When you are a kid, the milestones and rites of passage come thick and fast. From your first steps to your driving test, there are hundreds of little milestones in the middle. All big deals in a young life and all something to celebrate. Then, as you start getting older, they dry up a little.
The important birthdays stop, birthdays, in general, get much less exciting, and day to day your life changes very little. But, when the milestones come, they are huge, like getting married or having a baby. One such important milestone for many young adults (or even older adults in the current climate) is buying their first house.
Buying your first house is an important step. It’s usually your most expensive and important purchase to date, maybe ever. It’s your chance to make a house your family home, to truly settle in your space and to give yourself financial stability and security in the future.
But, it’s not always easy. Buying a house isn’t quite like buying anything else. There are many steps to take and hoops to jump through before you get the keys to your home and if you’ve always rented before you might have no idea what you are letting yourself in for. There’s plenty of conflicting advice out there, but here’s what you really need to know.
You’ll Need More Than a Deposit
When first-time buyers start looking, they often look at mortgage calculators online, putting in whatever they’ve got saved up as their deposit, without considering the associated costs. In reality, you might have to take around £5,000 out of your savings to cover the other costs of buying a home.
Conveyancing searches can cost up to £600; legal fees might set you back a further £1500, you’ll need to pay bank transfer fees and around £150 for a valuation for your lender.
There’ll also be mortgage arrangement fees of up to £2,000, a booking fee of between £100 and £250, survey costs vary depending what you want but could be over £1,000 and then there’s the cost of actually moving all of your positions and covering the notice period on your rental.
This extra money can be the difference between getting approved for a mortgage and not. So, it’s important to take them into account when you are making your calculations and save for them separately if you need to.
It Takes Longer than You Think
Once you’ve found a solicitor, they’ll have to prove your identity, and there’ll be paperwork to fill in and certify before they even start their searches. Then, these can take up to six weeks to come back, and you never know what they might find. Your survey might also reveal problems that lead to further negotiations.
Even if everything runs smoothly, the vendor might be waiting for their own purchase to complete before they can move out of the home that you are buying. It’s not uncommon to wait up to six months between first viewing your home and moving in.
You’ll Forget What It Looks Like
You may view a house once before you move in. Sometimes twice. But rarely more than this. You can go months before seeing your future home for more than a quick visit. You’ll start making plans for new furniture you want to buy and where you are going to put things.
Over time you’ll start to doubt yourself. You’ll forget exactly what shapes the rooms are, or how big things are. When you get the keys and spend proper time there without an estate agent or vendor, you might find it doesn’t look quite how you remember. So, try not to buy too much beforehand.
There’s Lots of Waiting
During the searches and surveys stage of making a purchase, you’ll spend a lot of time just waiting. You won’t have a moving date to tell people when they ask, you won’t know what’s happened, and there can be weeks at a time when you hear nothing. This can be frustrating, but a lot is going on behind the scenes.
If you want an update or any information don’t hesitate to ring your solicitor. Remember, you are paying for their services so don’t worry about making contact. Then, suddenly everything will happen in one go, and the wait will be over.