Buying a house can be a pretty daunting process. Whether you’re a first time buyer or have moved several times, it never gets any easier. However, it can also be incredibly exciting. We’ve put together this helpful guide so that you can have fun choosing your dream home, rather than being bogged down by the stress of fees and paperwork.
1. Fees and Affordability
Before you begin looking, it is essential that you know what your affordability is. This includes knowing the size of deposit you have, the size of mortgage your eligible for, and any fees that moving may occur. Fees that are often forgotten about include solicitors fees, stamp duty and the actually cost of getting your stuff from one place to another! Knowing this from the outset is important, as there is nothing worse than finding your dream home, only to find out you can’t afford it. Of course, upfront costs aren’t the only consideration; recurring payments such as mortgage repayments, council tax and bills should all be covered under your affordability. Don’t forget: interest rates can increase, so make sure there is flexibility in your budget for this!
2. Start the Search
Once you know what you can afford, you’re one step closer to finding your next home. You might be surprised by what your money can get you, especially in different locations. We recommend not narrowing your search too much, as you might miss out on something great. For example, if you’re looking to move to a city, make sure you are looking at properties on the outskirts of the city too, you’ll probably get a lot more for your money, making the short commute worth it. If you find the process a bit overwhelming, a good tip would be to make a list of what your next home has to have, and what you would like it to have. However, be realistic! For example, your home might have to have 3 bedrooms to fit the whole family, but things like a garden pond should go on your ‘like to have’ list, you can always put one in later! This means that when it comes down to choosing, you can look at which property ticks most of your list, and the things that aren’t ticked off, are these easy to do later down the line?
Before buying your next home its good idea to have a few viewings. This will give you a good idea of what you like and what you don’t, and will allow you to see the proper size of the rooms. It will also allow you to inspect any imperfections the home might have such as damp or damage, as things like this wont be shown in photographs. If your moving to a new area, its also a good idea to take a walk round, find out how close your local amenities are what the transport links are link. If you’re able, asking existing owners about the neighbors would be a good idea. Try not to be put off by small things, but take note of anything that might be an expensive fix.
4. Making an Offer
When you finally find the house for you, you need to make an offer. Speak to your estate agent and inform them of your offer, and they will pass this over to the seller. At this stage, offers can either be accepted or declined. If an offer is declined, you may choose to negotiate, or you may have to find another property depending on your affordability. Its is always better to offer lower than your budget, so that you have some room for movement if the offer is rejected. Negotiations can often take time, but if handled properly, they can help you in the long run. Once a price has been agreed, it is important that contracts are exchanged, so that the seller cannot back out of the sale if a higher offer comes along. When exchanging contracts there is a lot of checks to be made and paperwork to go through, so make sure you’re organized and have everything in order.
You did it! Everything went through and you now have the keys to your brand new home. You can now officially move in to your new home. Make sure you inform everyone of your move, including the council and utility providers, and have all post forwarded to your new address. You may also need internet and television lines setting up, which can take some time, so the more notice you can give them the better. Once you’ve done this there is nothing left to do except enjoy your new home. Except unpacking of course……
Finally, the biggest piece of advice we can give is to go with a reputable and experienced estate agent. Lets Move has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to sales, lettings and auctions. Our friendly staff are always on hand to answer your questions, no matter how big or small! Finding your dream home can be so exciting, and we’re there with you every step of the way.
Learn how we can both help you buy your dream home or sell your property for a low fixed fee.