House buying a quick summary

You should do plenty of research before you buy a house.
You should make enquiries about how much of a mortgage you can get, what areas are you interested in, what sort of house do you want to buy?

Your mortgage will depend on your income and you’ll need eventually to provide proof of this with wage slips and the like. You should also have your own deposit saved. I know many people borrow money off parents but I think this only adds to the problems we have with high house prices.
If people just decided they couldn’t afford to buy and weren’t prepared to take parent’s savings, then house prices would be falling. Every parental deposit helps prop up the housing market.
Don’t let parents take equity from their home – this is debt and it’s wrong to expect anyone to take out debt on your behalf.
Of course it’s this older generation who may have done well out of the property price explosion in recent years.
When you’re starting to look for a house you could write a list of everything you think you want it to have. The number of bedrooms, layouts (open plan or not), number of bathrooms, whether a garden is important or a drive … all the things you can imagine yourself wanting.
Then you can start to look for a house.
Looking for a house forms part of this research process though – so remain slightly detached and more scientific about the process. Do not fall for a property and go mad trying to buy it.

Accept what you can afford. Sometimes this can be very hard and you might be better off saving rather than stretching your finances to the limit. If you like a house but don’t feel it’s worth the amount they’re asking then its simple – don’t buy it!

Find a solicitor. You don’t need to do this early on but you will notice solicitors ads in the local property pages so you could keep a note of their numbers and get them ready to ask for conveyance quotes when you need them.

Valuation survey – this would be done before your mortgage is officially agreed on a property. It may be as simple as them confirming that the property exists. For your own sanity you should probably have a proper survey. This can investigate the house for any potential problems. Don’t let obvious things like cracks in external or internal walls be ignored though – think twice about proceeding on a property showing serious signs of structural movement.
Insurance will be harder to get and might not cover existing problems.

Insurance for the building will be needed from exchange. Your solicitor will tell you about this though and may ask for proof. Some companies are au fait with this idea and some will think it’s most bizarre. If your insurance company isn’t prepared to insure from exchange then find a different one.

Exchange and completion can take place on the same day. This is much more stressful than exchanging and then completing a few weeks after. It allows more time to organise the move.

Packing – companies will come and pack for you but it costs more money. If you have some strong friends then a man and van can be the answer or even a self-hire van. It’s incredibly tiring though moving so perhaps consider professionals who’ve had plenty of experience.

Moving in is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Be prepared to have to clean the place. Have a box with kettle, mugs and tea making items in. Have a cleaning materials box handy too.

Utilities can be sorted before hand but you’ll need meter readings the day you move in. Take photos of the readings as proof of what they were.

Doesn’t that sound easy?

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