6 Things to know BEFORE you buy a New Build home

We sold our house in 3 days, during a pandemic, and went into panic mode. Talk about moving quickly! We honestly had no idea we would go under offer so quickly, ergo, we panicked and kinda forgot some of the most important things when buying a new build home.

Whilst we had bought a new build property previously, there were somethings we didn’t need to think about before, and new things to consider since we were both buying and selling. So what is really important to know, when selling a property and buying a brand new property?

I have created an easy guide that would have really helped us when starting the process of buying a new build home. Some of these things you may not have considered, and others might be things to just bear in mind when looking at buying new.

This might seem like a witch hunt on new build properties, and it really isn’t. We bought a brand new property for our first home, and we have recently exchanged on our second. New Build homes offer modern properties which are ready to live in. Whilst they may lack the character of a Victorian or similar space of a older build, new build properties offer all the mod-cons a growing family or first home owner would need. Much like buying a new car, there is reassurance to be had when buying new, knowing that there’s nothing else more to be done, than make it your own.

Read : How to decorate a new build home to create a beautifully styled abode.

You’ll need to pay a Reservation Fee

Unlike any other property that you may put an offer on, a new build home usually requires a down payment / reservation fee to secure the plot. Yes, it makes my blood boil. And it can range from just £99 to as much as £2000. This is usually taken off the deposit you pay, but it is an upfront cost to bare in mind, and one that usually is only accepted by bank transfer – so no credit cards can cover it i’m afraid!

You’ll often be given Tight Deadlines

Developers are notorious for wanting a quick turn around when it comes to their properties being under offer, exchanged and of course completed – especially if the property is already built. This is something to consider, as most developers look for a period of just 28 days before exchange. For many, this comes and goes with little problems and developers tend to be flexible, especially if they are aware things are moving forward. But beware, they will certainly be on your case a heck of a lot more than a normal house sale / purchase.

They’ll push for you to use their services

And by services I mean solicitors and mortgage brokers that they recommend. This is mostly so they can earn some commission from referring you to these other companies and tend to be corporate, national providers. We made a mistake on our first property by using the recommend solicitors and brokers and have since ( whilst selling ) been missing key information and documentation that we should have received during our purchase. Don’t believe that you can not buy without using their recommend services, and stick by your guns if you would prefer to use local solicitors and brokers.

Additional extras are non-refundable

Most developers offer lots of additional extras to their properties, including light fittings, kitchen finish and much much more. This can vary hugely from developer, but all will need to know options and any additional extras before the roof is complete on your property.

Choosing your kitchen cupboards, surfaces and tiles choices are basic practice and shouldn’t cost you any extra, but this may not be viable if your property is already in its final stages.

Common additional extras include the following :
  • Spotlights ( instead of single light pendant )
  • Flooring package throughout the property
  • Shower fitting and screen over a bath
  • Up to ceiling tiling in the bathroom
  • Heated towel rails ( instead of a radiator )
  • Shaver sockets in the bathrooms
  • Upgrade on plug sockets finish

Any additional extras you do choose, will require upfront payment, and will often be non-refundable should you not proceed with your purchase. This is well worth noting, since its an additional outlay for some prior to exchange.

There maybe some covenants

If you’re looking at purchasing a new build which you plan to immediately alter, for example building a conservatory, extending the back or even building a garage, be weary of convenants on the property. Lots of developers include convenants on their properties for a period of 5-10 years. Once again this can depend on the developer, but it’s worth asking and considering, especially if you’d want to make any additions early on.

Other common covenants include satellite dishes being banned from the front of properties. Ask this when you visit the development and look at other already established properties on the site if you can, to see if they have satellite dishes.

It really is a blank canvas

Some people hate this and others love it, but new build properties are quiet literally a blank canvas. Aside from some upgrades, a new build home is one to make your own, but this shouldn’t be underestimated. Rear gardens often lack grass, every room tends to be white, and without little else, it can feel fairly stagnant. Know that whatever additional extras, or how keen you are, it will take time and funds to get the property looking and feeling like a home.

This is of course the same for any property, but it shouldn’t be underestimated how much time and work creating a green space and injecting some personality takes to a new build home.

With all this being said, and it possibly sounding a lot worse than it is, new build properties offer space, modern living and an opportunity to either step up or on to the property ladder. My biggest advice is to be open, honest and be prepared to do chasing when needed. All the whilst you are prepared to get going, it tends to work out fine. Developers just don’t like dawdlers.

