So you are thinking of buying a home? There are a lot of considerations; it is a pretty big step after all. It can be a lengthy and pricey process, so bear this in mind and be prepared. The outcome is worth it, though; a home to call your own and put your stamp on.
If you are first time buyers, you may not be aware of the time it can take to buy a house. First off, you will be scouring estate agents to find some homes to view. From actually finding them to making appointments and viewings, could be a couple of weeks.
When you have one favourite house, make sure you make second and third viewings. You need to ask a lot of questions at these appointments, so it may be worth writing them all down. You will want to see things like gas certificates, and find out when the boiler was last maintained. Other things like which council tax band it is in, and how long it has been on the market are essential to know. The latter questions will affect your money so you need to be on the ball.
At the next viewings, look for any obvious damages or repairs. Can you spot any damp? Are there any cracks in the walls or ceilings? You should look in the loft space if there is one? Could you use it for storage? Is it insulated? Take your time and investigate each room. Even something like checking how many plug sockets are in each room and turning the taps on are important. You don’t want to find out that there are lots of things that need repairing if you don’t have any budget for repairs.
See what the neighbours are like and what the area is like. Are you in catchment for good schools? Are the neighbours properties well maintained? It just gives you an idea of the place you are moving into.
The second step is making an offer. From doing this to exchanging, could take up to 5 or 6 weeks. The next step is having the offer accepted. During that time, a survey would need to happen on the house, as well as mortgage and legal arrangements, so you will you require a property solicitor, such as Chiswick property solicitors. These will all have extra costs so bear that in mind.
The exchange is the penultimate step and it could happen quickly. It will depend on who you are buying the home from, though. If the person you are buying from is in a chain, it could take longer, perhaps another four weeks. If you have a new build, or no chain involved, the exchange would be a lot quicker. You would pay a deposit at this stage and you can’t back out at this stage without losing a lot of money.
The final stage is the completion. You pay the rest of the money and get the keys and the deeds. Congratulations, you are now a property owner!
It can be a long road but by following this process and asking the right questions, you will save yourself time in the long run. Good luck on your house hunt!
T, A & H xxxxxx
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