Information centre

Buying a home

Our house buying guide covers all the essential steps, from choosing your dream home to setting your moving date.

Buying a home

Defining your needs

Everybody's needs are specific to themselves, however the following are a number of the commonly asked questions, which you can use to check off your own list.

And remember plan for tomorrow rather than just for today. Before you get too far along the path you will need to consider your financial position and how much you want, or are able, to borrow. Take into account such factors as available savings and the profit from the sale of an existing or previously owned property. Consideration must also be given to the views of financial advisors on current and future interest rates. Sitting down with your Solicitor right at the start can help sort out many of these questions and financial calculations and help work out just what sort of property price range to look at. The advice they give will be based on the member's expertise and knowledge of the housing market at any given moment in time.

If you're a first time home buyer, check out our First Time Buyer Guide


  • Who is the property for?
  • Where do you want to live? What style of property do you like?
  • How long are you going to live there?
  • Would you use public transport? Is parking available?
  • What facilities are there in the area?

Making an offer — Do's

  • See your Solicitor very early in the process
  • Ensure you have obtained preliminary clearance for you source of mortgage funding
  • Make your formal application for a mortgage sooner rather than later
  • Sign any applications for Life Policies (if applicable) as soon as possible
  • Start the arrangements for bridging finance if required as soon as you can

Making an offer — Don'ts

  • Wait until the contract is signed before arranging the mortgage

On confirmation of contract — Do's

  • Check with your Solicitor before meeting directly with the sellers.
  • Check with the sellers on their actual moving date.
  • Check with your solicitor before agreeing to purchase any items from the seller as they may already be included in the agreed contract.
  • Arrange for the removal of your possessions giving as much notice as possible.
  • Inform the removal company of any restrictions at the new property.

On confirmation of contract — Don'ts

  • Agree a new entry date without informing your Solicitor as all the financial arrangements are being geared to that date. With adequate warning, both parties agreement and subject to the re-arrangement of your mortgage application a change of entry date should be possible.
  • Forget to adequately insure your possessions during the removal process.

New built homes

Buying a new house from a builder or developer is different in certain fundamental respects from buying a second hand house. Below are the main points that require particular attention.

  • Because this is a new build, your solicitor will check that there is Planning Permission and Building Warrant for the house or development and will obtain a Completion Certificate for your property.

  • Ask your solicitor to ensure that there are contractual provisions in the Missives to protect against any variation in building the property. For this reason it is important that you sign nothing at a sales office other than a reservation fee.

  • Some definite date when the property will be ready should be included in the contract. Your solicitor will attend to this on your behalf provided you make this clear.