Would you buy a new build property? Were there some things that you didn’t know when buying new? Get commenting in the section below.

Top Tips to selling your home, quick!

When it comes to moving house, part of the anxiety for many homeowners is the unknown aspect of selling their current property. Will it sell? Will I get what I need for the next property? Will I be on the market a while? Will I lose a buyer and have to find another? There is undoubtedly a lot of anxiety hot spots when buying and selling houses.

We recently have done the whole process of selling and buying, and damn, it was stressful. But it wasn’t the selling that was the hard part for us. No, and that’s simply because we lined our ducks in a row to make the whole experience a heck of a lot less stressful. We sold quickly and within 3 days of being on the market, at full asking. Here’s how we made everything plain sailing so we could sell quickly.

Prep your home

Whilst many would believe you don’t need to do anything extra to your home to help it sell, buyers can be stupid. Some can’t see past the straggly wallpaper, dirty floors or cluttered spaces. So, making it easy for every potential buyer will be your best bet. Now, you don’t need to overhaul your whole property, but there are some things you should look at doing before getting that agent in.

Touch ups

Scuffs along the hallway, marks from the kids playing, food splatters in the kitchen. All these should be touched up. Making your home look neat, tidy and above all else looked after, will help any buyer realise your home is a gem that is loved.

De-clutter

Oooo there is nothing worse than looking around a property you hope will give you more space and realising its full of crap. Clear yours out so any potential buyers dont feel like your home lacks space and storage. Plus, de-cluttering now means when you come to pack, your only packing the stuff you want and need.

Clean

You would be surprised how many homes I walked into as an agent that were dirty. This is so off-putting for any buyers, especially when it deters away from the home. A stinky smell will be all they think of when they view.

Stage

Like its going in a home interior magazine. I would highly advise this for the pictures and viewings. Making your home the best presentable self is vital in helping buyers visulise living there. Buy fresh flowers, brew some coffee and plump the cushions. Think of how good show homes feel and do the same in your home.

Pick the right agent

Now your home is ready to hit the market you need a stella agent that is going to sell the socks off your property. With property portals doing most of the work, you should pick a agent that will make it stand out from the hundreds of other listings.

Look at their photography, see if they offer floor plans, virtual tours, video content. It’s also worth reading the description. Lazy agents with lousy phone camera images will not help your property pop on Rightmove. Virtual tours and property videos are hugely popular, especially considering covid can stop people from viewing many properties. They can give a great insight into the home and whilst many agents would say it can limit viewings, it will encourage those that have watched the video and like what they see view!

When it comes to having a property valuation, make sure you get 3 different agents in. This will help you get an average price of your property. Bare in mind, some agents like to over price to grab your property from their competitors. Always consider why their valuation may be higher. Whilst it might sound nice, usually these figures are hugely inflated and these agents will then advise you to drop the price to gather interest. Remember, dropping the price is visible on property portals and isn’t a good selling point.

Ask lots of questions also. Consider the time you will have to be on with them if you don’t sell. Some agents require a 12 week period which is a long time to sit stale mate on the market. Read reviews, look at their selling stats and check the properties they have on the market.

Gather the information

Once you have your agent picked, now is a great time to get some of the important information ironed out. Things like ground rent cost, maintenance charges, lease details, boundary information, any covenants, council tax bands ect. Some potential buyers will ask these questions before putting in an offer so its worth while knowing the answers. Plus, it makes it easier when gathering information for the solicitors too.

Inform your financial adviser

Hopefully you’ve already crunched the numbers, but it’s worth making sure your financial adviser is ready and waiting for when you need to offer on a property. Be sure you know how much you need to sell for, and your budget too.

Chase your agents

Once you are on the market, be sure to keep in regular contact with your agents. Check the listing on the property portals and get anything changed if you are not happy. When any viewings are conducted, request feedback at the nearest opportunity. Understanding what may be an issue is wise and can mean you can change something quickly to help move things along.

Selling your property quickly is only achieved when doing all of the above. Most importantly, it’s choosing the correct agent. Be realistic with valuations and don’t go for the crazy, wild, high figure. Knocking the price down will only make buyers wonder what is wrong with your property.

We sold our home in 3 days – during Covid!

I really didn’t think I would be writing this, but honestly, we sold our 2 bed apartment, during a pandemic, in 3 days! And to say I went into a huge meltdown is understatement.

