying and will inform you of any major problems or defects that lie within the structure of the building itself. www.ricsfirms.com
  • Instruct a Conveyancer/Solicitor –The legal process
  • The legal process of buying and selling is known as conveyancing see our guide to The Legal Process.