English vocabulary: buying a house


People all over the world like to talk about their homes, their home loans, interest rates and skyrocketing property prices. English people are no different. Here is a guide to common words and phrases that you might hear during a conversation about buying or selling a house.

Buying a home

If you don’t have enough savings to buy a home, you will need to arrange a mortgage with a bank. To mortgage your home is to give a creditor or a bank a claim on your home as a security for payment of debt.

The bank will analyze your financial records and credit history and then will tell you how much money they will lend you.

Once you have arranged a mortgage, you need to find a home that you can afford. If you need help with your home search, you can go to an estate agent. An estate agent is a person or a company that represent buyers and sellers of properties. They will show you properties available in your budget range.

If you find a property that you like, you will need to put in an offer. If the seller of the property accepts your offer, you can go ahead with the purchase.

You will then need to get the property checked by a qualified engineer or surveyor. If you still want to purchase the house, you need to appoint a solicitor (= a lawyer) to do the legal paperwork.

The purchase becomes legally binding only when the contracts are signed and exchanged.