Those eagle eyed followers will see some of my content will allude to something happening in the property department. And well, we seemed to have managed to sell our current property and buy our first house!!!

We’d been thinking of moving since we got married, and my anxiety towards money had held us back. But the turn of a new year, and some of those quirky aspects of owning an apartment growing old, we just knew it was time to take the plunge.

And then Corona arrived.

But that didn’t stop us. Instead, we used the lock down as time to prep our home for selling and it clearly worked. Within 3 days of being on the market, we had an offer at full asking and we were suddenly looking for our next home. This is about the time I really started to panic – we needed to find a house!

Paired with new viewing restrictions, the surge in the market and even delays to new builds due to lack of material and several weeks of lock down, it was pure hell trying to find a property. We didn’t want to lose our buyer, but we didn’t have lots of time to try and find the biggest purchase we would have ever made.

But as luck would have it, in just a couple of weeks, we had a offer accepted and we were back on the new build treadmill to buy our first house.

Read : How we prepped for selling our home during lock-down

Our New Home

Its funny, this new build site had popped up on Rightmove several times and I had totally discounted it. I will happily admit, I am a house snob and the illustrated pictures did not do the development justice. After my husband noted it down, and we drove to the site, we requested info and went down to the properties. Within 2 days we had fallen in love with a floorplan ( because it was just a pile of bricks ) and had put our little red spot on plot 168.

Now, 15 weeks after our offer, we are handing over the keys to our apartment, and heading back to my parents.

We are so thankful that we have the opportunity to get out of our property and wait for our new home to be finished. There is always a risk when purchasing a new build that all your ducks won’t align, and your buyer not waiting for yours to be ready. We knew, even when we considered a renovation project, that we wanted to get out as soon as possible, living with my parents till we found a house or ours was finished.

Now we wait, and plan, and spend!

It’s expected our property will be ready by the end of November, if not earlier! So whilst lodging with parents, we will be hunting, picking and buying flooring, paint colours and new furniture! With so many plans for the brand new house and bare garden, we have plenty to think about and plan whilst we patiently wait for the finished product.

After chickening our several year ago to chat money and moving, I am so happy with how everything has turned out. Even when a pandemic, moving deadlines and long wait times were looming, we managed to buy a house that offered us everything we wanted ( and a bit more ).

If you’re thinking of moving, do it!

How we are prepping for selling our home during lock-down

Talk about bad timing – just as we got the ball rolling – Covid-19 arrives and hits us right in the tummy.

We have been discussing moving from our first home, a 2 bed apartment, since we got married back in 2018. We won’t be the only couple that once we said ‘I do’ , wanted to move straight to the next thing – a house. But property prices back in 2018 didn’t allow us the movement we needed to move up the property ladder, and we just decorated instead. Not exactly the same thing but yanno.

Roll forward 2 years, some pay rises and our frustrations of hearing neighbours, carrying shopping up a flight of stairs and no private, outdoor space, we decided it was the year. We were going to put our first home on the market and move to a house. And then Covid-19 made its appearance.

Lock-down has inevitably put the whole property market on pause. No house viewings, mortgage meetings, house valuations, property surveys and no moving dates. It’s all just paused. And for us, that means we are currently in limbo.

Thankfully, we hadn’t got to the point of putting our property on the market, much rather we are only at the start of the process. Nevertheless, its very very frustrating. But every cloud and all means we do have some things to do whilst in lock-down to make the whole process run quickly when it resumes.

Checking on our finances

A new home means a bigger mortgage, more credit and a horrible conversation about finances. They are my worst nightmare. One thing is for sure, the lock-down and pause on the property market has allowed us a little more time to keep track on our finances.

It’s always advisable to keep a track on your credit score and record whether you currently want to move or not. And it’s something I check monthly, ever since signing up to clearscore 3 years ago. It gives you a great indication on what banks see, and you can spot any errors or problems early.

I would suggest to anyone to check their score regularly. especially if wanting to borrow more money or get a mortgage. Somethings can take a while to iron out and you really don’t want any surprises when chatting to lenders. Clearscore is free and gives you a guide on what lenders will see when looking at lending you money.

Saving as much as possible

Being a ex estate agent, I had lots of clients who were surprised by unexpected bills and costs when buying and selling a property. The lock-down has given us some more time to save save save. Because even the most organised can be caught out with costs, even if it’s just buying new furniture or home essentials.

