How to avoid house hunting frustration
Once you’ve decided to buy a house, you’ll want the process to be as quick as possible. However, searching for a home takes on average 6 to 12 weeks. During this period, it’s important to stay focused and excited for the journey ahead. Here we have some advice to help you avoid house hunting frustration.
Time to save for your deposit
The bigger the deposit you can put down on a property, the better. This will mean you’ll have a lower loan-to-value (LTV) rate and you won’t need to borrow as much. Alternatively, having a bigger deposit could help you buy a property that was previously out of your reach. This is because a larger deposit will take a bigger chunk out of the loan value and your monthly repayments will be lower.
Consider getting a Help to Buy: ISA, where the Government will top up your deposit savings by 25%, up to a maximum Government bonus of £3,000. If you’re buying with someone else, they can get their own Help to Buy ISA, so the potential boost to your deposit is huge. Your Government bonus can be used as money towards your overall deposit, also known as the mortgage deposit. It can also contribute to the deposit at exchange of contracts - this is money your conveyancer pays to the seller's conveyancer at the point of exchanging contracts. If using for the exchange deposit, you must first contact your ISA Manager.
It’s also worth checking what information the credit reference agencies hold on you. Try to fix any mishaps on your credit rating as mortgage providers will use this to calculate your credit score. If your credit score and affordability checks don’t meet their criteria, your application for a mortgage may be turned down.
You are entitled to view your credit score for free once a year from any of the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You can do this by going to AnnualCreditReport.com.
Re-evaluate what you're looking for
Be realistic with your ideas. If things aren't going to plan, sit down and go through your requirements again. It's best to have a good understanding of what you want and what you can afford.
If at this point it looks as though your budget just won't stretch, you could consider moving to an area where your budget will go further. If you’re trying to make a giant leap from your current property to your next one, it may be that you require a stepping stone property. This is one you can live in for a year or two before selling further down the line.
If you’re looking to buy a new build home, have you explored the option of the Help to Buy scheme, where you can own a home with just a 5% deposit? This scheme is exclusive to new build homes, making the process of buying more affordable.
Consider a new build home
If the option to buy a new home arises, why not take up the opportunity? New build homes come with little to no stress as you can move in as soon as it's ready. Built to the highest standards, you can rest easy knowing that your new build home is affordable and durable.
Make the decorating process easier for yourself by customising your new build home before you move in. Select from a range of fixtures, fittings and finishes that suit your style and needs. New build homes are also made to be more sustainable and energy efficient, helping you to avoid unnecessary high cost bills.
There are also a number of offers that can help you get on the property ladder, or take the stress out of selling your home. As well as the Help To Buy scheme, you could take advantage of a Deposit Boost. This is where your 5% deposit could be matched with an additional 5%, so you only need a 90% mortgage.
There are many benefits of buying a new build, so it's definitely something to consider when searching for your dream home.
Take time out of searching
The house hunting process can be an exciting one, but it can also take up a lot of your time. When you've lost count of how many properties you've seen, take a step back and relax. Dedicate a few hours each day for house hunting and the other hours for getting on with day-to-day tasks. After your time out, the perfect property might come up, or your perspective may have changed. Whatever happens, you should feel re-energised. It’s also a good idea to speak to people who have moved recently and have been through similar experiences as you. They’ll be able to offer advice and support.
However you go through this process, take each day as it comes. Finding your dream home is an exciting time so make sure to take advantage of all the offers and schemes that are out there, as they have all been designed to take the stress out of house hunting.