10 tips on how to buy a house

While moving can be one of the most stressful and expensive experiences a person will ever undertake, SoGlos has been finding ways to make the process run more smoothly with these 10 tips.

Solicitors fees and packing boxes through to surveys and gazumping – the worries a family can face when attempting to move house can feel endless. But, with a little organisation and help from the right people, the process will be smoother than you expected.

SoGlos has teamed up with The Mortgage Branch to unveil 10 top tips for buying a house.

About the sponsor – The Mortgage Branch

Based in the heart of Regency Cheltenham, The Mortgage Branch is a new kind of mortgage broker, aspiring to offer fantastic customer service for its clients across the south west.

Founded by Miles Wallace and David Knight, the company also plants a tree for every mortgage that completes using its services.

For more information call The Mortgage Branch on (01242) 696235 or visit themortgagebranch.co.uk directly.

1. Use a broker

Using a mortgage broker such as The Mortgage Branch can take so much of the stress out of buying a home. After providing some financial details to your broker, they’ll be able to secure you the best possible mortgage deal.

A broker will also deal with most of your paperwork, and will be on hand to answer any queries you have about the house buying process.

For more information, see our article on how a broker can help you buy your dream home.

2. Consider insurances

Once you’ve got your mortgage sorted, it’s important to consider insurances and protection to ensure you can maintain your lifestyle and keep your home if your situation changes.

Mortgage brokers will often be able to advise on financial services such as life insurance, income protection and critical illness cover.

Also, don’t forget to set up buildings’ insurance for your new property before you complete!

3. Homebuying surveys

There are a number of homebuyer surveys available and each should be conducted by a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) approved surveyor.

Surveys range from basic condition reports through to full structural surveys, and while it’s an added expense in an already expensive process, survey reports can help you avoid any costly surprises further down the line.

4. Stand your ground

Some estate agents or housebuilders (if you’re buying a new build) will forcefully encourage you to use their in-house conveyancer or mortgage broker to process your purchase.

This is more common amongst first time buyers, but isn’t always in your best interest, and actually goes against industry regulations.

Remember to stand your ground, and don’t be bullied into using the services of a mortgage broker or conveyancing team you aren’t comfortable with.

5. View at different times

While most house viewings take place during the day, it’s worth visiting the area in the evenings or on weekends to give you an indication of how quiet and peaceful your life will be in the property. Keep an eye out for friendly neighbours to get an honest opinion of the area, too.

In a similar vein, if your property is near to a main road or motorway, visiting in the morning is also a great way to see how busy it can get during rush hour.

6. Do your homework

Whether you’re buying a new build home or a country cottage with huge acreage, any future development nearby will completely change the look and feel of your property as time goes on.

Before buying your new home, look on the government’s planning portal to discover if there are any building works, new businesses or housing estates due to be built in the area to help you make an informed decision.

Also, are there new coffee shops, independent stores or markets popping up nearby? If so, this can be a good indication you’re buying in an area that’s on the up, where house prices will soon rise.

7. Is it off the market?

When you’ve found your dream property and you’re ready to put in an offer, it’s wise to ask for it to be taken off the market when your offer is accepted.

While this seems obvious, some sellers will still host viewings for the following days after an offer, hoping for a better price.

Securing the exclusivity of your offer won’t stop you being gazumped, but it will certainly help!

8. Picking a completion date

According to Which, Fridays tend to be the most popular day to complete as it gives homeowners the weekend to settle into the property. Because of this, removal firms tend to have Fridays booked well in advance – so book as soon as you’ve got a completion date.

It can be difficult to find a day that works for all parties to complete, especially if you’re in a long chain. While Fridays can seem most attractive day, consider that Monday to Thursday will offer the advantage of better availability for removal firms; more working days for conveyancers to transfer your money and deal with any last-minute enquiries; and quieter banking systems, meaning fewer financial hold ups.

9. Prepare for a long process

The smallest of problems can cause big delays when it comes to house buying chains – so prepare for the worst and buy yourself as much time as possible.

Speak to moving companies, storage firms, landlords and anyone else that would be affected by a change in your completion date about hypothetical delays, and find out how flexible they can be.

While a delay might cost you more money than you’d anticipated (perhaps in extra rent or temporary storage fees) being prepared for the worst will help ease those last-minute stresses.

10. Remember to celebrate

It’s easy to get swept up in the stress and urgency when moving day finally arrives, but don’t forget how exciting it is to get the keys to your new property!

Make sure you take lots of photos, prepare a bottle of something fizzy for the fridge, and remember to celebrate this important day!

For more information call The Mortgage Branch on (01242) 696235 or visit themortgagebranch.co.uk directly.

By Melissa Hamblett

© SoGlos
Friday 20 September 2019

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