On paper, buying a house looks a lot simpler than it is in reality, but keep the below tips in mind when you’re on the hunt for a new home and you shouldn’t go far wrong…
Before you start your search for a new house it’s important to get an idea of what you can and can’t afford, identify what it is you need from your property and where it is you’d like to live. You can then hone your search accordingly, but try not to exclude certain areas or properties – you could save yourself thousands of pounds by compromising on the location or condition of the house.
You’ve saved for a deposit and agreed on a mortgage, but unfortunately when you’re buying a house that’s not all you’ll need to pay out for. There are lots of other hidden costs when moving house including legal fees, stamp duty, and surveys; make sure you’ve factored in all these expenditures so that you’re not left strapped for cash.
This might sound counter-intuitive, but if you’re selling your home as well as buying a house, it’s well worth waiting until you have a definite buyer before you start your search. This way, you won’t suffer the disappointment of missing out on your dream home because someone else is in a better position to buy than you. If, however, you’re in a rush to move, selling to a property buying company could be the best option for you.
Estate agents are notoriously good at persuading house buyers to put in over-the-odds offers on potential houses to avoid “losing out to other interested buyers”. They also often advise sellers to accept no less than the asking price, which can result in a drawn out moving process.
Our advice – stick to your guns when negotiating and, if you have an offer accepted, ensure that the estate agent takes the property off the market immediately; they should have no objections to this.
Once your offer has been accepted, it’s important to have a survey carried out which will flag any problems (i.e. subsidence, flooding) and allow you to budget for these (should they arise) in advance.
If the house you’re buying is over 100 years old, it’s well-worth having a full structural survey of the property to examine the house in more detail. A survey will also help you avoid any nasty (and costly) surprises down the line.