Why are you thinking of moving?
You may want to move home for a number of reasons.
Maybe your family is expanding and you need more space, or the opposite: you want to downsize and enjoy managing a smaller space. You may have been promoted at work and want to take the next step on the ladder, or you want to be closer to family and friends.
Of course, you may like where you live and an extension or attic conversion might address some of the issues.
If there’s equity in your home – if it’s worth more than you still owe on your mortgage - then you may be able to borrow extra money for home improvements.
What price can you get?
If you are using an estate agent, they will value your home for you.
You can also get a good idea of what to ask by looking at similar properties for sale in the area.
Getting it ready
You’ll entice more people with a great set of photos and by giving the place a thorough clean and tidy-up beforehand.
Try to make things as neutral as possible, to encourage buyers to visualise the house as their own.
And if you can, take the photos on a bright day, with lots of welcoming natural light.
Budget for your new home
Remember that you’ll need to be able to clear your outstanding mortgage balance, if you have one, and put whatever’s left towards the deposit on the mortgage for your new home (usually at least 5% of the purchase price).
If your house is in negative equity (if its probable sale price won’t give you enough to pay your mortgage off), then you’ll have to make up the difference with money from elsewhere, such as from savings.
It's not much different from applying for your first mortgage
Lenders will still assess your application according to your:
- your monthly salary
- if you have any outstanding debt such as credit cards or loans
- how much money you have saved towards a deposit
- credit score
- ability to make the repayments
Plus don't forget the extra costs
It might be a while since you last moved house, so remember that, on top of your new mortgage itself, you may have to fund:
- mortgage product fee
- solicitors’ fees
- stamp duty
And you may want new furniture or appliances to make your new house feel more like a home.
Be mindful of the chain
You will probably need to sell your existing home before you can buy the new one.
So you could find yourself as part of a chain, whereby you, the person buying your old house and the current occupant of your new one are all waiting for each other to complete paperwork before you can all move… and this can take time!
Contracts and insurance
Once your mortgage is agreed, valuations and surveys are completed, and the solicitors have prepared all the documentation, you’re ready to sign the contracts. This is the point at which you’re legally committed to buying the new property.
You’ll need buildings insurance to protect your new purchase, and it's a good idea to buy contents insurance for what's inside it!
Give out your new address
Don’t forget to switch your address with utility companies, your bank, your doctor and even the DVLA and arrange for your post to be re-directed.
All the work is worth it!
When the last box is lifted out of the removal van, take a seat and revel in your new surroundings.
All’s that left is to send the invitations for your first social gathering and to order yourself a takeaway – after all that work, you’ll be too tired to cook!