Things to consider when you buy a new house

Buying a house is one of the biggest things you’ll ever do. Not only is it a big life event and could signify a new part of your life such as moving in with a partner or having kids. But it’s also one of the biggest financial events of your life. It’s doubtful you’ll ever spend that much money on something again.

After living in a shared ownership flat for a number of years me and Luke bought our first house together last year. We were very lucky to have started the process before the pandemic hit the UK and we actually picked up our keys on the very first day of lockdown one. Although that did present its own set of challenges. We had to pick up the keys from the estate agent’s house. And the people we were buying from had had their removal company cancel on them so they had to move by themselves which wasn’t good.

The housing market at the moment is a bit unusual. But whenever you’re moving there are some things you need to consider when you buy a new house.

Seek mortgage advice 

Before you even think about buying a house you need to speak to a mortgage advisor. You can calculate your mortgage payments through online calculators and a mortgage advisor can support with additional help.

Knowing what you can afford both as a downpayment but also as monthly installments is so important as you don’t want to fall in love with a house that is outside of your reach. You can work out the affordability and then look for properties that fit within that scope. 

Consider the additional costs

Think about the additional costs that buying a property entails. If you’re not a first-time buyer this may include stamp duty. If you’re selling your old house it may include estate agent fees. But for everyone you’ll have solicitor costs, moving costs and so much more. 

Budget for these costs alongside your deposit so that you’re ready for them. And make sure you have some spare worst-case money as you don’t want to be stuck in a position where you can’t afford an additional fee charged and it jeopardizes your whole plan to buy.

Don’t stretch yourself financially

We all want the best that we can afford, but if you stretch yourselves as to how much you can comfortably afford to pay in mortgage repayments you won’t be doing yourself any favours.

Think about how much your bills and fixed costs will be each month, how much you want to save and how much money you need to live on day-to-day and factor that into your planning.

Location is one of the most important things

It can be hard to see outside of the decor or style of a property but think of the bigger picture. A lot of homes can be modernised, there might be options to extend, etc, but one thing you can not change is the location. 

Make sure you think about the proximity to things you need such as schools, public transport, shops, etc. When we narrowed down properties we liked we did a drive-by past all of them to see where they were. And for some, we discounted them because they were too close to the main road, or the location wasn’t quite right in reality.

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