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An easy guide to buying your first home

Buying your first home is a big moment, and because it’s the first time you’ve done it, it can seem a little complicated. We’ve created this guide to give you peace of mind and answer some of the most common questions we hear from first time buyers. We’ll walk you through the steps involved in buying a new build and share some helpful tips and suggestions about what to look out for when choosing your first home.

The buying process for a new build home

Getting started

Your budget
The first step is to work out what you can afford based on the size of your deposit. Normally, mortgages are based on 10% of the value of the home, but some can be as low at 5%.

Make sure you also consider your monthly budget once you’re in your new home. This will include things such as mortgages repayments, council tax, utility bills, food shopping and monthly subscriptions.

Decision in Principle
Once you have a budget in mind, you will need to get a Decision in Principle (DIP) from your bank – this is an agreement which shows that the bank is willing to lend you a certain amount of money to buy your home. This can be done quickly online via your online banking app or you might want to meet with a mortgage broker.


Couple viewing a showhome

What to look for

Where your house is can be as important as the house itself, so think about whether there are local amenities close by like shops, gyms and parks. Does the area have good travel links? Are there nice local restaurants and bars for you to enjoy?

If you’re moving somewhere new, knowing there’s a friendly and supportive community can make all the difference. Why not see if you can chat to your prospective neighbours to hear what they have to say about the community? Or take a wander around the local area to get a feel for the place.

The benefit of buying a new build is that you can help to design a space that works for you – from the floorplan* to the finish of the taps, the colour of the kitchen cupboards and more. Ask the Northstone about personal choices.

(*up to a certain build stage, please speak to your Sales Executive)

Ask the housebuilder about the materials used to construct their homes, any policies they have around sustainability and what they’re doing to support local nature and wildlife. Sustainability is becoming increasingly important, and it can save you a lot of money.

Is the home future-proofed? Technology is at the heart of modern living and some new builds come jam-packed with integrated technology to make your life easier. If this is something you’re after, make sure to ask about what clever home technology is included.

young couple in their twenties viewing a show home

Once you’ve found
your home

Reserve your home
When you’ve chosen your home and plot, you’ll be asked to put down a reservation fee to take the home off the market.

Choose a solicitor
Having reserved your home, you’ll need to appoint a solicitor to deal with the legal work. You can find one yourself, or most housebuilders will be happy to recommend ones they know and trust.

Legal processes
While the housebuilder is busy building your new home, your solicitor will review the contracts, raise any queries and apply for local searches – they do this to check everything is in order with your new home, the land and the surrounding area.

Exchange contracts
Once your solicitor is happy, they will request your deposit. This will then be transferred to the housebuilder before contracts are signed and exchanged to confirm that you will become the legal owner of the home.

The final step is completion, this is when the solicitor will request the remaining value of the home from your mortgage provider and transfer it to the housebuilder.

At this point you are officially a homeowner and it’s time to pick up your keys and move your boxes in!

reserving a home and signing contracts

Welcome to your
new home!

If you chose to buy with Northstone, you’ll be a part of our community as soon as you pick up the keys, and that means you’ll join NeighbourHub – our one stop shop for new home buyers and residents. You’ll have access to your own homeowner portal, powered by Clixifix, which you can use to get in touch with the NeighbourHub team, share feedback and manage warranty questions, as well as access key information relating to your home. Find out more here.

If you have any more questions about the process of buying your first home, feel free to give our friendly sales team a call on 01942 460 001 or email and they’ll be more than happy to help.

picking up the keys to our first home

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that people love.

We build sustainable new homes in great locations