The 7 steps to buying a house

garden playhouse

When the husband and I moved into this house we did it all wrong.
Our moving in date was December 18, it was cold and wet and grey and I was insisting that as soon as we were in and the front door shut behind us, we HAD to have a Christmas tree up.

Thankfully we didn’t have any kids or pets or much furniture at the time or that would have completely finished us both off but the point is we didn’t really plan. And we’re planners, both of us.
But moving house is so much bigger and more complex than you ever imagine it will be.
More stressful, more complicated, more infuriating.

And so, the best way to deal with it all is to know what lies ahead of you. Also to know that things will go wrong, unforeseen things will rear their head and you WILL break something in the move.
However, if you understand the timeline of moving house you will feel more able to deal with it. And maybe keep a smile on your face.
So here are my 7 steps to buying a house:

  1. Mortgage application
    Before you start looking for the house of your dreams you need to know if you can afford it. Plus is you get a mortgage approval in principle, buyers will know you are serious.
    Make sure you shop around. Don’t just plump for the first good deal you see; make sure the deal suits you and your circumstances.
    Don’t be lured in by the promise of low monthly charges, you need to factor everything in such as charges, interest rate increases etc Knowledge is power.
    On top of this, can you afford Stamp Duty, removal costs, legal fees, survey?
    Look for banks such as TSB who offer advice and tips on home buying as well as their range of mortgages.
  2. Make an offer
    Tell the seller – or their estate agent – what you are willing to pay for the property. Always pitch lower so you have some room to manoeuvre if they say no to your initial offer and also take into account any structural work you think the property might need.
    When your offer is accepted you need to ask the estate agent to take it off the market.
  3. Hire a solicitor
    You now need to find out if the property is up to scratch and what condition it’s in. Your lender will organise a survey of the property (which determines whether the house is worth what you’re paying for it) However this is a very simple survey so if you have any concerns about the property you should arrange your own. A solicitor will carry out a search to see if there are any legal issues around the building. They will also contact the people you’re buying from to sort out paperwork such as what they will be including in the sale of the property.
  4. Exchange
    If everything is hunky dory you now pay your deposit and you are unable to back out (without incurring major costs). Both parties now set a date for moving.
  5. Book the removal company
    Once again, shop around, try to get personal recommendations and make sure they know exactly what they are moving for you.
  6. Organise the utilities and council
    Once you are in your new home you will want everything to be up and working. So contact the likes of the gas company, electricity, phone/broadband provider, water to let them know when you will be taking over the property. Also contact the council to sort council tax, any bins needed etc.
  7. Complete
    You pay over the rest of the money in exchange for the keys and the property’s deeds.

So how can you make this process easier? Ensure  you’re not tearing your hair out by week 1?
Whenever paperwork comes in, deal with it straight away. Don’t leave anything hanging around waiting to be signed or sent off.
If you have any worries or queries, ask. Don’t put things off and let them build up.
Check all the facts in the contract, the survey, the list of fixtures and fittings. Don’t leave anything to surprise.
Have all your own paperwork in order.
Chill out; don’t let the stress get to you. Sure it’s easier said than done, but buying a new home is a stressful process so don’t let it get to you. Keep a level head and know there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

This is a sponsored post, written in collaboration with TSB.

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One Response to The 7 steps to buying a house

  1. Mel Brammer says:

    Great post. I'm just in between houses. We're renting near where we want to be, trying to sell where we were before, and trying not to look at any houses yet. We have 2 kids and a dog and plan to the nth degree, but its still all going to be chaos!
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