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Thinking of moving home



There could be a number of reasons why you might consider moving home, whether it’s your first step on the property ladder, or moving in with a partner, through to seeking more space for a growing family or downsizing, now that the kids have places of their own. Whatever the reason behind the move, each one is a significant step in life, and needs to be undertaken with care and guidance along the way.


In this guide, we’ll help take you through the key steps and decisions that need to be made as you find a new home, from finding the right property for you, through to sourcing the funding for your dream home, selling your existing home and practical tips for the moving day itself.


Financing your dream home


Most of us will be looking to finance a new home with a mortgage. If you’ve already got a place, then chances are, you need to look firstly at what kind of mortgage deal you already have to see how much it would cost you to move house.


Many mortgages have an early repayment charge, which you’d have to pay if you move to a new one before the term ends on your existing one. You can get around this by porting your existing mortgage to a new property to save money and retain the same deal.


It’s always advisable to review your mortgage with a professional mortgage adviser; we will help you understand the choices to be made, talk through your circumstances and help to establish how much you could borrow.


One of the main benefits to be had by using us, is that we can obtain mortgage deals from a wide range of lenders across the market and with deals that would be suitably beneficial to your individual need and circumstances.


We’ll go through your financial circumstances, your monthly income and outgoings, and help to advise and recommend a mortgage that’s suitable for you. We’ll explain in detail of what potential fees and charges that may be involved, and afterwards work with you to get a Decision-in-Principle (DIP) to show how much you’re able to borrow, before you place an offer on a property.



Searching for your dream home


When you’re looking for the right home, it’s worth preparing a wish-list of desirable features to look for in your ideal property. Think about the reasons that prompted you to move in the first place, perhaps it’s seeking a new area, a bigger house, a better garden, for example, and make a list.


Potential criteria could include -

· Kitchen-diner

· Downstairs bathroom

· Extra bedrooms

· Garage, home office or games room


Having this list can help you decide whether a house could be right for you, before you book a viewing. What to look out for:


· How does the local area look?

· How long will it take you to commute to work?

· Is it peaceful or is it a busy, built up area?

· Are the transport links good?

· Are you nearby local shops and amenities?

· How close are you to local schools and nurseries?

· What is the car parking like – both during the daytime and evening?


How does the property look?


Outside:

· Does the property have off-road parking?

· Does the property face south for additional sun?

· Is there a garden, and is it useable?

· How secure does the property look?

· Are there any cracks visible in the walls?

· Are there any signs of mould or damp?

· How well-kept are the neighbouring properties?


Inside:

· Are the rooms large enough for your needs?

· What energy rating is the property?

· What kind of heating system is in place?

· How much would the Council Tax and bills be?

· Can you see any damp or mould developing?


Ultimately, you are looking to see how closely the property meets the needs outlined in your wish list, alongside consideration of how long you intend to live there, and how the property can meet your needs in the future. Once you’ve found your house, and you have a Decision in Principle (DIP), you would generally be ready to go ahead and make an offer.


Putting in an offer


It’s an exciting moment when making an offer on a property– however it’s also one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so it needs to be carried out with some caution.


Firstly, try to avoid getting carried away haggling on a price, and set yourself a maximum budget to avoid exceeding – consider any additional money you can afford to realistically spend on the property, such as any renovation or repair work needed. Some faults and repairs can be used as a bargaining tool to lower the offer, but also bear in mind that major repairs can affect the valuation of a property.


Study what similar properties have sold for in the local area to guide you – websites such as Zoopla contain sale details online to back up the valuations you may have from lenders. If you do see a major variation between a lender valuation, the vendor’s asking price, and the amount you have offered, speak to us to find out how we can help you with the funding required to purchase the property.


In instances where the property you are seeking is sought after by several potential purchasers, you can make yourself the more attractive buyer by having a mortgage ready and Decision in Principle in place and ready to go. Once your offer has been accepted, it is still subject to change as your survey results could reveal something that puts you back into the negotiation stage.


Selling your home


Once you’ve decided to move house, generally speaking, you have two options:


· Option 1 – Sell your existing house first, then buy the next property

· Option 2 – Buy your new house and then sell your existing property


The benefits of the first option mean that you’re in a much stronger position when it comes to making offers, however the downside is that you are likely now in a property chain, which

can become complicated, being reliant on a number of other parties and external factors to keep the chain moving.


If you decide to go for Option 2, buying your new property first ahead of selling your existing property (i.e. without a chain), then this provides more stability and confidence that you will secure your new property without a sale falling through. However, the downside to this is the cost of owning two properties at once, and the resulting bills arising, including tax and utility costs while you await a buyer for your property. You won’t be able to use your existing mortgage on the new property, so may need to take out a second mortgage for the new home.


Tips to help you in selling your property and purchasing a new one:


· Have your finances in place early on

· Have a Decision in Principle ready

· Have all relevant documentation to hand: pay slips, bank statements etc.

· Sign and return all documents required as soon as possible


Some elements may be out of your immediate control, such as being reliant on other people signing and returning paperwork. In general, you can still help move things along by keeping in touch with your solicitor and estate agent on a regular basis, and never be reluctant to ask where your application is in the process.


Top tips for selling your house


There are some top tips you can follow to try and make your house as attractive as possible for when it comes to selling. Small changes can make a big difference, so think carefully about the below and what you can do to make your property easier, and faster to sell.


Increase kerb appeal


First impressions always count – so grab your prospective buyers with a well-kept exterior, ensure any front garden is tidy, leaves are swept up, and driveway weeded and jet-washed. Make repairs to any damaged fences and clean the windows ready for any viewing appointments.


Consider the time of year


It’s sometimes challenging to make a house and garden look as attractive in winter as it is at other times, it may be beneficial to wait until spring, with improved weather, brighter days and when garden plants are coming into bloom.


Clean & de-clutter your property


Giving your place a spring clean and tidying away any unsightly items in cupboards will help create more space and make it easier for potential buyers to think about how they can see themselves living there. Small changes can make a big difference.


Presentation


Finally, last-minute care and attention to the little details before estate agents come to take photos or potential buyers arrange a viewing can pay big dividends. For example, turn your lights on, ensure beds are made, curtains are tied back and kids toys are tidied away. Conceal pet beds & toys, and tactically place fresh flowers and air fresheners to increase the appeal for visitors.


Accepting offers on your property


Once you start receiving offers from prospective buyers of your property, it’s important to choose your buyer wisely. Try and look beyond simply the largest offer, consider also which position they are in – are they a first-time-buyer, do they have a Decision in Principle (DIP) or are they caught in the middle of a complex chain? Ask yourself what is most important to you, are you seeking a quick sale or would you prefer to hold out for the right price and buyer?

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