We all aspire to buying our own homes and putting down roots at some stage of our lives.

Often that coincides with making a longer term commitment to a partner. But just how does the legal process of buying your first home work and is it really so alarming?

Budgeting for the purchase and all the associated costs is daunting for first time buyers with all the added extras, like fees, deposits, stamp duty and service charges. They may seem overwhelming to start with, but with good advice and guidance, you will steadily move beyond that confusion.

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Solicitors will carry out proper searches against your property and investigate the legal title on your behalf – we do this to make sure that you know of any problems or issues with the property before you go ahead. We will guide you through the terms of your mortgage offer and advise on how to protect gifts and loans from family members.

We can also advise on whether joint owners should hold the property as joint tenants, or tenants in common, and whether a Declaration of Trust is necessary – all of this will be explained clearly.

Other professionals will carry out surveys on the property, arrange mortgages or deal with price negotiations, and we will liaise with them for you. Buying a house is not a quick process and on average takes eight to 12 weeks – it’s worth taking the time, because it’s one of the most expensive things you’ll ever buy.

Take the time to consider what you need; then you can enjoy choosing the carpets and curtains.