Understanding the Home Buying Process

We’re committed to building quality, affordable homes for every stage of your life.

Right where you belong

With over 70 developments across the North of England, Midlands and into Lincolnshire, we're sure there is an ideal home for you. 

You can search by region or postcode, and then have a look into each development to pick the right area for you to put down roots. Whether you seek countryside living or love a little more hustle and bustle, we’re sure to have the perfect location for you. Or, if you already know your dream destination, you can search by development name. 

Find your home

At Gleeson we know that where you live and how you live are both equally as important.

Across our developments, we have an array of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes for you to choose from, allowing you to find the style that works perfectly for you.

Every Gleeson home comes with a garden and a driveway, and many of our homes also have a garage. If you are looking for more space for a growing family, start by considering the number of bedrooms you’ll need and how you plan on using them. Or, consider other design features, such as, would you like an open plan feel or do you prefer a cosy environment? Whether you need a utility room, or an en-suite bathroom, Gleeson Homes builds house types to suit your every need.

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Check your budget

This is exactly where you’ll need to start when buying a home. To buy a home, it’s likely that you’ll need a mortgage. A mortgage is a legal agreement by a bank or other lender by which they lend you the money to make your home purchase. The amount you will be eligible to borrow is dependent upon a number of factors and calculating your mortgage eligibility is key in identifying your budget.

When calculating the amount you can borrow for a mortgage you’ll need to consider a number of things.

First and foremost you’ll need to think about your annual salary. We’d always recommend looking at the latest market stats as this is subject to change, however commonly a mortgage lender will loan you four to four and a half times your annual salary (depending on a number of other factors too). They will also consider any other income you receive, including things like a second employment, freelancing, benefits, commission or bonuses.

The deposit amount you need will vary on the house your buying. Deposit amounts usually start from 5%, the bigger the deposit you have (such as 10% or 15%) will result in lower monthly mortgage repayments or allow you to shorten your estimated mortgage term length.

Alongside your annual income, lenders will look into your monthly outgoings to make sure that the monthly mortgage payments are affordable for you and that what you are left with after your monthly spend is enough to cover the repayments. They’ll have a look into household bills, general spending and other debts such as credit cards or loans.

Interest rates can fluctuate according to what is going on in the housing market and wider economy, so the lender will carry out what they call a ‘stress test’ to make sure that you can still afford the payments if the interest rate goes up or if your personal circumstance was to change e.g. you needed to take maternity leave.

Another thing to consider is your credit score. Your credit score is a representation of how the financial world sees you and demonstrates how reliable you are financially. Checking your credit score before applying for a mortgage is always a good idea. Lenders will use this score to decide whether or not to lend you money for your mortgage. Your credit score can be checked by using tools such as Experian and Equifax and remember, the higher the score the better.

Your mortgage terms can be altered to suit your needs, all of this can affect how much you can borrow and how much your monthly repayments will be. Common mortgages are capital repayments – meaning you’ll repay both your capital and interest on a monthly basis. But something key to consider when calculating your budget is the repayment period. The longer the period, the more spread out the capital repayment is, meaning your monthly rate will likely reduce.

Mum tickling child.

Choose the right mortgage for you

The majority of buyers use a mortgage to purchase their home. There are two options for getting a mortgage: going straight to the lender or using a broker to help find the right deal.

At Gleeson, we work with new build mortgage specialists who can definitely make the process quicker due to their familiarity with our homes. Whether you decide to use them or not, it’s still a great idea to contact a financial advisor as they will help you choose the right mortgage for you, considering things such as mortgage terms, interest rates, or even mortgage type. Whether you arrange your mortgage via a lender or a broker, the mortgage process typically takes between four to six weeks.

Pick a solicitor

Now that you’ve checked your budget and arranged your mortgage, you’ll need to pick a solicitor. A solicitor is “a member of the legal profession qualified to deal with lawful matters” and will be an integral part of purchasing your new home. When you reserve your new Gleeson home, our Sales Executive will most likely ask you for the contact details for your solicitor. Gleeson can recommend solicitors to you, or you can choose your own.

You’re always best checking with them directly what they will cover for you but typically they will; handle contracts, conduct property searches, transfer the funds and finalise completion and offer any relevant legal advice. A solicitor is key in the home buying journey, they, in a nutshell, ensure your home becomes legally yours.