De-cluttering

When selling a home, de-cluttering can save you on packing, and help ease the clutter in your home for viewing purposes. Viewers can be put off if they see a home over-run with clutter and mess, since it suggests you have outgrown the property, or it doesn’t offer much space and storage. Whether that is the case, best not visualize it to potential buyers.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been organising home accessories we would like for the new home, as well as the usual ‘loft items’ that we can hide at my parents whilst we are marketing the apartment.

Touch-ups

Your home can get very straggly very quickly, and its only when you look at it as a potential buyer you see some of the marks or small fixes it might need. Spend some time touching up marks and plaster cracks. Make sure anything broken is fixed too. Blown bulbs or broken handles are small indicators to buyers that you might not look after your home.

We have spent the last couple of weeks touching up paint work and cleaning the white walls. It doesn’t look great and we want potential buyers to see this is a loved home, well looked after.

Contacted agents

Finding the right agent that fits your budget and will market your property correctly can be a process in itself. Take this time to research and call around – ask plenty of questions and look at the properties they are marketing currently, and have sold recently. Checking this now, and finding an agent will give you a jump start on the market when things get moving again.

We have found a fantastic, local agent that we trust and works within our budget. We have already verbally instructed, indicating that we want to be on the market as soon as the lock-down easement allows.

The property market may be frozen for the time being, but there is still plenty to be done if looking to buy or sell in the coming months. With low interest rates, its a great time to consider borrowing more and moving up the property ladder.

Are you looking to buy a new home? Move from your current property? Let me know in the comment section. Did you want more property posts? Let me know too!

Buying your first home – Top tips you need to know

Owning a home is a millennials dream. And whilst it’s easy to laugh, it has become almost impossible for many of us to take that first crucial step onto the property ladder. With property prices on the rise, and the demand for higher deposits do too, it’s no surprise it seems a pipe dream for many.

And yet whilst I type this, I’m sitting at my dining table in my mortgaged 2 bed apartment I bought nearing 4 years ago.

No I’m not an enigma, and yes it is absolutely possible to own your own. It takes hard graft of saving and some discipline when it comes to spending. I and my partner didn’t rent beforehand so luckily we didn’t have high rents to pay whilst trying to save for a deposit. But, enough about how I got here, I’m here to help you now you are ready to buy.

So where do you start? Do you really know much about mortgages, interest rates and solicitors? Here’s my top tips when you’re embarking on your first steps on the ladder.

Read : Furnishing and Decorating your new home
Read : CURTAINS & NETS INTERIOR STYLE : A REAL LAYERED LOOK

Shop for your mortgage

Don’t just settle for what seems like a good deal. Shop around as much as you would for anything else. If leaning on a fixed-rate mortgage, you will be tied to this for atleast 2 years, so you want to make sure you get the best deal possible. As a first time buyer, there will be lost of different incentives and rates avaliable. Take your time and seek advice if needed. 

Seek advice if needed – don’t do it alone

I just touched on this, but seek advice and do not be scared to ask plenty of questions. You are not expected to know what everything means, so google, ask and make sure you know what you are signing up to, before making the final decision. There are plenty of people around that can help and advise you from mortgages, surveys and estate agent jargon. 

Save for worst case

Might seem a little silly, but save save save. There may be hidden costs, as well as those planned, but more expensive than expected. Remember, surveys cost, and can flag up things you may need to address sharpish.

Try and not splurge on the pointless things

It’s all so exciting when you have a new home awaiting for the contracts to be signed and keys released. But hold yourself back from purchasing the pointless and quiet frankly, stupid things, it won’t help you when you have bills to pay and no money.

Wait for most furnshings 

A little bit of the above, but ultimately, wait for some of your furniture before you purchase. Again, it may be a little difficult, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. We purchased many things because we could, and regretted it within months. You won’t know what you will need, or how any room will be arranged till you have lived in it. Hold back and make decisions when you know what will work best.

There is plenty of advice to give when it comes to making your first purchase, and most you will take on board. Although sometimes you will think you know better, like we did!

Just try and be sensible and don’t be scared to ask lots and lots of questions when in doubt. This is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make – you really have to be sure you are making the right decisions.

