Our Guide to Home Buying | Mortgages | NatWest International


Our guide to buying a home

From finding out how much you can afford to moving day

Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

Step 1
Find out how much you can afford

Before you start looking for your new home, you can use our mortgage calculator or mortgage rate finder to find out what your monthly mortgage repayments might be.

If you'd prefer to come and see us, simply make an appointment at your local branch.

If you make an appointment in your local branch, we'll:

  • Look at your income, financial commitments and other outgoings
  • Take into consideration how much of a deposit you've saved or how much equity you have in your existing home
  • Give you printed examples of what your monthly repayments might be on various mortgage amounts and discuss any product fees you may have to pay

Step 2
Start looking at houses

Once you have a good idea of how much you can afford, you can start looking properly.

Make a list of what’s most important to you and put your requirements in order as buying a home usually involves some sort of compromise.

Here's a few things to consider:

  • How many bedrooms would you like?
  • Would you prefer to have a garage?
  • Are you interested in a garden?
  • Do you have a preference for a new build or older property?
  • Would you like to live in town or a more rural location?

Your local estate agent should be able to tell you what properties are available to suit your requirements and budget. Local newspapers usually have a weekly property section and you'll also find most properties listed on property websites.

Step 3
Make an offer

Remember your offer could be lower than the asking price - the price the seller asks for is not always the one they finally accept.

However if there's been a lot of interest in your chosen property, it could be wise to make an offer close to the asking price. Your estate agent can advise you.

Once your offer is accepted it will be confirmed in writing. Remember - making or accepting an offer is not legally binding and does not commit you or the seller to proceed at this stage.

Step 4
Offer accepted? Arrange your mortgage

Once you've found the perfect place it's important to move fast.

Mortgages can take a few weeks to sort out. We can arrange an appointment with a mortgage arranger who will keep things moving as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Make an appointment Mortgage appointment checklist

Your mortgage arranger will complete the application with you and let you know if there's any additional documentation we need. As soon as we have everything and your mortgage is approved, we'll arrange for a valuation of your new home to be completed.

Step 5
Choose an Advocate

You’ll need an Advocate to help you buy your home and the best way to choose one is to get some personal recommendations, so ask friends and family.

A qualified Advocate will:

  • Carry out the conveyancing - the legal process of transferring a property from one person to another
  • Investigate the legal aspects - identifying the boundaries and what's included in the sale
  • Carry out a 'search' - to find anything which could undermine the property value
  • Advise on and handle the offer you make to the sellers
  • Make sure the sale is completed once legal formalities have been satisfied


Most Advocates charge a fee (this is usually a percentage of the sale price). It's important to get a quote beforehand.

Once you have an Advocate and we've valued your new home, we'll get things moving with your mortgage. Once it's approved, we'll send the mortgage offer documents through to you and your Advocate for you to read and sign.

Step 6
Decide if you want a structural survey

Before committing to the purchase it is really important to have independent checks made on the property.

A valuation is designed to give you an idea of the property's condition and how much it is worth - we do this before agreeing to your mortgage. 

However, you may arrange directly with a surveyor to have a structural survey carried out, this is a lot more thorough and would highlight any problems with the property.

Step 7
Arrange cover

With almost any mortgage you’ll always need to have buildings insurance to cover your new home. Contents and life cover are optional but are sensible if you also wish to protect you and your belongings.

Home insurance
There are three types - buildings, contents and extra cover for things you take outside your home, like jewellery and laptops.

Like most mortgage providers, we normally ask you to arrange buildings insurance as a condition of the mortgage. Your mortgage arranger will be able to provide you with more details.


Life cover
It’s important that you consider taking life insurance to protect your home and family should anything happen to you.

The type of life cover you’ll need depends on how much you’ve borrowed, for how long and what sort of mortgage you have. We don't offer life insurance, so you should speak with an independent adviser to arrange the appropriate cover.

Step 8
Completing the purchase

Almost there!

Providing there are no problems with the survey, the Advocates on both sides will draw up formal contracts for you and the seller to sign. These are legally binding so make sure you’re happy to go ahead. This process will vary between islands - your Advocate will provide you with further details.

On the day agreed by both parties we’ll release the mortgage funds to your Advocate who in turn will transfer them to the seller’s Advocate. At the point the funds are transferred, the property is yours.

Step 9
Moving day

Moving day is exciting but it can be a long and stressful day too, so booking a professional removal firm to help might be a good idea - especially if you have a lot of possessions to shift.

Don't forget, lots of people besides friends and family need to know your address:

  • Contact the electricity, gas and telephone companies beforehand so your connected from the start
  • Let your bank, building society and credit card companies know
  • Make sure your cable or satellite company knows when your moving
  • Tell your car insurance company - it may affect your payments
  • Register with a new doctor and dentist if you need to


Talk to us about mortgages

Want to ask us a mortgage question or arrange an appointment? Our dedicated mortgage team can help.

Choose how to get in touch today
Illustration of a house
Set Tab for lightbox