Moving is one of the biggest level events you can undertake, and it can become very stressful. To save yourself from some of that stress, make sure you are well prepared when you start your home-buying journey. We’ve put together some house-buying tips and tricks to help ensure you know exactly what you’re doing when looking for a new home.

Before your search

Buying a new home is very exciting but you might find your excitement gets the better of you in this initial stage, and before you know it you’ve saved 50 different properties to your ‘want to view’ folder. However, it’s important to sit down and write a list of all the specific criteria you want your new home to have. For each of these, also note down how willing you are to compromise on each of these items. This way, say if you’re not willing to compromise on wanting a large garden, you’ll avoid booking viewings for houses with small outdoor spaces.

Before you start ringing agents to ask for viewings, also be aware that they will most likely ask you what your buying position is, whether you’re in a proceedable position (sold if you need to sell and mortgage in place if you need one), and that they might even ask for proof of this before you can view the property you had your eye on. If you’re not sure how much you can borrow, there are various calculators online that will be able to help you figure this out. Make sure you know your budget to avoid disappointment!

When viewing

Once you’ve whittled down the available properties to ones that fit all of your ‘must have’ criteria, you can start to book in viewings. Buying a new house is a big commitment, and you need to find something that fits your current needs, but in which you are also able to happily live in years to come, so it’s important to be critical when you’re viewing properties. Here are a few things you might not have thought to ask yourself:

  • What is the parking like? Will you need a permit to park on the street?
  • Does the kitchen work for your family’s needs or will you have to renovate?
  • What is the storage like? Are there a lot of built-in cupboards and wardrobes? And if not, is there enough space for storage furniture?
  • Why are the current owners moving out?
  • Is there a chain involved?
  • What does the EPC rating estimate your bills are going to be?
  • What is the mobile signal and internet speed like? (especially important in this new age of working from home!)
  • Are there any ground or service charges?
  • What’s the local area like (think: schools, local parks, public transport, planned developments)
When you’ve found your dream home

Once you’ve found the property of your dreams, make sure to book in a second viewing at a different time of day. This will give you a good idea of the natural light in the property and of the business of the road at different times of day.

If you’re still convinced this is the one, you can put in an offer with the estate agent. Once this is accepted, it’s important to get a solicitor instructed and a survey booked as soon as possible so they can get the process going. Your estate agent and solicitor will keep you up to date on how your purchase is progressing. Once you’ve signed the contract and exchanged, the deal becomes legally binding. It then depends how long you have to wait until completion, this will be a mutually agreed date. When the day comes, you’ll be able to pick up the keys and head to your new home!

Do you have any golden house-buying tips and tricks?
If you’re looking to get the home-buying process started? Why not take a look at our available properties. Or if you’re looking to put your own home on the market, we’d be more than happy to provide you with a free no-obligation market appraisal. Just get in touch via 0121 362 7878 or enquiries@astonknowles.com to book.

Source: SSJ Surveyors – Buyer’s Checklist

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