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Furnishing and decorating your new home

The excitement of your first home – there’s nothing like it. Whether you bought or rent, are in a studio flat or a seven-bedroom mansion, it’s oh so exciting. But damn, do you need so much stuff! And who knew it would be so difficult to choose paint colours and make it look fresh?

Having been in our humble abode for a little over 4 years, we have had our fair share of shit flat pack furniture, shoddy paint samples and DIY mistakes. Yes, you’re bound to make your own. But in a bid to help the newbies from making the easy to avoid ones for themself, here’s how to furnish and decorate your new home, without wasting money!

Read : Curtains and Nets Interior Style

Think carefully

It can be really easy to jump in the car and buy everything on your Ikea wishlist, but my biggest advice – don’t. Whilst you should buy key pieces ( bed, sofa, wardrobe ), really consider the other pieces or wait until you are living in your new home before you commit to buying them.

Our mistake : we purchased lots of furniture we believed we wanted/needed and it wasn’t long into living in our home we realised we made a mistake. Had we waited and established how we would really live in the space, we would have made better purchases. It turns out, the pieces we had bought wouldn’t really work across the whole home neither, and so we had to get rid.

Invest in key pieces – or buy second hand

When it does come to buying furniture for your home, I would highly recommend investing in key pieces. Buy furniture that may cost a little more, but will last. Or just avoid the desolate flat pack of Argos – it really is shite.

Buying pieces that will be flexible in your home and will potentially work in future homes too will always be a great investment.

Read : 5 Small changes to make you happier in your home

Don’t paint straight away – or go neutral!

Its easy for me, the person who bought a new build first off, to say not to grab the paintbrushes straight away but once again, patience can be hugely advantageous. We took 3 years to decide on colour palettes and the style of our home and now we have finally started to properly decorate we are so thankful we waited. We have managed to create a style and a home that fits and works with the space we have.

If you can’t live with the vibrant colours of the previous owners, then just get it to a neutral base. Not only will that make it easier when you do want to paint, but it will also give you time to figure out colours you do want to incorporate.

Create a colour palette to implement across your whole home

Since you’re going to hang back and really consider the colours ( if any ) that you are going to use, you really should create a working colour palette across you whole home. Creating a palette that you can implement across all your spaces will create a completely harmonious, coordinating network of spaces, all merging with the use of select colours.

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New Home Interiors : What to spend and what to save on

First and foremost – congratulations. You have clearly stumbled across this post because you have, or at least are about to, buy a new home. Yayyy. Now the fun begins of course.

You may find that you have no idea where to begin, or you are in fact starting a fresh in your next home, so want to know what to spend and what to save on? Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place. With so much to consider when it comes to a new abode, it can feel like you have a lot of expense upcoming that you can’t avoid.

Especially if you’re like me and go into every home section of every store and wish you had everything within it. It’s not unusual for me to purchase something for the home at least once a week – oops.

But there is some hope when it comes to purchasing and being ready for your new / next home – you really don’t have to splurge on everything, especially not right away.

Grab your pen and pad, you’ve got some notes to make.

Read : Curtains and Nets Interior Style

Lighting – Splurge

I cannot explain how important good lighting is in any home. Whether you install under counter lighting, or up the pendant lighting in every home, it so important to make sure every room is carefully considered in the light department. This is certainly an area worth splurging on, yet it can be delayed. Living in your new home for a little while to establish natural light and how you use the space can save you on spending in areas not needed.

Under counter lighting, cosy lamps, low-level hanging shades, and chandeliers with ornate beading. Don’t underestimate how a stunning shade or light can transform your home.

Bedding – Save your pennies

I may seem like a hypocrite as I currently sleep in Egyptian cotton sheets, but buying rather expensive bedding really isn’t necessary when it comes to a new home. Many of our good ‘old supermarkets have a lovely home section featuring gorgeous bedspreads, covers, and cushions. Be sure to check there before you splurge on home stores for their over-expensive similar designs.

If you do want to sleep in Egyptian cotton – its worth waiting and spending your money on other areas first.

Appliances – Splurge 

This is a area you really can’t compromise on. Spending decent money on your appliances – whether it be washing machine, dishwasher or fridge freezer will be money well spent in the long run. Choosing reputable, reliable brands may cost more, but can last longer and save you on new parts and replacing the product earlier than expected. These are items that will be under excessive use – its well worth spending the money on them.

