Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
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Moving home is one of the most important decisions you will make.. Add to this the vast array of mortgage products available from a wide range of sources and you could be left with a high-stress, confusing decision. To help you with making the right decision we have put together 10 top tips for you.
- Ensure that you are realistic when working out exactly how much you can afford to spend on your new house. You should ensure the intended mortgage is affordable (by doing a budget calculation) and it is wise to seek a Decision in Principle certificate, so that you know how much you can offer once you have found a suitable property. Even a newly built house will require some sort of furnishings, whereas older properties may require extensive work, such as re-flooring, tiling or renewing the wiring. Make sure that you factor in all these likely expenses, in addition to the purchase price, and other fees such as conveyancing, estate agents, removals and stamp duty.
- You need to place your current home on the market and this would normally involve an Estate Agent. Obtain 3 – 4 valuations from local agents and decide which agent will provide the level of service that you require and are most suitable to the style of property you wish to sell. Agents’ fees can vary and also their levels of service or commitment, so you need to choose the agent you feel will handle your sale the best, even if they are not the cheapest. Try not to agree to very long term contracts with your estate agent. You need the flexibility of changing agents, if you feel they are not marketing your property to your satisfaction.
- When you find the new home, you need to budget for expenses such as council tax, gas and electricity bills. The new property may be larger than the one you are selling so these costs may be higher than you are used to. Make sure you know what the likely council tax charge will be in your new property. The selling agent should be able to tell you what tax band the house you are interested in buying is in, and how the charges are levied by your local authority.
- Contact your solicitors and obtain an estimated quotation. If this is the first time you have bought and sold, you will find out that the solicitor will charge for the sale and the purchase. The solicitors will also be able to confirm all the disbursement costs and Stamp Duty charge.
- Even if you do not have children, remember that property in the catchment area of good local schools will always be much easier to sell on. However, this may also be reflected in a higher purchase price.
- Always consider how your transport arrangements will change in your new house. If you have a car, your insurance premium may increase dramatically if you move from a town with relatively low crime into a city centre with higher crime rates or if you move from your parents' house with a locked garage to a smaller terraced house with on-street parking.
- Consider the availability of public transport services, making sure you find out local bus routes, the frequency of train services from your nearest station, and, if you are moving a long distance, the range of flights available from your local airport. Even if you drive everywhere, this information will be useful for anyone coming to visit you who do not drive.
- Write down a list of local amenities which are important to you. This may include shops, restaurants, pubs, sports centres, parks, and cinemas. If you enjoy activities such as walking, or cycling, the neighbourhood you plan to move in to may be very different to the one your parents are living in, and may not have the same access to parks and other recreational facilities. Before making any final decision about where to move to, take a stroll or bike ride around the local area, and note down where the key facilities are.
- If you are a heavy internet user, check to see that broadband or other high speed internet is available in the street you are moving into. The selling agent should be able to tell you this.
- Try, where possible, to find somewhere to live that is close to your main place of work. Commuting can be one of the biggest household expenses, and as you are likely to be spending much more time on domestic chores and/or DIY, living somewhere which minimises your commuting distance will be very important. If property is more expensive nearer to your place of work, make sure you weigh up this additional expense, when compared to the costs and time of commuting. You may wish to ask colleagues in your workplace to see if there are possibilities to lift share with anyone from the area.