The house buying process can be a long winded and dragged out one, and 3 months in, I'm not surprised I'm already considering trying to redecorate our current house in the meantime. Our offer was accepted in January, and while we look to get the keys next Friday, my impatience has gotten the best of me. Wouldn't it be great if buying a house was like shopping in Tesco: 3 bedrooms, a garden and seemingly respectable neighbors? In the basket, and we could unload the rest of our shopping at our new home. If only. It may be long winded, but from my experience there are 5 simple steps we can all take to ensure both the mortgage and the legal steps following go through without a hitch.
1. DEVELOP MIND READING SKILLSThe documents that your potential lender will ask for at the start of the process may well not be the ones that they will actually need. In fact, they may need a hell of a lot more, and it may be especially convenient for them to ask for this ridiculous amount of documentation a few days before you are due to get your keys. If you can predict exactly what they will eventually require at the start - your saving yourself a few months of thinking everything is complete before getting knocked back off that pedestal. All joking aside, have a google and look for the most commonly asked for documents - bank statements, previous few months worth of wages, P60 forms, letter of salary confirmation if on maternity leave spring to mind for our situation - if you can have these up to date and all ready to send off should they require them, then your may be saving yourself the run around later down the line. Also, if it is employers references or salary confirmation holding it up, a simple phone call can sort that out very quickly - we waited weeks before finally phoning to push ours along, and it was emailed over in minutes.
2. FIND A PERFECT HOUSEIf it has character, then just don't bother. It probably has less chance of getting mortgaged. Depending on the lender, some don't want to venture into flats above business, others made out of unusual materials, or those that need extensive re-work or where planning is required. Some lenders are now even iffy on new-build flats in city centers, while they will lend, there is a cap on the value - so take note, make sure the property is perfect in the eyes of the lender. Ignore what you actually want, that doesn't matter, does it?
3. A COMPREHENSIVE BACKGROUND CHECKBefore you buy a house, have a nosy at the seller. One buyer? Is it two? Was there a bad break-up in the run up? Is there an off chance that one of the sellers might have bad blood with the other and would purposely hold up the procedure just to leave the other unable to move? These things do happen, and they can be a bloody nuisance. So know everything - if you know everything, you can't be caught off guard. Just ask for the entire relationship history, I'm sure they won't mind....
4. THE SAME SOLICITORImagine how easy everything would be if it was a case of all buyers and sellers using one firm. There would be no missed phone calls, no difference in working times and only one person to moan at. Discuss this before buying, make sure everyone is an agreement and you've all gone to one person and one person only. Easy, right? Ok, maybe not. The only solicitor you can really control is your own - so ensuring you choose someone reputable who works quickly can keep everything moving smoothly. Going on friends and family recommendations or via a local services site such as Bidvine* can make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck; Bidvine is a local service site that makes hiring local professionals extremely simple. After logging in, you can request a service, whether that be a solicitor, a mortgage advisor, a cleaner, a chauffeur.... Bidvine will then allow you to answer questions related to that service that will allow your request to be presented to hundreds of individuals - these individuals can then bid on your request, sending you information as to what they could offer and the price required for this. It's a sure fire way to find someone trusted, who understands your time constraints and with an up-front price guaranteed.
5. MONEY MONEY MONEYThe entire funds for the property in the bank can help. If you can show that you have all of the money readily available and your just taking the loan out for a bit of fun, it can make everything a lot easier. Plus who wouldn't have peace of mind with a few hundred grand in the bank. If the full price isn't tangible to have in the bank (who would have thought?) being able to put down a 30-40% deposit rather than a 10-15% means lenders are a hell of a lot less prudent when it comes to approving loans.
So ok, maybe we can't ask the sellers for a complete history, we definitely won't all use the one solicitor, and if we're going for a mortgage in the first place then chances are we don't have ALL of the money. Long story short, getting a house does not happen overnight. It is a process, but at the three month mark, my patience has ran dry. In the long run, three months is nothing in terms of getting through this process, and it's a tiny scratch on the surface of the home for life we'll have, but it feels like a hell of a long time when you are so eagerly anticipating it. I've spent the last 6 months or so scrolling through Pinterest endlessly, finding my perfect living room, coming up with idea after idea for the nursery and being sold on the most ridiculous kitchens, in doing so, boring myself completely of the space we are living in now, not that we can do much to it at this stage.
I'm going to go ahead and say I should not be buying homeware right now- I've made no secret of the fact that maternity allowance is dire, and having just bought that first home, every penny of our savings is tied up right now, or on lock-down for the full house we'll have to renovate before I can buy ridiculous amounts of candles. That being said, with the end in sight and the keys almost within our reach, I've started picking up a few bits - mainly when Jordan isn't looking - that won't break the bank and that I can put away and know no matter what direction we decide to go in with decor they'll fit in. It was a case of accessories to complement what we already have here, and that will fit perfectly in our new home. With a budget slim to none, to put it bluntly, I decided to focus on adding character to lacking areas with prints. I've always been a fan of prints, if placed correctly they can look much more expensive than they are, and can become a feature very easily in an otherwise drab room - cheap and cheerful.
classic cliche' family print; 'The Fondest Memories Are Made When Gathered Around The Table'.... it'll be the first home we've bought, I can be forgiven for adding a little bit of cringe into the kitchen. The second, a Lily & Val Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe, slightly more personal to us, and all the more reason to try our hand at our cocktail making later on down the line. Each print on the Posterlounge website comes with a variation of finishes, so depending on price range and the look your going for you can alter accordingly. I bought both of these on Alu Dibond to try and replicate the chalk board look, however if we'd chosen the likes of Poster Paper, Canvas or Forex it would have been considerably cheaper. The quality of each is absolutely brilliant, and delivery was next day, which was brilliant for me given that I'm a there-and-then kind of person, in case that wasn't obvious from mortgage moans earlier. They are a brilliant option for anyone looking to update a space without the inconvenience of redecoration or breaking the bank - for me, I'm just hoping they tide me over until we can finally get into our house, whenever that may happen....
I'm also happy to announce I have a £50 Posterlounge voucher for one lucky person; for your chance to win, enter via the box below. Full terms and conditions are noted at the bottom. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
This giveaway is open to UK residents only and entrants must be 18+. The prize for this giveaway has been kindly provided by Posterlounge and will be sent directly to the winner by them. The giveaway will be monitored to ensure no false entries are made. One entry per person may be made and multiple accounts under the same person will not count. This giveaway will run for two weeks and a winner will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter.
Disclaimer; this post was sponsored by Bidvine, and the prints were provided by Posterlounge, however as always opinions are entirely my own.