If you're thinking of moving house or buying your first home then late winter early spring is a typical time to do it, at least in the UK. After Christmas there is a big rush of houses on the market and buyers looking for places to move to. For most of us buying a house isn't as simple as finding where we want to live and handing over some cash instead we negotiate a minefield that is mortgages, solicitors, surveyors and more in a chain of events leading up to owning the house.
It's over 7 years since we brought our first house together, my husband had owned a house before, but I had rented for a couple of years before that living out of my backpack and in my old bedroom for the remainder of my adult life. Actually, knowing what to do and where to find advice was like opening up a new world to me. TSB a relatively new bank in the UK are helping you through this process with information about the whole process, but even so it's different for each buyer.
Our process was relatively long, not through fault of anyone involved but because of the house situation we were moving into, but despite the time taken we had a fairly typical progress to the moving. We knew that we wanted to move into a house in a new town and first set off to the bank to work out the mortgage that we could afford, then began our search, the making of an offer, conveyance to check that the house we thought we were getting was actually what we were getting, no major work needed on it etc... and finally exchanging of contracts and completing where we got the keys. To me a as new house buyer some of those terms just meant nothing - so here's my Buying a house - a typical timeline with it explained.
Buying a house - your timeline explained
So you know you want to move, you have the idea, what do you need to do first...
Where do you want to move to, are there jobs, will you just be moving in the same town, across county, across the country or even to another country. If you have children look at the schools, look at the areas where you want to move and then it's time to head to the bank or a mortgage broker.
If you don't have the cash to go and hand over to a house then you need to borrow the money to buy a house, so it's time for a mortgage, finding one that is right for you - and believe me there is so many options out there it makes your head spin trying to understand it all so somewhere like TSB Mortgages is a good place to start, you can look through the information find out what kind of money you could borrow, the different types of mortgages like Interest Only, Repayment, Buy to let and more. Then how long a term you want to borrow for, many companies offer special interest rates for a number of years typically 1, 3, 5 or 10 years and then raise the interest after this time and then you can borrow the money and repay over a number of years. We went with a Repayment mortgage over 25 years with a lower interest rate for the first 5 years so we knew what we were getting and could budget it accordingly. Now's the fun part (or not depending on how your partner is!) house hunting
If you live in the town where you are buying a house then this is instantly easier you know the areas you want to move into and you know where the estate agents are. Our case was moving an hour and a half from each of us - kind of meeting in the middle, we knew nothing about the town - my husband had been there a few times with work, but I hadn't even stepped foot in it so we used sites like rightmove and zoopla to find houses around the town and got sent details and then we went and visited properties on weekends when we could see them together until we found the house we wanted.
It wasn't a one visit thing for us either, we knew that we liked it but we really weren't sure if it was the one house we wanted so we visited a couple of times at different times to get a real feel for the house. Then we made an offer.
Making an offer
Houses are priced in the UK, but unlike most things these are not set in stone, you don't think the house is worth what they are asking then ask less, we did we went under the asking price by around £10,000 and to our surprise we were accepted. It's a good idea to talk to others at this point about the buying process see what they recommend as well if they've done it before then ask then what they would do. Once the offer is accepted you have a sale agreed and now starts the waiting.
House and life insurance
Not something that I'd thought much about before I've always had travel insurance and had household contents insurance when I rented but suddenly we were going to own the most expensive thing I've ever bought and ever likely to buy so insurance on the building was necessary - not just the building but also life insurance. It's a horrid thing to think of but you're getting into a commitment, a lifelong 25 years in our case commitment to put out money each month paying off the mortgage but what happens if something happens to one of us. Life insurance covers this for death, terminal illness or critical illness cover.
There is a lot of stuff involved in buying a house, more than I ever thought so you need a solicitor in most cases your estate agent can recommend one, or use one that is recommended to you - they need to know about buying a house and will explain the processes involved, this involves sending contracts backwards and forwards, doing land searches, sending out surveyors to make sure the house is what you expect it to be and everything else.
This is the final stop, the day that the house becomes yours you exchange the contracts. We exchanged contracts on a Tuesday, I was at work and remember getting the phone call to say that we had exchanged and we now owned a house, it's our first family home and I couldn't wait to completion.
Moving day, completion is the day that the keys become yours and you move into your new home.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of TSB