Friday, 11 November 2016

Buying your first home | 6 Things to consider

Since publishing our new home post just last month I have been pretty inundated with emails and messages asking for advice on buying your first home - a topic, which despite having underwent the whole mortgage process quite recently, I am still a bit sketchy on myself (my other half is a financial jargon wizard - thank goodness lest I be out on the streets begging for lipstick money!) But there are a few things I have picked up and learned along the way which you yourself may want to consider before buying your first ever home.

Expect it to take double the length of time you at first think
We visited the banks (every single bank who offers a mortgage) at the end of May / beginning of June. We then started looking at houses back throughout June, with the thoughts of finding our dream home around July and going through the process of applying for a mortgage end of July / August and moving in by the time September rolls around.... that was wishful thinking. 

There are lots of people involved in your mortgage going through, where finding the house was relatively quick for us there were lots of other parties who unfortunately dragged their feet. From the housing agent communicating with the buyer regarding our numerous offers, to our poor solicitor trying to get a straight answer from our mortgage providers solicitors, you've got to wonder if it's a case of too many cooks? Either way we made it JUST in time for our rental lease ending at the beginning of September which made our move very quick, very stressful and now we're VERY thankful it's over.

Try to see beyond the existing decor
It can be quite disheartening when you see a house you thought online looked perfect and may just be 'the one' in person and it just doesn't have that quality you thought (i.e. perfectly instagrammable photography and a lighting crew fit for Beyonce) Sometimes you have to compromise and see past the present tenants decor. So orange walls aren't for you? Try to imagine it with plain white walls and look at it as a space to make your own rather than a ready made home.

Always read the home report thoroughly and learn to decipher potential issues I remember when we were looking at houses I fell in love with one in the same area we are in now. It was perfect, the decor didn't need changing, hard wood floors throughout the downstairs and the bedroom spaces were to die for. I thought I had found my one at least, perfect. On the surface. After a browse of the home report the house was found to be needing a new roof in the next year or so, have damp issues throughout and there was a chance the heating and electrics would have to be redone... perhaps not so perfect after all.

Don't jump in and spend more than you can afford
So you've been to the banks and it's fantastic news, they can lend you all the money you had budgeted for AND more, but that doesn't mean that's what you can necessarily afford. The banks are letting you know that if you stripped yourself of all luxury, that's right, no more Nandos or Netflix and you can pretty much kiss goodbye to the bus pass that'll be getting you to and from town, then that's what you can realistically afford.

Too often I've seen people jumping in with the biggest loan from the banks only to get into their lovely house only to find they can't afford to make it a home. Be sensible, not greedy.

It doesn't have to be Pinterest worthy right away
You know in the movies where the couple move into their new home and everything is perfect straight away and they can just start going about their days just like that? Yeah I'm still sorting our house out. From buying (me) and building (Nick) furniture, organising wardrobes, cupboards, keeping fridges and freezers ticking over and the cleaning (my god it's constant) in addition to getting the family pet (Marble) settled in

Budget, budget, budget
I never, ever, thought I would say this but I don't know where I would be without (Nicks) spreadsheets. Write down all of your monthly bills, mortgage, electricity, gas, council tax and of course all of your expenditures, food , phone bill, cinema passes, travel expenses and whatever you've got leftover each month is what you can save and put towards new furniture, decorating or even just a little treat for yourself.

I hope this, relatively long post has given you a bit of an insight into my mortgage experience anyway and perhaps even helped you understand what your next steps might be if you are looking to buy your first home. I'd love to do another one of these maybe on the process of looking at houses or even the process of buying (though that may not be for the faint hearted!) Let me know if you have any questions you'd like me to answer in a follow up post or if you'd just enjoy reading one of my famed 'people are rubbish' rants.

You can otherwise catch me lurking on the usual channels for example Twitter, having a rant, Instagram, having a pose (where there will also be a cat by the way...) and Bloglovin, doing what I do best.

Until next time folks, happy house hunting.

H.Elizabeth x

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