Buying a new house is an exciting time, whether you're selling up or just getting on the property ladder for the first time. However, there are lots of things to consider, and it's easy to get overwhelmed, so once you've found the house of your dreams, make sure you're prepared for what lies ahead with our handy tips.
1. You'll need a budget for hidden costs
You've been saving like mad to get the deposit together for your new place, but unfortunately the spending doesn't end there. There are lots of hidden costs associated with buying a new house, and selling an existing one, so it's best to allow for as much contingency as possible.
Many lenders ask for an arrangement fee of around £1,000. You can usually opt to pay this upfront, or to add it onto your mortgage, but it is often payable even if your sale falls through.
If you're also selling a property before you buy, there may be an early repayment fee if you're still within a fixed term mortgage, so be sure to check with your existing mortgage provider before securing a new one.
Before a lender will provide you with a mortgage for your new property, they will wish to value it themselves, in order to ascertain that it offers sufficient security for your loan. The cost of this valuation will vary depending on how much your new property is valued at, and the terms of your lender, but it's prudent to budget around £300 for this.
Estate Agent Fee
If you're selling a property, you'll also need a valuation of your existing home before putting it on the market. Many opt to get their home valued by an estate agent such as Wolf's, as they are best placed to gauge how much your property is worth.
While there's no cost attached to asking an estate agent to value your existing property, if you choose to sell your property with an agent, there will be a fee for this service, as they will handle all advertisement, and any viewings relating to the property. The fee is usually a percentage of the overall sale price but many sellers consider this good value, as they can leave the entire process in the hands of a professional.
Some banks will contribute to your legal fees when providing you with a mortgage, but you will still be required to pay around £300 for simple conveyancing fees, and you will be required to use a solicitor approved by your bank. If you elect to pay your conveyancing fees you should budget around £800, but this will vary depending on whether your solicitor is required to do any non-standard work.
Surveys on your new property are an expensive part of any purchase, and a typical survey costs from £400-£1,000, depending on the age and complexity of the property you're buying, but they are essential. Frustratingly, they are required in the early stages of the buying process, so if your sale subsequently falls through, you won't be able to reclaim the cost. Consequently it's wise to budget for 2-3 surveys just in case your first purchases don't go through.
If your new property is valued over £125,000, you'll have to pay stamp duty land tax on its purchase price. You can find out how much stamp duty you need to pay by using the HMRC stand duty land tax calculators.
Removal costs will obviously vary depending on how much you are transporting, but for local moves you should factor in a budget of at least £100. If you're moving long distance, you may need to allow as much as £1,000 to take account of the travelling time and the logistics involved for your removal company. As with everything it's best to get several quotes first, and you can quickly compare removal company prices on reallymoving.com.
DIY and Improvements
Whether you're planning a massive overhaul of your new place, or if you're lucky enough to have everything decorated to your taste, you should keep a budget back for unexpected property maintenance, particularly if it's an older property, as you might find a few more leaky sinks than you were anticipating when you move in.
2. It will probably take longer than you were expecting
Even if you're not selling a property, unfortunately house buying can be quite a drawn out process. Without factoring in the research and multiple viewings that may be required, once your offer is accepted, it can take up to seven weeks to exchange contracts, and up to a further four weeks until completion, so up to around 3 months in total. However, this doesn't take account of potential problems that may arise, such as the survey uncovering certain issues on the new property, for example, so have your patience at the ready!
3. You'll need to confirm what is included with the property
To avoid arriving on moving day to find that your new home has been stripped back to bare basics, you should request a written list from the seller which states what will be included in the purchase price, even going down to light fittings and carpets. If the seller is asking you to pay extra for any fixed items, such as an integrated TV, make sure that they're worth the value they claim before handing over any extra money.
If you're planning on buying a house in Harborne, Birmingham or Edgbaston in the future, it's always worth taking a look at the latest sale property listings. Wolf's provide a wide range of high quality homes all over these areas, and our friendly team are always on hand to help you through the entire moving process.