Whether you’re a first-time buyer, you are moving to accommodate a growing family or maybe downsizing to something more manageable, choosing the next place to call home ought to be as enjoyable as possible. To help ensure that your next move goes smoothly, we’ve put together this handy guide with five important tips.
1. Do your research
If you’re looking to buy in a new area then it’s worth researching your chosen location carefully. Make sure it suits your priorities and lifestyle, whether that be access to good schools, excellent transport links or lots of green space and things to do.
Join local Facebook groups to get a good feel for the community and you could even ask questions of existing residents on forums who know the area best. It’s also worth checking property prices via websites such as Zoopla, as sometimes shifting your search criteria by just a couple of miles can get you much greater value.
2. Be smart with money
Plan ahead and create a detailed household budget so you’re clear on what you can afford. Speak to a mortgage advisor who will let you know how much you could borrow, will research the market and provide advice on the best mortgage deals for your individual circumstances.
Having a good credit rating can make all the difference in securing a competitive mortgage rate. Access your credit report online via one of the main credit agencies, such as Experian or Equifax. Make sure all the information they have about you is up to date and follow their advice on improving your credit score if needs be.
3. Get savvy on schemes
We, like other housebuilders, offer a range of initiatives to ensure you have your best move. For instance, many properties will have a Part Exchange service, where we act as a cash buyer for your existing home, or Assisted Move through which you can receive practical and financial help to sell your existing property.
The Government’s Help to Buy programme is designed to enable purchasers to buy a home with just a five per cent deposit, with the Government providing an equity loan of up to 20 per cent of the value of the property on all homes up to £500,000.
It’s also worth being aware of the recent Government removal of Stamp Duty up to £500,000, which is in place until the end of March 2021 and could save you up to £15,000.
4. Keep your home in order
Moving is always a great time to declutter, and a clear and tidy house will look spacious to prospective buyers. It allows people to visualise themselves using the space without having to look past someone else’s possessions. Tackle the task on a room-by-room basis: invest in clever storage for items you want to keep and sort your unwanted belongings into those to go to friends and family, charity and recycling.
We’d also recommend setting aside a separate box for all the relevant paperwork and documents that you’ll need during your move – Land Registry titles, gas and electric certifications and copies of planning permissions and building regulation paperwork for any home improvements.
This can save a huge amount of time further down the line. In addition, it’s also a good idea to have the paperwork for your mortgage application close at hand, including proof of address, proof of income (or company accounts if you’re self-employed) and recent bank statements.
5. Add Value
If you have a home to sell, look at it through the eyes of a prospective buyer and make some improvements to really maximise its value. Tackle those DIY and repair jobs that you’ve been putting off and spruce up your front garden for that all-important first impression.
Kitchens and bathrooms are some of the most important parts of the house, and buyers can be put off if they think they’ll need to replace them straight away. Bathrooms can be given a new lease of life with a deep clean or consider installing a new bathroom suite which can make a huge difference and needn’t be too costly. In the kitchen, fitting new worktops or painting kitchen cupboards can make the space look new.
Redecorate any rooms that are looking tired and reinstate period features in older properties to really add value. Finally, if you’re using any bedrooms or living areas for a playroom or home office, it’s a good idea to revert them back to their original purpose – the easier it is for potential purchasers to see what they’re buying, the better.
If all this sounds like a lot of work and you need to move quickly, it’s worth considering our Part Exchange programme. Get in touch with us to find out more details on this, or to arrange a virtual tour of one of our homes today.