Having put all of the pieces together, it’s finally time to buy. While the preparation up to this point may seem like over-kill, once you find the property you want, the last thing you need is to be rushing around tracking down a lender, waiting for a loan approval, negotiating with solicitors and determining whether the property is a bargain or not. You’re going to have your hands full with the next three steps, so don’t proceed until you’ve caught up.

After being taken on the real estate merry-go-round by a number of agents, eventually you will find the property that you want to buy. Before breaking out the chequebook, it’s time for a quick reality check. How much are you prepared to part with to make this home your very own? No, don’t look at the asking price or believe what the real estate agent tells you the property will probably reach at auction, use your own research (from step Two) to determine a reasonable price.

If the home you crave is being sold via auctions, it is critical that you have a pre-auction meeting with your lender. It’s also important to note that any pre-approval you have received from your lender is often subject to their own, independent value of the property – so if you are borrowing right up to hilt and pay too much at auction, that pre-approval is not worth the paper it is printed on.

Having enough of a deposit on the day is a good start, but it’s the remaining 25 years that often gets people into trouble. Bidding more than you have been provided by your lender is purely madness and could leave you in a mess of debt. If in doubt, have a friend beside you, to stop you bidding once you have reached your agreed upon limit.