Buying a home can seem daunting, especially if it’s your first experience. Luckily, we’ve created a handy guide on the process of buying a house and how to buy a new build home from start to finish, and everything in between.

Processes to follow when buying a house

The first step to buying a house is to consider your deposit. Whether you’re moving house, investing in buy-to-let or taking your first step onto the property ladder, you need to consider how you will afford the home.

Cala offer expert advice from a panel of independent advisors. If you're considering affordability when buying a house, check out our mortgage video with CIB Financial Management


Some prospective home buyers may have savings, proceeds of the sale of a business or even lottery winnings that allow them to buy with cash. For most, the financing will be through a mortgage.

Once you have your deposit, you will be ready to proceed to the next steps on how to buy a house.

Buying a house process: getting a mortgage

The value of mortgage you can afford will depend on your deposit and the size of monthly repayments you can manage. Your lender will use details of your income, regular outgoings and any existing debts to decide how much you could borrow.

Our Deposit Unlock scheme allows purchasers to buy a new-build home with as little as a 5% deposit, open to first time buyers and home movers.

If you’re moving to a larger or more valuable home, the equity you have built up in your existing property can go toward your deposit, which makes getting a mortgage easier.

There are many kinds of mortgages on the market and the rates and terms are forever changing. You should discuss your situation with your bank, a mortgage broker or an Independent Financial Advisor, who can help find the right lender for your circumstances. Your Cala sales consultant can help put you in touch. 

Having a mortgage in principle from your chosen lender will put you in a stronger position if there is competition for your chosen home.


Buying a house process: reservation

We often have more than one person interested in our homes, so to make sure that you’re at the front of the queue we recommend registering your interest in the development so that you’re the first to hear about new releases, events and offers that are relevant to you.

Let your sales consultant know if you’re interested in a particular home. They will want to work with the most proceedable buyers, so it’s important to let them know what position you are in (i.e. if you have a property on the market, are a cash buyer or an investor with mortgage in principle).

We always aim to make our clients happy, so if you miss out on your first choice, we will work with you to find you the right home.

Timelines to be aware of when moving house

Once you have chosen your new home, your Cala sales consultant can tell you when the build is likely to be complete. The time it takes to go through the purchase process will naturally depend on the completion date.

However, there are other processes involved in purchasing a home that can take some time.

If you haven’t already, you will also need to line up a purchaser for your existing property, which will form a chain. Having a chain can slow down your purchase as you will need to coordinate with other parties within the chain to align legal completion dates. Some of our customers Part Exchange their home to avoid this problem.

Through our Assisted Move Service, we can reserve your Cala home for a set period while you secure a buyer and an also help you manage the marketing of your home. And if your home doesn’t sell, our back up offer will be waiting for you if you choose our Guaranteed Buyer Service


After reserving your new home

After reservation, you will need to arrange your mortgage offer through your lender. You will also need a solicitor or conveyancer to handle your interests through the purchase process.

Cala will work with your choice of solicitor, so you should feel free to appoint whoever you are comfortable with. If you would like us to, we can recommend a firm that may already know the development and Cala’s usual contracts, which can sometimes lead to a quicker turnaround time.

Cala will also work with you, your lender and your solicitor to allow for any surveys you or your lender require.


Exchange of contracts or concluding missives

Exchange of contracts (England) or Concluding Missives (Scotland) is when both the buyer and the seller have committed themselves to the transaction under a legally binding agreement. We aim to reach this milestone within 28 days. Sometimes there can be delays while solicitors and home buyers work through the relevant details and queries.

Legal completion

Legal completion is the date you complete your purchase and receive the keys to your new home.

Once the balance of the monies has been received and the legal formalities have been completed, the site manager and sales consultant will provide you with the keys to your new home.  

Your solicitor will send you an account that covers their costs, Stamp Duty (England) or LBTT (Scotland) and will make sure that the change of ownership is made with the Land Registry.

Then there’s nothing for you to do except unpack and enjoy your new home!

To view our current range of homes across Scotland and England, view our homes for sale page.

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