How it works

Getting on the property ladder

Choosing and buying your first home is one of the most important decisions of your life, so being well informed is key. Where to start, who to trust… easier said than done.

The property ladder is missing its lower rungs. We are putting them back.

Here are 9 easy steps to follow when buying your first home, a handy checklist that will help you every step of the way.

1. Get your finances in order

The very first step for buying a new home is to check how much you can borrow, see how much your deposit will need to be and get a mortgage agreed in principle. This doesn’t tie you into anything – you can always choose a different provider later.

2. Find your dream home

Now for the exciting bit – choosing a home. Start your search here.

3. Find a solicitor

A solicitor takes care of all the legal aspects of the home-buying process. Remember to shop around for the best rate and make sure you find one that specialises in conveyancing (preparing the property transfer documents). Many developers already work with preferred solicitors that are completely up to date with their developments. It’s worth asking them if they can recommend one to you.

4. Make an offer & reserve your home

Now you've got your finances in order and found a solicitor, it's time to reserve your first home and pay your reservation fee. Once you have done this, no one else will be able to reserve it.

5. Help to Buy

The London Help to Buy scheme could help you realise the dream of owning your own home in the Capital. When you put down as little as a 5% deposit on a newly built home, you can get a Government equity loan – for up to 40% of the purchase price. To apply for Help to Buy products, you need to complete an application form so that your eligibility for the scheme can be assessed. Click here to find out more about Help to Buy.

6. Arrange your mortgage valuation

There are plenty of options to consider when it comes to a mortgage. Once you’ve done your research or spoken to a mortgage adviser (your developer can put you in touch if you like), you can select the option that works best for you. Your mortgage lender will then want confirmation the home is worth what you’re paying for it. They’ll organise the valuation for you – this will involve a fee. A survey will also take place to check the condition of your new home.

7. Complete legal work

Your solicitor will look after this for you. It’s all about formally transferring ownership from the developer to you (known as conveyancing).

8. Exchange contracts

Once the legal work is complete, your solicitor will exchange contracts with the developer. This is when you pay your deposit and commit to the deal taking place. You can now start organising your move.

9. Complete and move in

On the date of completion, you become the legal owner of your new home. The full cost of the property is transferred from your solicitor to the seller. Then the keys are yours and you can move in!


Our homes are unlike anything else on the market, find out here what makes our homes unique and how to buy one .