Guest Post: Buying in the UK? Don’t get gazumped!

Simon Howden,

Sometimes the changes we put in place to make our lives better are large rather than small and they don’t come much bigger than relocating to a new country. Emigrating can be an exciting and rewarding experience so if you do decide to take the plunge, good for you! One of the most popular places for us Americans to move is over the pond to the UK and if you have the land of ‘Blighty’ in your sights, you may want to brush up on the local customs when it comes to home buying. Here’s a mini guide to the process for buying in England and Wales, but be warned – things are different in Scotland!

Relocating Tips

1)      The first thing to concentrate on when buying a home in England or Wales is to make sure your own home is sold. In the UK it’s hard to buy property if you have not sold your own home, so the plan should always be to sell your house quickly, though if you are emigrating you’d most likely have your own place sold before you put the move in motion!

2)      Most people in the UK buy properties by taking out a mortgage and chatting with a provider first to see what kind of deal you may be able to receive to help you narrow the search when you are looking for a home. If you are flush with cash from selling your US property, you’ll have a good idea of how much you have to spend – but be warned, your money may not go as far as you’d expect.

3)      The exciting part of course is choosing your new home and it’s always worth getting some local experts to help you. Use Rightmove to help you find local agents and to gauge property prices – they do a helpful monthly index that will give you an idea of what’s reasonable to pay for homes of different sizes whether you are renting or buying.

4)      Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, make sure you have the right team in place to make it yours; a solicitor and surveyor. Make an offer on the property and when it’s accepted, move fast. In the UK, even if your offer is accepted it’s still possible that another offer may be taken at a later date – this is called ‘gazumping’ – it’s therefore in your best interest to get the ball rolling.

5)      When your home has been surveyed and valued to make sure it’s in good working order, it’s time to finalize the mortgage if you need one.

6)      Once contracts are exchanged on your new home it’s time to put the wheels of change fully in motion and organize moving day – storage, removal vans et cetera.

7)      On completion day when the title deed is transferred into your possession and stamp duty and land registry fees are paid, all that remains to do is move in to your new home (oh and pay the lawyer!)


Once you’ve moved into your new place you may want to get busy making yourself feel at home. Why not use my blog party planning to help you organize a gathering of your new colleagues and neighbors to help you settle in?


Guest Post Bio: Emma Tyler is a finance nut and writer for Gateway Homes. She enjoys sushi and travelling.

Scroll to Top