More than three in five owners say they got away with it when they bought


According to research, more than three out of five homeowners “got it right” when they bought their home. A study of 2,000 owners found that 61% were unprepared due to a lack of knowledge about the process.

Some 62% were confused by the jargon – with terms such as “transfer”, “commitment”, “disbursement” and “stamp duty” – among the most confusing expressions. And 74% of them admitted they still don’t know what certain terms mean.

Lawyers are the worst offenders of home buying jargon (52%), followed by real estate agents (28%), banks (27%) and mortgage brokers (27%).

Experts agree industry expressions can be confusing

The research, commissioned by savings and investing app Moneybox, found that 48% of confused homebuyers felt anxious, hoping they hadn’t missed or misunderstood anything. 47% said it contributed to feeling overwhelmed, with 31% being embarrassed to have to ask for terms and phrases to be explained to them.

And 30% were simply frustrated that they had to spend time figuring out what that meant. Following the results, the brand created a quiz to help shoppers test their knowledge of the jargon used and learn more about it.

Cecilia Mourain, MD of Moneybox Home-buying, said, “When buying a home, many can feel overwhelmed because there is so much to learn throughout the process, especially for first-time buyers. The language of buying a home was certainly never taught in schools and so it’s no surprise that many feel like they’re in deep trouble as soon as the process begins.

“People shouldn’t feel like they’re ‘stealing’ what is one of life’s most important financial achievements. We are committed to doing everything we can to make buying a home easier, from step one to the door.

“If you’re thinking of buying in the future, take our quiz on buying a home now to see how prepared you are for the journey ahead.”

The study also found that when buying their first home, 47% felt they were caught off guard or surprised by something they wish they had approached differently at the time.

Man filling in the form
Owners admitted they ‘got away with it’

While four in 10 now feel ‘naive’ about how long the process will take, and 36% had no idea the order of events when buying a property. As a result, 28% wish estate agents, notaries and mortgage advisers had provided more support.

Of those who admitted to ‘stealing’, a third believe they were left behind as a result. It also emerged that 66% of people surveyed via OnePoll think buying a property is “much more complicated than it needs to be”.

Cecilia Mourain, MD of Moneybox Home-buying, added, “While a little preparation can go a long way, we know that even the most organized people have found buying a home difficult at times. Our mortgage service free is here to help make the home buying process stress-free, with a dedicated team of expert mortgage brokers and individual case managers on hand to support you through the process.”

To familiarize yourself with the language used during the home buying process, Moneybox has also created an anti-jargon glossary.


  1. Cession – the legal process of transferring property or land from one owner to another.
  2. Pact – a rule that states what can and cannot be done on the pitch.
  3. Disbursements – payments or taxes that must be made to a third party by your attorney as part of the home buying process.
  4. Stamp duty – a tax you have to pay when buying property in England or Northern Ireland (known as Land Transaction Tax in Wales and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland).
  5. Lawyer Research – inquiries from your lawyer for more information about the property you are considering buying. There are different types of research your solicitor will carry out with the local authority and other parties.
  6. Freehold – a type of land ownership, where a person or organization has absolute ownership of a property and the land on which it is built.
  7. Mortgage in principle – an official estimate from a mortgage lender confirming that in principle they would lend you a certain amount as a mortgage. A MIP is not a guarantee of a mortgage loan offer.
  8. Trailing mortgages – a type of variable rate mortgage that ‘trails’ a base rate – usually the Bank of England base rate – meaning repayments can change monthly.
  9. Lease – when you buy a lease, you own the property, but not the land it is built on, and only for a certain number of years.
  10. EPC – energy performance certificates which show the energy efficiency of a property.
  11. Holdback – when the lender holds back part of the funds until you have completed essential work.
  12. Equity loan – an equity loan is a loan for a set amount, repaid over a set period of time that uses the equity in your home as collateral for the loan.
  13. Standard Variable Rate Mortgage (SVR) – a variable interest rate which is set by the lender, rather than a tracker, which follows the Bank of England base rate.
  14. Land Registry – an official organization that registers information about the owners of particular land and property.
  15. Affordability Rules – the rules that set the standards that mortgage lenders must meet when assessing affordability.


Comments are closed.