Celebrating 25 years

Read about our history

Elite tips for buying a UK property

With all the signs of a softening UK market for 2017,  Holborn Assets IFA and Mortgage Expert Jo Philips gives a whistle-stop tour of the procedure for buying a UK property.

UK house prices this January showed their weakest growth for fourteen months according to the latest figures from the Nationwide Building Society. So maybe this year is THE year to stick your toe in the UK housing market? Make sure you know what to expect; here are some top tips to make the best of your big UK property transaction:

UK Property Buying Process

When searching for property in the UK, it is always recommended that you get your finances in place first. That’s because, once a property has been found, the process moves very quickly. You don’t want to be put under pressure or beaten to a property purely because the other buyers have a financial agreement in place and you do not.

Obtain your “Agreement in Principle”

Getting your finances in place starts with working out which mortgage product is most suitable for you. Here at Holborn Assets, we have access to the key international lenders. We will be able to tailor a mortgage to suit your financial picture. The first step of getting a mortgage in place is to acquire an initial agreement with the bank; this legal document is known as an “Agreement in Principle”. This is what you need to go to a property seller with. Begin the process of getting an “Agreement in Principle” by filling out a number of forms that we will send you and documents will be requested. We can either meet with you initially or you can send the forms back to us along with accompanying documents. A full compliance check is now done by Holborn Assets Mortgages on this paperwork before it is sent to the bank. We make sure that any mistakes/issues are picked up before they get the chance to go forward to a potential mortgage provider and delay their process. If the mortgage lender (ie the bank) is happy, the “Agreement in Principle” is usually granted in 3-5 working days. And you’re ready to go house hunting! It is at this point that you will need to instruct a solicitor in the UK.


Once you have found a suitable property and you have agreed terms with the Estate Agent, valuation is instructed. This is done through an independent valuer who confirms the market price and whether the property is mortgage-able.

Final Offer

  • Once the valuation report is received and the Bank is happy to lend on the property, then final approval is given on the mortgage. This can take as little as 5-10 working days – assuming all Bank requirements are met.
  • A final offer letter is issued. All terms & conditions will be fully explained by a Holborn Assets Mortgage Specialist, along with any pending documents.


  • A Mortgage Pack is sent to your UK Solicitor by the Bank.
  • All searches on the property are carried out by your solicitor.

Exchange of Contract & Completion

  • Once all checks and searches have been carried out by your UK Solicitor, he/she will then request the transfer of funds from the Bank and give an exchange of contracts and completion date.
  • On the completion date, the solicitor transfers the funds to the Seller’s solicitor … and the property is yours.

Ready to chat with
a specialist?

Get started

You may also be interested in

2024 general election

The 2024 General Election: What the Outcome Could Mean For Your Finances

The 2024 general election is just around the corner. The battle lines have been drawn; now it’s your chance to have your say on the UK’s future. Still unsure which...

Read more
interest rates

Interest rates: what are they, and how do they work?

Key points: Interest rates show the cost of borrowing and how rewarding it is to save. Inflation is the rate at which the price of goods and services increases over...

Read more
Double tax agreements explained

Double tax agreements – what are they and how do they affect expats?

Key points Double tax agreements prevent you from being taxed twice on the same income. The UK has the world’s largest network of double tax agreements. Double tax agreements provide...

Read more
Investment funds

Investment Funds: What you Need to Know

Key points Investment funds pool money from multiple investors to buy assets. Funds offer a passive and active option to cater to different goals. Investment funds offer a straightforward way...

Read more