Hello! I’m Viki and I blog at vikibell.com. Seeing as Haydy is busy raving away at Glastonbury right now (and I’m very jealous!) I’m here to share a few tips. I was lucky enough to buy a house last year so here are a few pieces of my advice.
As first time buyers we didn’t have to worry about selling our house. All we needed to worry about was finding one to buy. We looked for a month or so before deciding what we wanted for our budget and prioritising certain aspects. I can remember seeing on flat which was pretty modern and fun but it was all one room split into two levels – great for a bachelor pad but not for us. We wanted a spare room and a garden. Eventually we found our place and luckily enough it didn’t have an upwards chain meaning we didn’t have to worry about the sellers pulling out if their purchase went wrong.
Deposit or lack of it
First of all you being to save. You begin to save and save and save until you finally have what you think is a considerable sum of money ready for a deposit. Then you look at the house prices around you and realise that you still need to save. Eventually you get there and start to look around, only to begin researching all the fees associated with buying. You need to pay the stamp duty, solicitor fees, agency fees and survey fees. We had various spreadsheets taking us through all the mortgage options and working out the spread of the fees. It’s really not as simple as it seems so make sure you ask for advice if you need it.
Time taken to exchange
One thing that I couldn’t, and still don’t understand is why it takes so long to complete on a house. Solicitors are all very slow at getting back to each other. We were waiting for a good few weeks simply because the seller’s solicitor hadn’t got back to us. It got to the stage where we emailed him directly to ask the question we needed answering, only to get a very angry phone call from our solicitor telling us that wasn’t best practice – opps! My advice is to nag your solicitor and the estate agents. Make sure you ask for a weekly update emails and try to push it through as fast as possible.
Decorating when you get in
When you finally get in – YAY! It’s party time right? Wrong. Suddenly you notice the threadbare carpet and the walls which need a lick of paint or you might decided that actually that 80s wallpaper print isn’t quite as cool and vintage as you thought it would be. Time to decorate. What with having our wedding and spending most of our energy exchanging we’ve only just got around to decorating a year after moving in. Despite me being very excited to paint everywhere last March, we’ve just finished our lounge. We’ve got some pretty fun plans for the rest of the house too so watch this space!
Buying anywhere can be stressful. Suddenly your bank balance is at an all time low and you’re back to square one with your savings. BUT, and there is a big but, you’ve just bought a house! You have a piece of somewhere to call home. You are now a qualified adult. Congratulations, all the stress and worries are totally worth it.