Thu 16 Feb 2017
Buying a property isn't something you do everyday, there are many factors to take into account including your budget, costs involved, whether you need to sell your existing property, as well as knowing how to find the right house for you.
Here is our house buying guide to help you through the moving process.
Is buying a property a good idea?
There are many advantages to buying your own property including:
1. It gives you the ultimate freedom and security
It’s your home, and no one can tell you otherwise. You can decorate it and furnish it as you want and you will gain the benefits of the improvements (including the increased value of the property if you sell).
You don’t have to deal with an unreasonable landlord and you can’t be made to move out at short notice.
2. It can save you money
When interest rates are low, and if you have a big deposit, homeownership can prove cheaper than renting.
With fixed rate mortgages, you can control your costs more easily than being left at the whim of a landlord.
3. It can make you money
In a rising property market, you get the increase in property values. For many people, the most money they have made in their lives is from the rising value of their home.
You are investing rather than spending – instead of paying rent that pays off your landlord’s mortgage, your monthly payments will be contributing towards something that is yours.
If you live elsewhere for a while, you can make money renting it out.
Can I afford to buy?
Finding out what you can afford is one of the first things to do. If you require a mortgage, speaking to your bank or a mortgage advisor before you begin your search is a good idea.
We can put you in touch with APT Financial Management for FREE INDEPENDENT MORTAGE ADVICE. They will be able to discuss your options on buying a new property, taking into consideration your salary, outgoings and any debt.
Having your finances in place will most certainly put you in a better position when making an offer on a property.
Do I need to sell first?
If you are already a homeowner there are a few options…
- Sell your property first and move out to give you an advantage when buying – no downward chain
- Sell and buy at the same time
- Let your property and keep it as an investment
What costs are involved in moving?
Remember there is more than just a mortgage to consider, costs involved in moving include:
How do I decide where to live?
If you are moving locally then you will already know the area and this should make the process of picking where you wish to live fairly simple.
If you have children or are thinking of having a family in the future, it's a good idea to check out local schools. Even if you don't have children, houses in areas with good schools are more likely to be sought-after which may benefit you if and when you decide to sell in the future.
Simple steps to a successful property search
1. Make a list of what you would like - number of bedrooms, garden, schooling, commute times and number these 1-10. Bear in mind that you are likely to have to compromise on the items towards the bottom of the list - unless you are very lucky!
2. Research local sold prices – Especially if you’re not local and unsure what properties would usually sell for in that area. Look online on websites such as Rightmove to help you source the information you require. Note: Actual sold prices are usually published 6 months behind or more, depending when the figures have been released.
3. Be smart and get ahead of the game - Register with local estate agents.
At John German Estate Agents we match properties to potential buyers before they are uploaded to the internet, Rightmove etc. Giving buyers a ‘head-start’ on the competition.
4. View properties to help narrow your seach – The more properties you view the more you will realise what you really want. Keep updating your requirements and narrow your search in order to be more precise about what you’re after.
Is there anything I need to do when my offer has been accepted?
Great news, your offer has been accepted! Now there are a number of things you will need to do to help the sale move forward:
- Let your mortgage provider or financial advisor know that you’ve had an offer accepted.
- Instruct a solicitor – if you don’t know any local solicitors, it is a good idea to get a recommendation from your estate agent; they are likely to have relationships with all the good ones in the area.
- Consider whether you think the property needs a survey or not. It can be a huge financial risk buying a property without one - check out our impartial guide to property surveys.
- Ensure your deposit is in place – your solicitor should advise you on this further.
- Get removals quotes if you need them but don’t book anything until you’ve got dates for completion.
How does exchange and completion work?
Once you’ve exchanged contracts you are legally committed to buying the property and if you pull-out at this point you could forfeit your deposit money.
At this point you will have agreed your completion date and you need to have buildings insurance in place for your new home.
Once the dates have been agreed now is a good time to arrange your removals and get your moving checklist ready.
If you're thinking of moving we would love to help!
Our vastly experienced staff offer their support from start to finish whether you are buying, selling or letting.
"I have to say I've been more than happy with everyone I have dealt with at John German. The level of customer service and efficiency is excellent both in sales and lettings and far superior to experiences I've had with other agencies. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend John German to anyone - in fact I have already recommended you to a friend who is looking to let her house. Please pass on my thanks to those involved in the sale and letting of my property."