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Reserve your home

Once you have found a home that is right for you, a Decision in Principle (DIP) is required in order to proceed to full reservation.

Once you have the Decision in Principle in place, our Sales Executives will confirm the reservation of your new home and you will be able to instruct your solicitors.

There will be a small reservation fee to pay which is dependent on your chosen development. Our Sales Executive will confirm this fee with you so that you can reserve your dream home.

The formal reservation process begins by entering into a Reservation Agreement which is signed by both parties.

At point of reservation, our Sales Executive will explain everything that you need to know about your home including any anticipated costs related to owning that home. You will also be asked to sign a Reservation Agreement and be provided with a checklist during that meeting. This is to ensure that you have seen all relevant documents and plans and understand them. You will also have the opportunity to view the plans for the development.

To make your reservation as smooth as possible, we recommend that you visit the sales centre on your development and bring the following documents with you:

You'll need:

  • Your bank transfer details (card payments won’t be taken)
  • Proof of ID – passport and driving license are recommended
  • Proof of address – suggested utility bill and council tax statement
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Instruct your solicitor

After you have reserved your home, you can instruct your solicitor to proceed. Your solicitor will go through your draft contract and any supporting documents with you. They’ll be there to answer any questions and note down any queries you have. They will then save you a job, and contact us directly to clarify all of this. They’ll make sure the contract is correct, that your deposit is fully protected and cover all the little details.

Property searches

In order to speed up the process we will supply your solicitor with a number of searches carried out specifically on your plot by an independent search provider. Your solicitor will check these for you, just to confirm that everything is in place and how it should be.

Your solicitor may mention the term local authority search. All this means is that they will look at information held by the local authority involving the property that you are purchasing. They’ll look into planning permissions or restrictions and who is responsible for maintaining the roads, paths, sewers and all things construction related. Not only will they cover local authority searches but they will also check the Land Registry, just to confirm that we – the seller is the legal owner of the property you are buying.

Your solicitor will make you aware of any covenants that are in place once you move in. Covenants are standard when buying a new build home, and we apply these so that we can protect the look and feel of your new development. We have a handy covenants guide that our Sales Executive will give you, but make sure to discuss this with your solicitor too

The tenure of your Gleeson home will be freehold. This means that you and only you own and are responsible for the building and the land that it stands on outright and in perpetuity. It is your name that is on the Land Registry as ‘freeholder’, owing the ‘title absolute’.

Leasehold means that you just have a lease from the freeholder (sometimes called landlord) to use the home for a number of years. In these circumstances, leases are often anything between 90 and 999 years, but it does mean that you might have to pay maintenance fees to the freeholder. All of our homes are freehold to ensure ease for our customers.

If there are any other searches your solicitor feels necessary in addition to the ones we send to them, they’ll of course let you know and help you with them.

Home options meeting 

Now you have officially reserved your home, it’s time to make it your own. You’ll be invited to a home options meeting where you’ll have the opportunity to personalise your home*.

We have a range of different payment methods to make securing your options easy, including paying a 25% deposit** upfront and paying the remainder of the balance on completion.

* Subject to availability and build stage

** Non-refundable

Exchanging contracts

Once solicitors are ready to exchange contracts, you’ll be required to transfer your deposit. This will ensure that the contracts are legally exchanged and the process is underway for the sale to complete.

Your solicitor will give the go ahead once you’re happy that any questions you might have so far have been answered, and a mortgage valuation report has been received.

At this point, you will be legally bound to purchase your home.

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Quality inspections

Quality control and inspections take place during each build stage. Prior to legal completion, a Gleeson Customer Relations Manager will visit your home to carry out a final quality inspection and confirm it is ready for handover.

You will also have the opportunity to arrange for a suitably qualified surveyor to carry out a pre-completion home inspection prior to legal completion.


Once your home is fully built, an independent building inspector will carry out an inspection to ensure your new home meets the NHBC standards.

Once signed off, a CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) certificate will be issued.


Please note: If you choose to have your own pre-completion survey and notice has been served, this would not prevent legal completion taking place. 

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New home demonstration

Before you complete on your home, we’ll invite you to your new home demonstration where our Sales Executive and Site Manager will show you how everything works, from the oven, to the shower and everything in between. Previously, you will have received links to our customer information videos explaining how to care for your home, please do take the time to watch these.

