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Most of us only buy a house a few times through our lives and, no matter how many times, can still find it a bewildering experience, so for first time buyers it can be even more so.

At AMS we can guide you through your experience from the day you decide where and when to buy to the day you get the keys to your new home.

Decide on your property

You may already know where you want to buy your house but, if not, you will want to consider what aspects are important to you. What area to live in; what facilities are nearby (schools, shops etc.); transport links, and so on.

Once you have chosen your location then you need to consider what you want from your home itself. Do you wants a house, or something smaller? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want? Does it have to have a garden? Do you want an old style property, or are you considering a new-build.

Think about the running costs as big properties can mean big bills – fuel costs to heat your property, large council tax bills and so on.

It may be that there are no properties that tick all the boxes for you, and you will need to consider which things on your wish list are more important to you. For example you may find a property that is everything you want but the garden is smaller than you’d like. Are you prepared to accept the smaller garden, or will you sacrifice your dream property to get the garden you want? Be prepared to juggle with different aspects of what is important to you.

Once you have created your wishlist you will need to find what is available in your area. Contact local Estate Agents and ask for details of properties on their books that fit your requirements, , or check out rightmove.co.uk    Remember that you are not the only person interested in any given property, so develop a relationship with your agent which will help when they find a property that matches what you are looking for.

Keep in touch with them so when a new property arises you will be ‘in the know’ quickly.

You may end up viewing lots of different properties in a relatively short period of time so it’s worth keeping notes. It will be easy to forget which properties have which features when you have visited several! If you then need to sit and compare properties that have interested you, you will be better positioned to make a decision and reject those that don’t suit your preferences.


You will need legal representation whether you are a first time buyer, next time buyer or re‑mortgaging your current home. The legal process can be lengthy but it is important to protect ALL parties – yourself, the vendor and the bank. Whilst this can be frustrating it is a vital part of buying your home.

The solicitor’s/conveyancer’s job is to deal with:

  • Confirming the legal ownership of the property as per Title Deed
  • Ascertaining the legal boundary of the property
  • Ensuring both parties are agreed on what is included in the sale (fixtures and fittings)
  • Requesting information on any possible structure/maintenance concerns or issues
  • Ordering local searches which will highlight any problems in the area that may affect your purchase
  • Advising you on the contents of the draft contract provided by the vendors legal representative
  • Agreeing a date for exchange of contracts/completion with all concerned parties

You may be obliged to use a solicitor allocated by the lender acting for them as well as for you. However, you are also sometimes able to choose your own solicitor subject to the lenders approval. This varies from lender to lender but your advisor and/or Case Manager will guide you should you need assistance.

AMS can help you here and recommend appropriate solicitors

There are agencies whose role is to register/regulate solicitors and conveyancers:-

The Law Society

Tel: 0870 606 2566

Licenced Conveyancers Association

Tel: 01245 349 599