Unless you have an affinity— and a bank account deep enough — for some of the finer things in life (we’re thinking yachts, supercars and diamonds), then a property is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make.
But, unfortunately, it’s also one of the most stressful.
In fact, studies and reports have indicated that one in ten British couples split up after moving home.
And we’re not talking about unpacking boxes — it’s the weeks and months of house-hunting, negotiations, waiting, uncertainty and money worry that can tip the balance and make us feel the stress.
So, if you’re thinking of moving soon, then we hope this six-step process will help you to navigate the choppy waters of buying a new home (and perhaps save your relationship while we’re at it — you’re welcome!).
Many people rush straight to point two and miss out this stage, but working out your finances is critical to purchasing a house.
We always recommend that you consult a mortgage advisor before viewing — and falling in love with — potential properties. A broker can help you to work out what you can afford, how much your monthly repayments will be and the deposit you’re likely to require.
They can also provide you with a ‘mortgage-in-principle’ — a certificate, of sorts, to confirm that a lender will be willing to loan you the amount required. This puts you in a strong position for house-hunting and for when you do come to reserve a new home.
And, if you’re worried about your credit rating, then now is the time to work on it. Use Noddle — a free website — to check your score, and then use The Money Advice Service’s advice for improving it.
Quick tip: If you’re looking for a mortgage broker, many of our clients have used the help of KB Mortgage Services and highly recommend founder Kate.
This is one of the best parts of moving — the actual search for your new home! Once you and your mortgage advisor have worked out how much you can afford, we recommend:
Once you’ve found the new home for you, then you’ll put down a reservation fee — ours is typically £750. This means that we’ll take the property off the market and, subject to contract, it’s all yours.
3. Appoint a solicitor and surveyor
Once you’ve proved your affordability, you’ll need to instruct a solicitor to carry out the legal work. The lender will also require a surveyor to visit the property to ensure it’s worth the price you’re paying for it.
Some people opt to go for a comprehensive property survey to highlight any potential problems. However, all of our new homes are independently reviewed by building control, and are sold with a 10-year LABC warranty, so this isn’t typically necessary.
4. Tailor and design your home
While some house builders stick strictly to their design plan, at SB Homes, we encourage our buyers to tailor their property. You’ll have shared input into the layouts, tiling, kitchen surfaces, wardrobes, finishes and more. This unique opportunity means that you can create a bespoke home, without having to do any of the hard work (bonus!).
We arrange monthly meetings to discuss options, and we can organise multiple walk-arounds of your new home, to ensure you’re 100% happy with it.
5. Pay deposit and exchange contracts
Next, you’ll pay your deposit to your solicitor. This may either come from your savings or the sale of your existing property. Your lender should have also provided you with a firm offer, and will require you to arrange buildings insurance from the date of exchange.
Then it’s time to exchange contracts — both you and the seller will be legally committed to the sale. A completion date will also be agreed at this stage.
Your solicitor will arrange for the funds to be transferred from your mortgage lender to the developer. On the day of completion, the deeds of the property will be passed to you and you’ll become the legal owner of your new home.
All that’s left to do is pay the Stamp Duty owed, as well as your legal fees!
Then the hard work really starts — moving in! Stay tuned for our next blog which will explore some tips and advice for moving day.
If you’re looking for a new house for sale in Huddersfield, browse the properties we have available here.