Whether the first time, or the fifth, buying a house can be a minefield. New legislation, market updates and a change of personal circumstance can mean that every time you buy can feel as though you’re entering the unknown.

And yet, it’s a part of life that we have to navigate. So how can you make is easier?

Get your finances in order

Buying is costly, there’s not hiding from that. It’s important to get your finances in order long before you find your dream house.

We recommend sitting down an accredited financial adviser early on in the process as they can help you understand your finances.

Doing this to will give you a better understanding of what you can afford, and help you begin your search.

Understand your requirements
It’s important to know what you want from your next home. To some, location is the priority, whereas to others, it’s the house itself.

If you’re not sure what you want, keep an open mind. Start looking at the areas you think you’d consider and research what is currently available in your price range. You’ll be able to start creating a list based on first impressions.

When viewing, don’t rule everything out. Of course, if the house is a two-bed terraced, and you’re after a four-bed detached, it’s safe to say that home isn’t for you.

But don’t rule out a viewing just because you’re not sure. In fact, it can help to view properties that don’t match your criteria perfectly, as it can confirm your expectations. You never know, you might find that you can live without that extra toilet or larger garden.

Top tip from our agents – Be sure to view every property that may meet your criteria. Floorplans, photos and online portfolios don’t always tell the full story, so make sure you take a look in person.

Familiarise yourself with the process 
A lot goes into buying a house, meaning you need to understand the steps to take in order to secure a successful sale. With lots of variables being thrown into the mix, having an understanding of each stage can help reassure you through what can be a stressful time.

There are lots of people you may need to contact during each step. Some notable ones being; solicitors, mortgage lenders, surveyors just to name a few. Knowing who you need at what time can aid you in planning ahead, helping to make the process quicker.

Did you know we have a dedicated Survey & Valuation team? Contact our Taunton or Yeovil office and see how they can help you.

Give yourself enough time 
After an offer is accepted, the average time to completion is between 8-14 weeks. Of course this is only an average, meaning is could take a lot longer, or be a lot quicker.
There are lots of factors that go into the length of the process, including but not limited to; the size of the chain, time taken for the searches and surveys, and the speed of the solicitors.

Make sure that you give yourself enough time throughout the process to achieve things such as:

  • Securing your mortgage offer
  • Selling your own home
  • Possible negotiations on the final contract

Significant delays can cause sales to fall through. Keep clear communication with all involved to determine each other’s expectations and requirements.

Don’t get caught out with packing for your move, read our guide here. 

Cheapest is not always best
Solicitors, movers, mortgages, and everything in-between can cost when buying a house. If you’re selling too, this only adds more. So it’s fair to try and get everything for as cheap as possible is a reasonable desire.

Though, be cautious, as cheap isn’t always best. Ask yourself – why is it so much cheaper? Do they cut corners? Are there hidden costs?

Don’t take risks with any aspect of buying a house, so look for companies based on recommendations from family or friends, or take a look at independent review sites before signing on the dotted line.

Top tip from our agents – Choosing a solicitor is a vital decision, but can also be one of the most expensive parts of the move. Some things to consider:

  • Think about what sort of service from a solicitor you want.
  • Local solicitors are likely to have good knowledge about the area/type of property which can be very helpful.
  • Online solicitors offer a convenient services, allowing you to review things and submit documents online.
  • You may have worked with a solicitor before. Maintaining a relationship can also make the process easier. 
  • Get 3 quotes and go with the service you feel suits you best.

Ask, don’t assume
If at any time during the whole process you have questions, ask them! The benefit of having a whole team of people involved in your moving journey means that you have many professionals to call on when you need some reassurance.

We are here to help you achieve a successful sale and that includes making sure you’re happy with the process. If you ever worry that you’ve not heard from someone, or just need a chat, pick up the phone! There is always someone on the other end to help.

Contact your local office today to see how they can help you on your journey.