Following my house buy and some questions asked on IG I thought I would blog about my experiences to hopefully help on your journeys
Back to reality loves
I would say once you’ve hit realisation and you actually need funds to purchase your house make yourself a spreadsheet/list of all the things that are needed and roughly how much they cost – I can include my list if that would help but you can ask friends/family etc. This is a really useful way to understand the costs so you can plan realistically without stressing yourself out when added costs are continuously being ‘added’ on.
It’s important to check online (Rightmove etc) for your budget price and search for houses you can get with that in your chosen area and that way you know kind of what to expect.
When you think of buying a house you think ok I will need a deposit – BUT there is so much more – Stamp duty charge, solicitors fee’s, surveys, plastering/decorating/furnishing.
Once you have worked out exactly/roughly how much you need to even purchase the house you can begin saving and prioritising. THEN the real work begins when you realise you have to potentially replace things (especially if you buy an old house like we did) based on what the results of the survey are – replace electrics, damp, boilers (which thank the lord we didn’t have to do). At this point it’s when you question whether this house is really for you and work out how much you will be spending in total – is it realistic you will make it back? Or if that isn’t important as this could be your forever home is this really a project home you want to take on? BUT if like me it was your dream to buy an old house with lots of character and to do it up exactly how you want then LET THE FUN BEGIN….(including tears).
Ok first things first you need a mortgage in order to purchase your home unless you are fortunate enough to buy it CASH (the dream right). I would always advise (being a mortgage adviser) to SHOP SHOP SHOP around. So many providers are competing for the best first time buyer rates and also offering extra (free survey, no fee’s etc) and there are some really useful hints at – http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/?gclid=CPypvL3LqNICFYQ4GwodpuAOhg
Martin lewis is amazing at this kind of thing.
I found that when I bought my home last year that Nationwide and Natwest offered the best rates and we ended up going with Natwest as they had a free survey (anything with the word free in it I was up for). You can get a few mortgage promises (which are the bank saying ‘based on what you have told us we can give you the mortgage) from different providers and make your decision.
Take a step back, breathe and evaluate
Once we had our mortgage accepted and then waited 8 weeks for completion to take place (always add an extra two weeks on top of how long your solicitors think it will take and also keep chasing them everyday if necessary as everyone else doesn’t seem to be in any kind of a rush) we started work on our house straight away. Within the first week my brother in law had knocked a wall through to make a kitchen/diner/second lounge and we had exposed brick for 2 weeks here before our plasterer could start which actually influenced my decision to have exposed brick slits (look like tiles) in our kitchen. We then booked our decorator as due to the time of year (Sept) I knew it would be getting busy with Christmas well & truly on it’s way and my god did it fly by!
We set a target of being moved in by 1st Dec (By we I mean me really as Chris is so laidback he was happy to get in whenever and knew it was a lot of work). Looking back we did so well and we actually moved in and had our first night there on the 17th (always add a couple of weeks on otherwise you will literally cry when your date creeps up and you know it’s not realistic (I did a lot of crying as you can see).
We did have some set backs along the way – mainly labourers turning up late or pushing back our date as other jobs went over longer than expected (life). Appliances not being delivered on time then being out of stock, not being able to choose from the 465790 paint colours AND carpet colours (Do you know how hard it is to choose a carpet colour?) PAINFUL.
Things will go wrong and instead of sitting on a carpetless floor sobbing about your cooker that they didn’t deliver and are now telling you it’s out of stock until after Christmas (Me) get up go make yourself a cuppa and chill out. It isn’t the end of the world, step back and take a break because it is all getting too much for your little shoulders! Hopefully you will meet someone who has your cooker in stock once you dust yourself off (2 hours later) and will deliver it the same week (meltdown over).
Sometimes things aren’t going to go smoothly and buying a house is definitely one of them. My advice is you just need to accept that, even if you do everything right and on time you are relying on a lot of other people along the way – estate agents, solicitors, labourers and they aren’t always the most reliable (with exceptions ofcourse). BUT it is one of the most rewarding experiences and when you get to the end goal of having and owning your own home the rest is just in the past. Learn from it, don’t be so hard on yourself and even if it takes a few months, a year or even years it will be worth the wait I promise.
I will be popping up some before and afters of our house room by room and writing about our experiences with each one 🙂 XOXO