Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Top Tips on Becoming a Home Owner #2


Mortgages

This is where our story gets complicated so I will keep it as short as possible for you. It took us a hell of a long time to find somewhere to accept us and give us a mortgage in principle. There are so many companies or banks to go through, so definitely do your research as we got messed around a couple of times. This is not always the case as a couple of my friends got theirs straight away; ours dragged on for around two to three months.

As we were getting a new build, the housing company had mortgage advisors they worked alongside. The company was based three to four hours away from where we lived but we scheduled in a home appointment with one of their advisors, the day she was meant to come we were informed that she could no longer make it and we would be on a Skype call with another advisor. He went through all of our finances and I mean everything, it is pretty scary to see how much money we threw away on a daily basis without seeing any benefits.

For some reason, I didn’t get a good vibe from him and I thought it was pretty rude that they just did a Skype call on our initial meeting. It seemed far too unprofessional, rushed and negative so we decided to take our business elsewhere. Do not be scared to do this, you are well within your right.
We then wanted to get ours through Barclays Bank as I am aware they are quite loyal and can get good deals. We must have been in that bank for four hours filling in paper work, getting credit checks etc before being told we needed to give up the dream of purchasing that particular house we fell in love with. What was worse was the fact we put down a mini deposit on the land with it being a new build.



I’m not being dramatic but I went back to work in tears, it was like my whole world had crumbled down, I had worked so hard and it was as though we were just going to lose our dream house or not even get on the property ladder.

Fortunately, through my own work I discovered a local financial advisor who was a dream to work with and I regretted not going to see him sooner. We spent a couple of hours in his office going through most of our finances and giving him the details of our home and voila we had a mortgage in principle, we just had to wait on our health checks to be processed alongside other paperwork.
I would say that if your financial situation at the time of taking out a mortgage is suitable, go for the longer fixed rate – it does mean the monthly payments are slightly higher than a two year fixed rate but what it does mean is that your payment will be exactly the same for four years before you have to remortgage.

Once your fixed rate is up, the monthly prices will dramatically rise as they will be on a ridiculous variable rate (I believe that is). This is when you keep an eye on the house prices, if they have risen or dropped, this will affect your mortgage when remortgaging and the rates too.



Solicitors

There was still a long road ahead and we knew things could easily fall through, luckily there was no chain. If you are unsure on the lingo, a chain means that there is more than one person in the process, so someone could be buying your house or the person who is moving out the house you would like is buying another etc.

A top tip is to keep the decision of buying a house hush, hush. Tell as little people as possible so if something does go wrong there are less people to inform, plus until the payment has gone through and you have the keys in your hand anything could happen unfortunately.

Again, do your research into finding the perfect solicitor for you as you will be dealing with them on a daily basis. We got our solicitor through a company Taylor Wimpey had recommended and to be fair the lady we were dealing with was a god send. There are a lot of fees that are going to crop up throughout the process, so do not be alarmed if you have agreed the fee at the start and then it increases when it comes to pay at the end of the service, but do not be a push over and stand your ground! I even rang another solicitors to get some advice, they couldn’t tell me too much but they did confirm that our solicitors we were using were well within their right with this particular extra cost.
You will receive a hell of a lot of paperwork that you must read through! I did not have a clue about anything when I was reading them, it was so daunting but it does make sense as you go along. I also got my parents to read through them too to double check everything before I even signed the paperwork.

They will look into a valuation survey, property survey and the land the building is on. There’s so much that comes into play that is out of your hands but it is the case for everyone so do not worry.
They will keep you posted throughout the whole process and then it will come to the time that you finalise the offer and mortgage. Then all that is left to do is to wait for the exchanging of contracts, this is where your initial deposit will be paid and there is no going back!

Finally, you will get to the stage where you complete the purchase. Again it is out of your hands, you are waiting for that phone call from your solicitors to confirm they have transferred the remaining money owed to buy the property to the seller’s solicitor’s account, in my case it was Taylor Wimpey.
With ours being a new build, we sneakily went to our house before the money had been transferred and fortunately it was unlocked, don’t worry it was safe as the builders were still on our road. As we pulled up, I received the phone call from the solicitor to say that the final payment had gone through and we were home owners.

Soon after the lady from the sales team we had dealt with on our site popped down to hand over our keys and a lovely welcome home pack which had some coffee, magazine, biscuits and a mug which was lovely!

If you have purchased through an estate agent, you would either meet them at the house or go to their offices to pick up the keys. We didn’t go through this process so I don’t have a lot of information on this.

I have noticed that some building societies actually provide these cute packages when you purchase your house! It’s a lovely touch.


Hidden Extras

Please be aware that you will still need to pay out on a number of different things. Firstly, take out health insurance, it may sound morbid but if anything happens to you or your partner you know you have help with the mortgage. We did ours through our financial advisor who found our mortgage, it only took an hour and a few forms to fill out. A small tip is to take one out each as this will provide better cover rather than a joint one.

Take out contents and house insurance, it is a price to pay each year or you can choose to pay it through monthly instalments. Again shop around for the best deal for you but again if anything happens to your house whether it is a fire/flood/burglary you are covered!

This next thing is probably something most people forget; everyone will have set up their internet and Sky but do not forget a tv licence. It may be expensive but if you get caught out watching tv without one, you could be in a lot of trouble. It only takes a couple of minutes online and again you can choose to pay it in instalments or out in one go! We did ours the night before we picked up the keys so we knew we would be covered straight away.

There is probably a lot that I have missed off! But do not let all of this scare you off. Think about Chandler in friends the day he is getting married, think about each step as you go along, they are all manageable in their own right!

Finally, keep all of your paperwork in a fancy folder. There’s always going to be something you need to check on so keep everything!!

Good luck to everyone who are buying a house, I hope everything all goes well and enjoy your new life in your little abode.



Alice xxx
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