Legal completion

The best bit! Legal completion is when the property transaction is legally finalised. This takes place when our solicitor tells yours that we have received your monies. Your solicitor will arrange for the transfer of monies and will also make sure that any stamp duty is also paid to HMRC.

Stamp duty is a Government tax on buying a property over a certain price bracket, and is only applicable if the price of the home you’re buying is over the relevant threshold. Stamp duty is paid on completion.

First-time buyers don’t pay stamp duty. So, thanks to the affordability of our homes, and the fact that many of our customers are first-time buyers we find that the majority of our customers do not have to pay stamp duty.

For more information on stamp duty and the thresholds, please visit: Stamp Duty Land Tax: Residential property rates - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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Key release

Once you’ve completed, we’ll hand over the keys, and your homeowner pack which contains your homeowner’s manual, appliance warranties and any other documents you need.

After completion your solicitor will continue with the formal side of things and register you as the homeowner with the Land Registry. It can take several weeks for the Land Registry to complete this process. Once it has been completed your solicitor will send you a copy of the updated Land Registry entry showing you as the owners of your new home.

Welcome home

When you become a homeowner there are just a few things that you’ll need to sort out after you move in.

We know that you’re bound to rack up a heap of cardboard and rubbish from unpacking all your lovely new furniture and home accessories. You’ll need to order your bins with the council directly via their official website and pay a small fee. Fees can vary depending on local council policies so we recommend you visit your local councils website for an approximate guide on costs for ordering bins. You’ll have your standard bins, your recycling bins and make sure to enquire about a bin for garden waste, as some councils give these out for free!

Until you’re the legal owner of the property you won’t be responsible for any utility bills generated up until that point. So at your legal completion or key release, when you do become the owner, we’ll take your meter readings and confirm them with the utility companies. After this, you will then need to contact your local water supplier, British Gas, and your chosen electricity supplier. You won’t be able to change water supplier but you don’t have to stick with British Gas, this part is up to you entirely. Although, we’d recommend sticking with them for just for a few months, just to check that everything is working as usual.

Now let’s talk internet, as we know you can’t live without it and this is probably fairly high on your tick list. We work with BT’s Open Reach division to supply internet to our developments. Open Reach actually supply internet to every single housebuilder in the UK. They will install the cabling to your property which gives you an internet connection.

As a general rule, commissioning of this connection will take place after legal completion, to make sure that cables aren’t dislodged during the build process. It’s definitely worthwhile speaking to your Sales Executive as to how the process works as it can differ across regions.

In some cases, the Open Reach representative may liaise directly with the Site Manager on connections, and in others it may be your responsibility as the homeowner to contact Open Reach and arrange the connection (as they will need access to your home to do this). Once the cabling is connected to the little BT box in your home, you’re then free to choose whichever supplier you want. You’re not tied into using BT, they’re just the contractor we use to get that infrastructure in place and ready for you.

Whilst there are a number of things to think about after moving into your new home, we can’t go ahead without quickly reminding you about council tax and home insurance. You don’t want to be blindsided by a huge council tax bill that you forgot about, do you? Don’t forget your TV license either!

Our top tip for home insurance is to shop around and find the best deal. Comparison sites are great, and you may even get a better deal if you ring up.

We know we could never list every single thing you need to think about after moving into your new home but we hope our expertise can guide you through the key parts.

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Your dedicated MyGleeson portal 

Should there be something that hasn’t met the required standard in your home – don’t worry!

If something does go wrong, you can report any concerns with any aspect of your home directly through our online portal, ‘MyGleeson’. All defects must be reported through MyGleeson to ensure our team can action them accordingly.

You’ll have your own personalised account which is accessible 24/7, and is easy to use. We also have a dedicated regional customer care team to support you. Any defect you report to us will be categorised and attended to as below:

  • We’ll ensure we answer all email queries within five working days.
  • Once logged, defects are assigned to a category which will dictate our response time.
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We hope that our buying process guide has helped you on your first steps to home buying with Gleeson!

Buying with Gleeson means you'll get a super affordable home, with all the benefits of choosing new, including low energy bills, new appliances and a stunning blank canvas. So, what are you waiting for?

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