Furniture – Save the pennies and look to up cycle

By no means am I saying to buy cheap and tacky, never going to last a month furniture. But there are ways to furnish your home, without spending the earth. If you like the shabby chic look, be sure to explore up cycling and re-using old furniture from charity shops or even your parents loft.

Check out antique stores for gorgeous, retro and classic pieces, which will add character and charm to your home. If you like all things modern, make sure you head to firm fav Ikea. Explore, purchase and eat meatballs. Their quality can’t be beaten, and whilst you regret your purchases when building one of twenty items, you love it because ahh you have your clean line, pinterest worthy home for an amazing price.

Mattress – Splurge all day everyday!

One place you will notice scrimping back the spends will be your mattress. We spend a huge amount of our life in bed, so it’s only right you spend good money on being comfortable and supported whilst sleeping. You can purchase mattress’ on finance too, so there’s no reason to have a shoddy, low quality mattress.

Save – Storage 

You can get some bloody good storage out there for next to nothing you know. So when you need that plastic box for bits and bobs that take a whole draw, make sure you hit Poundland. Plastic is plastic after all. The organisation feels so much better when its cost you next to nothing!

There are lots of things to consider when it comes to saving and splurging on home buys. My best piece of advice is consider the wear and tear to the product, and the impact on your home it will have. There are lots of bargains to be found across the web and on the highstreet, so I always recommend shopping around when possible.

What do you splurge and what do you save on when it comes to your home? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Moving or Improving your home

I have posted so much content in relation to your home, and for good reason. It’s the hub of your entire life. It’s where you come home after a hard days graft and its where you enjoy the days off. Ultimately, it’s got to be the best place to relax, unwind and enjoy spare time with friends, family or just Netflix!

As we near the very busy festive period, we are once again struck with, ‘how in hell am I going to cope this year?‘ Whether it be space wise and fitting in your ten thousand aunts on Christmas Afternoon, or whether It be how your kitchen will cope under the strain of Christmas dinner. It may even be for New Years Eve. You would love to host a bash with friends and family but your home is just not up for it!

Yes, this time of year really can make you turn on your own home.

Whether this is the last year you have to struggle, or you can shoe horn some improvements quickly, there are ways around it, whatever your budget or your agenda. Here’s a couple of things to consider for your New Years improvements.

Read : Budget friendly kitchen upgrades

Consider : Move or improve?

This is the biggest question and for some its a straight answer. But, if you have currently a home bursting at the seams, but the opportunity to extend, than it’s no straight yes no answer I’m afraid. Improving your home, whilst may seem expensive, can work out to be much cheaper than making a move. Plus, it can give you the opportunity to make money on your current property and doesn’t take as much effort as packing up and moving sticks.

When considering whether moving, or straight up improving is the best answer, consider the current value of your home and whether improvements will be worth the cost. Many forget that properties do have ceiling prices and whilst spending tens of thousands of pounds improving and expanding may seem the best answer, it can work out money wasted, especially if you won’t get it back when you re-sell.

Up , Down, Side to side.

So, you’ve decided to improve where you are and not sure how? Well, many properties will give the opportunity to expand in many areas including loft conversions, single storey extensions, conservatories and more. One thing to bare in mind are things like building regulations and planning permissions. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of those, it may be wise to consider a single storey extension that is within permit whereby planning permission is not required.

Extensions which include fixed glass rooflights are in hugeee demand, and rightly so. They really make an impression to a room and look utterly stunning. You may consider using bi-fold doors which also give you the illusion of the outside in. If you’re moving up and don’t want to lose too much light, you may consider Walk on glass floors. They look fantastic and add a little quirk to any home. Choosing the right fixtures and design of your extension can make a hugeee impact on the new space you create within your home.

Moving & Improving

Nahh, you wanna move – you’re not that keen on the area and you just need more space! One thing to really consider, when you are moving is budget. Time and time again many will turn down a property because it doesn’t carry what they want, right now! Moving can include improving too. 3 Bedroom properties are more expensive than a 2 bed, although a 2 bed can carry the opportunity for expansion to include that much needed extra room. Taking this ideal when hunting for your next property might give you 1 : the chance to create a home perfect for you and 2 : a property that will return your investment. PLUS, the property that has less now, can be cheaper, giving you the money to do improvements right away. Essentially, these properties that have the ability to become everything you want and need should be considered and not written off.

