As someone who has recently bought a new house, I have found that the whole process is really, really annoying. Like, you just want to punch someone at the end. But you don’t. Because violence is bad. But you still want to. That is how stressful the process is.
As a result, here are a few bits of advice which the banks will not tell you.
Estate agents will push your budget
That’s right, no matter what you tell the estate agent your budget is, they will always stick at least 10% on top as though you told them a completely different f***ing number! The worst part is, you can’t call them a bunch of idiots when they show you a house that everybody and his dog knows you can’t afford, because you want to get preferential treatment when the perfect house comes along. You’re not going to get that treatment if the estate agent thinks you’re a dick.
No I’m not talking about commission or solicitors fees, although they are mental as well. I’m talking about leasehold properties, such as flats or new builds. These will almost always come with a monthly ground rent. I went to see many of these properties as part of my house hunt. Every time I asked what the ground rent or service charge was. Not once did the estate agent know. Its not big deal, its not like its a lifetime commitment to pay off the biggest investment I’ll ever make. No big deal.
I don’t understand the logic of it. If I’m trying to make a sale worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, little details such as how much the bloody thing costs would seem pretty important to most people. Obviously, not to the estate agents though.
Good houses go fast
So you’ve chosen the perfect area you want to live in and you’re sat there on Right Move trying to find the best house. The trouble is that many of the houses you see have already been sold. There were times I booked to view a house, then got a call later on to find out it had been sold in the meantime.
To avoid disappointment, you need to be quick. You also need to build a good relationship with your estate agents (yes, plural. You will need to sign up with quite a few). Call them regularly to the point were they find you the perfect house just to stop you annoying them.
In-house mortgage advisers
Almost every single estate agent that you go into will claim to have their own independent mortgage advisers who can offer you can get you deals that the banks can’t. They are shit. Like really, they are awful. The only reason they can offer deals that the banks can’t is because the banks would be too embarrassed to offer them. You are far better off shopping around and then going into your preferred bank to get the best deal off them.
Get your mortgage quick
On the subject of banks, their priorities are different to yours. You might want to get in there as quick as physically possible, but they want to take their time to have multiple appointments and sell you the best insurance. Before you know it, its been a month and your dream house still hasn’t had a survey.
Book an appointment as soon as physically possible, make sure that your work are aware if you need to leave at short notice. Get your survey booked as soon as possible, don’t just wait for them to do it in their time.
Annoy your solicitor
So you’ve had your offer accepted and your mortgage approved. Now everything is in the hands of your solicitor. The only problem is that, whilst this may be a high priority for you, your solicitor might have 50 other cases on the go. You are not their priority. Therefore, annoy them. Call them every day until they are completely sick of hearing your voice. Eventually, they will push your sale through just so that they don’t have to listen to you anymore.