Planning to Buy a House? Here’s Some Tips and Tricks

Joe and I celebrated our two year houseiversary at the end of July. I honestly cannot believe we’ve lived in our home for two whole years, it has flown by.

We’ve still got to jazz up the kitchen and garden but other than that our home is so cosy and our own.

Anyway, today I thought I would share some tips and tricks when buying a house from online searches, chains to the final steps. So without further a do… let’s begin.

1. Online Searches

Firstly you have to have a budget in mind, the location and how many rooms you want your house to have. Use the website rightmove and set up email notifications on when houses become available.

It took us quite some time to buy our home, we were in no rush as we were renting and wanted to find the perfect home in the right location when it popped up.
Also, we decided to move away from Watford and move to a village near by as it was a lot cheaper. We’re only a 15 minute drive from the town centre too.

2. Viewings

View a mix of properties, one’s that have been done up and one’s that need a little or a lot of work. Remember once you find your dream home, you’ll decorate it to your liking any way, so it doesn’t need to be perfect.

3. Chains

A chain is where your potenital home buyers need to find a date when they are going to move into their new chosen home and that house needs to chose a date and so on.

Tip – if you’re renting or living at home, it’s much easier to buy a house as you have no chain and you only need to wait for your potenital home buyers to find a home.

4. Mortgages

We’ve just recently remortgaged with a Connells (the estate agents) broker and Santander on a 2 year fixed term. We went with the estate agent Connells because they were really helpful and we trusted the broker. The process was a bit of a pain due to Covid this time round, but we got there in the end and got it sorted before our mortgage needed renewing.

Rely on professionals to help you get the best deal, especially those that come highly recommended from friends and family you know well.

5. Location

Consider the location you desire to live in, whether you want to be near or in London or further away. It’s much cheaper to live up north – I’m always a little jelly of how much houses cost up there.

Also there are lots of things to consider, do you need a school near by, what about a local shop? Do you want to live in a city or somewhere in the countryside? What transport links are near by? How far away is the town centre and so forth.

6. Calculate the cost of buying a house

When buying a house you also have additional payments like stamp duty -although this is exempt for a few months at the moment, so it’s the ideal time to buy a property right now. You also have a house survey, conveyancing solicitors, removals and estate agent fees (some don’t charge).

There will also be new furniture to buy if you’re a first time buyer. And if you want to renovate the house consider how much you want to spend – get quotes off tradesmen to see how much it’s going to cost.

When we bought our house, we knew we wanted to rip up the bathroom and have more of a modern feel. This cost us £5000 to do but we love it and it adds value to the property.

7. Questions to ask

Once you’ve got an idea of the home you’d like to purchase, consider how old are the electrics? How old is the boiler? Are the windows double glazed? Also check the water pressure.

8. The Final Steps

When you’ve decided on your potential new home offer a lower amount – you may get lucky! We sadly didn’t, but we loved the house so much we were willing to pay the full amount. But I’ve known friends to get thousands off and they’ve used that extra cash to decorate their homes.

Once agreed, you’ll pay for a house survey, decide on a broker (you should do this in the middle of the process), begin the paperwork and wait for the previous home owners to find a date to move into their new home. It’s quite a stressful process, but once you complete, you can celebrate with a glass of prosecco!

What are your tips for buying a home? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. October 15, 2020 / 6:37 pm

    What an informative post Zoey! I’ll be hoping to buy a house in the next 18 months or so and this post is such great advice to me and anybody else who is looking to buy a new home! x

    Lucy |

    • zoey
      October 15, 2020 / 9:02 pm

      Thank you Lucy :). Ahh how exciting, wishing you the best of luck! x

  2. Fanme
    October 15, 2020 / 7:35 pm

    Hi Zoe,

    How much of a deposit did you save for a house? What’s a good amount to have saved?
    Saving for a property in London by myself seems impossible tbh but being a BAME person, kinda nervous to look outside of the city out of fear of bigotry.

    • zoey
      October 15, 2020 / 9:05 pm

      Hey, we saved around £37,000 for a two bed house in a village just outside of London. I know you have to save quite a bit more for a London house. But we decided this location was the best for us as we rarely go into London these days. x

  3. Lou
    October 15, 2020 / 9:07 pm

    Thank you for the tips, they’re really useful. I’m also looking to buy this year or early next year. Seeing what’s out there.

    • zoey
      October 15, 2020 / 9:09 pm

      Thank you Lou :). Good luck with the buying process. You won’t have to pay for stamp duty which is a bonus. x

  4. October 17, 2020 / 11:22 am

    Great post! It’s the hidden fees that are a pain – I know the solicitor, surveyor etc need paying, but there’s always something! x


    • zoey
      October 17, 2020 / 5:35 pm

      Thanks Siobhan! Yeah, tell me about it! So many fee’s to look out for. x

    • zoey
      October 17, 2020 / 5:35 pm

      Thanks Danielle :). x

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