I love this topic. Homes are sooo important and many of us can feel helpless when knowing what the best decision and move is for them. Truth is, only you will know the best decision, but hey, you could always do with some guidance right? So, let’s just say, this is defiantly something I will be expanding on in the New Year, ahead of property plans and improvements for 2019.

Are you struggling for space where you are?

You looking to move next year?

What you need to know before buying a property #2

Can you tell we ourselves are looking at moving up the property ladder? For many, young people, the idea of buying a property is something of a cruel joke. And we are feeling it! 

You take a look at the house prices, have a look at your bank account, and think, sometimes rightly but often not, that home ownership is a dream that’ll never be realised!


However, it’s important to keep in mind that owning your own place isn’t some far-flung dream – it is possible, though it won’t be easy!


I have posted a many content on buying your first property, moving up the ladder, and everything you need to consider before taking the plunge either in your first, or next home.

Since there is sooo many aspects to consider, I thought I’d post a second edition, for everything else you need to consider when purchasing property. Catch up with the previous post here, and listen up for more considerations.

Your Budget Is the Biggest Thing

The actual property you’re looking at buying is important, sure, but it’s not as important as your budget. This is key! Before you begin looking at what’s available, take the time to figure out your finances and decide how much money you’re able to comfortably spend on your property. Note the key phrase there – comfortably spend! If you have to stretch your finances thin each month just to afford your mortgage payments, then your enjoyment of your home is going to be severely compromised. It’s all too tempting to think “oh, we can stretch our budget for THIS home,” but fair warning, this approach will only end in tears sooner or later.

It’s Not Something to be Rushed

You’ve spent a long time saving up the money for your deposit, why would you rush the home buying process now? Like most other things in life, you’ll be well served by showing an ounce of patience during your search. You’re going to be living with this decision for years to come; you want to make sure that you’re making the right decision! It’s all too easy to get excited by the prospect of owning your own home, but take your time, and only take the next steps along the home owning process once you’re sure you’ve found the right property for you.

There Are Needs, and There Are Wants

No house is going to have everything you’re looking for in a property. But there are some things that will be non-negotiable; these should be in your “needs” list. The other things, the aspects of a home that are desirable but non-essential should be in your “wants” list. Finding the property that’s right for you is not about finding a balance between these two lists; it’s about making sure that everyone one of your “needs” is there – in an ideal world, they’d have a few “wants” too. Of course, you’ll need to be a little bit strict with yourself. As much as you’d like to think otherwise, a walk-in closet is not an essential component of a home.

There Will be Compromises

As we said before, you’re not going to find a property that has everything. All of life is a compromise. You try to get what you want, and then when that doesn’t work out, you go to the next best thing. It’s the art of the compromise, and you’ll need to have this skill in abundance when it comes to looking for the right property.

But You Should Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Having said that, don’t go overboard with the compromises. There’s no reason why you should “settle.” If you find that you’re not enthusiastic about a property, then pull the plug. Making too many compromises will only lead to buyer’s remorse, which, once you factor in the cost and the length of time you’ll be living with the problem, can be one of life’s biggest regrets. Understand what you’re buying, be happy about it, and you’ll avoid this issue.

The Neighbourhood Is Just As Important

You might be buying a house, but there’s a neighbourhood thrown into the mix for free with it, too. In many ways, the neighbourhood is just as important as the property! You want to feel safe and secure walking home, don’t want to be disturbed by loud traffic or neighbours, and want to have all the conveniences of modern life on your doorstep. Not much to ask, is it! Before putting an offer in on a house, it’s recommended that you spend a significant amount of time in the local area. You’ll get a feel for what life would be like if you lived there – and may avoid any nasty surprises further on down the line.

You’ll Need Other People

No-one buys a property on their own – or at least, they shouldn’t. They need experts to help them through the buying process. After all, it’s complicated, and there’s a lot that could go wrong! You’ll need help making sure the property has no major problems, completing the sales and purchase agreement, and moving into the house, among many other things. Given the time and money you’re investing in your future home, it’s wise to ensure you’re getting the best help possible – it’ll make the whole process much more straightforward.

Checking for Problems

And talking of major problems: don’t take them lightly! It’s easy to overlook an issue if you really love the house, but it’s like buying a footballer with a major injury – you know how good things could be, but the problem is too big to ignore, and it’s best to pull out of the deal before it’s too late. It’ll only end of costing you more money and adding some extra stress – and you’ve got more than enough of both to handle at the moment already.

It Can Be Stressful

We say “it can be stressful.” but what we really mean is: it IS stressful. Studies have shown the stress induced by moving home is comparable to that of a divorce or mourning. So you better prep yourself for some higher than normal blood pressure. This can be combated, in part, by giving yourself more time than you’d think to get the move completed.

The Art of Negotiation

Who pays full sticker price anymore? When it comes to buying property, take the asking price as just that – an asking price. They’ve likely inflated it somewhat anyway because they expect people to haggle the cost down slightly. Even if you’ve found your dream house, avoid panicking – it’s better to play it cool when it comes to negotiations.

The Bigger Picture

Finally, remember that you’re not just buying the house for today – it’s for years to come! I feel like this is the MOST important aspect. Always keep in mind the biggest picture, as it’ll help you to avoid buying a house that’s only good for your present circumstances, and instead buy a house that is suitable for your plans. Consider starting a family, the cost of children and the possible drop in income due to maternity and childcare.

Charlotte x

 

The Ins and Outs of buying your first property


The idea of buying your very first home is a huge deal. That’s been drilled into us since its considered a huge and rather valuable investment. Whilst buying a property may not be something for everyone, nor be achievable for many, it should not be down played as huge accomplishment, especially in this current property climate.


Your hard earned cash is being put into a property that will one day completely be your own. How awesome is that!

Whether the investment becomes your retirement income, or something to leave to your family, its something of a financial safety net as so to speak. 

Whilst the rental market has a ‘black mark’ against it, it’s no surprise many of us consider buying before renting. Buying your very first property is something for a large consideration and whilst I have informed you of the ‘real costs of moving‘, whether from one property to another or your very first, I’ve tailored this post for those looking at their very first property.

Here’s everything you need to know, going alone, with your partner or friend, and the real in’s and out’s of property ownership. 

Knowing What To Expect

Buying a property isn’t as cut and dry as you may think. There is a lot to be said for purchasing a property, whether it be your first or ninth. You will need to be prepared mentally for the challenge. Chances are, it will be a long and possibly overdrawn process, and that’s not even considering the time it takes you to save. Mortgage applications and property purchases can take months to go through, so this is something to consider, and be aware of.

Saving

Next up, you need to start saving. And this can take years! You will often need 5-10 percent of the property value in savings as your deposit. And this can be overwhelming when you’re looking at somewhere that costs £200,000! But if you’re really determined to buy your own place, unfortunately it is the process in order to get you your own home. Consider things like help to buy equity loans and saving help if you are really struggling to find the cash. Be aware, the equity loan however, can only be used on a new build property.

Searching

Now you’ve pooled in the funds, and prepared yourself, you’re going to want to start the property search. And trust me, it’s not as easy as you may think. Whether you are purchasing through help to buy or not, finding a house can be a long process.

Really make sure you leave yourself enough time to find, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Purchasing your first home will by no means be your forever property, however, choosing a sensible property now can save you cash in the long run. Consider your future desires and if you can, purchase a property that will give you the scope to live there for a pro-longed  period. 

Extra Costs

I have done a whole post on the real costs of buying and / or moving home so I have all the details in that one. But the long and short of it, there will be extra costs when it comes to property purchases. With property solicitors, surveys, and more, it’s good to have a buffer. It’s a really good idea to have some extra cash, aside from your deposit so you’re not stuck when extra bills and costing arise. 

Renovating

The final consideration is any changes that you want to make to the property you end up buying or considering. If you are buying a new build, then hopefully you won’t have to do any work, just a lick of paint here and there.

However, an older, more tired property will need a little more TLC. It’s a good idea to factor in not only the renovation costs, but the time it takes to do it too. Before putting in an offer, be sure to add the overall costing to your outgoings. Whilst some of the work maybe something that is done later down the line, it’s a cost that will effect how much money you will make on the property in the long run. Consider this also when putting in offers, as money you can save now, will pay off massively when it comes to selling the property later on. 

Hopefully this little post has helped those first time buyers considering their first property. Remember not to rush into anything and always ask questions if terminology or problems arise that you’re not clued up on. Get all in information you need when it comes to mortgages and make sure you are not over committing to something that can potentially apply financial strain.

Property purchases are a ball ache, but they are totally worth the hassle in the end!

Are you purchasing your first property? 

Do you have any advice for First Time Buyers? 

As always, let me know in the comment section below. 

Charlotte x