Buying a home for the second time? How to take that next step with confidence

Feb 22, 2022
How to take that next step with confidence

You’ll find plenty of guidance and helpful schemes out there for first-time buyers. But what happens when you decide to sell up and move on to your second home?

There are sure to be new challenges to think about. So we’ve pulled together our top 10 tips to help you take that all-important step up the property ladder.

1. Make sure that moving is the right thing

Moving to a new home is really exciting. But you need to be sure that it’s the right time to take that next step. You may want to move for a variety of reasons:

  • Your family has outgrown your present home and you need more space
  • A career change means you need to relocate
  • You want to move closer to family members

Whatever your motivation, if and when you decide to move, try to imagine how your life may alter again in the future and look for a home that will meet your changing needs.

2. Get your current home on the market

Obviously, the big difference will be that this time around you’ll be selling a home, as well as buying one.

Make sure you get it on the market as soon as possible. There are plenty of estate agents eager to help, so it’s good to shop around. If you can, put together a shortlist based on:

  • The fees they charge
  • The average time it takes them to sell a property like yours
  • How successful they are at selling similar homes
  • How proactive they’ll be in trying to sell your home

The HomeOwners Alliance has a useful online tool to help you locate estate agents in your area. You can learn more here.

Bear in mind that if your property sells before you've found a home to move to, you might have to think about renting somewhere to live and finding storage space for your furniture and other possessions.

3. Know what you want

As a first-time buyer, you might have compromised here and there, just to avoid rising house prices and get your feet on the property ladder. But this time, with a home to sell, you have an asset that could well be increasing in value. Which means you can afford to be a bit choosier.

A garden? Off-street parking? Proximity to transport links, schools and green spaces? Working out what your priorities are will help you narrow down your search for a new home. So it’s a good idea to make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves.

4. Prepare yourself for being part of a property chain

As a second-time buyer, you’re likely to find yourself as one link in a property chain, with a series of sales and purchases being dependent on each other. So when you find a home you want to buy you may have to kick your heels a bit until the current owners have found somewhere to move to as well. All of which means that completion timescales can vary.

Mortgage brokers and solicitors work hand-in-hand to achieve a smooth process, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it can sometimes get a bit complicated.

5. Work out what to do with your mortgage

If you are happy with the terms of your existing mortgage, you may be able to transfer it to the purchase of your next home and retain your current interest rate. However, deals vary and everyone’s situation is different, so it’s important to talk to your mortgage provider to see how the land lies.

  • If you decide to transfer your mortgage to your new property, there may be costs involved
  • If you choose to settle your current mortgage and you’re still in a fixed-rate period, there could be some exit and early repayment fees to pay

When it comes to arranging a new mortgage, your current lender may have deals worth considering. But you’re also free to explore other options. As a second-time buyer with a property to sell, you should be in a stronger financial position and an attractive proposition to mortgage providers, so it’s definitely worth shopping around for the best deals.

The mortgage market never stays still and has probably changed since you bought your first home. Lenders may now have different terms, interest rates and deposit requirements. A mortgage broker will be able to show you deals from numerous providers.

As ever, having solid guidance is really important. We can put you in touch with an expert New Home Mortgage Adviser ready to help you every step of the way. You can also see our 10 tips to staying mortgage-ready here.

We also have a range of innovative offers to help you make your move. Learn more here.

6. Get a handle on costs

You don’t need to create a complex spreadsheet but doing your sums can help you get a realistic picture of how much moving to a new home might cost you. Here are a few things to factor in:

  • Solicitor costs for handling both the sale and purchase of your properties
  • Removal costs – particularly if you’ve now got more furniture and personal belongings
  • If you’re moving to a bigger home, consider the costs of heating it
  • Get a quote for buildings and contents insurance for your new home

7. Factor in Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty is a tax you have to pay when buying a property over £125,000 in England. First-time buyers get tax relief on Stamp Duty, but sadly that’s not the case when you move on to your next home.

The tax works on a sliding scale of rates:

Minimum purchase price Maximum purchase price Stamp Duty rate
£0 £125,000 0%
£125,001 £250,000 2%
£250,001 £925,000 5%
£925,001 £1.5 million 10%
Over £1.5 million 12%

Find out more about Stamp Duty >

Use the handy MoneyHelper Stamp Duty calculator >

8. Don’t miss out on helpful schemes

There’s always a lot of publicity about schemes for first-time buyers. But you’ll be pleased to know that we have a variety of offers specifically designed to help existing homeowners too.

For instance, with Deposit Unlock you could buy the home you’ve set your heart on with a deposit of just 5%. And with Part Exchange Xtra we can help you take the hassle out of moving by becoming your guaranteed buyer.

Discover our range schemes to help you sell your current home >

9. Learn from the experience

Buying a new home is both exciting and challenging. Getting where you want to be is easier if you can tap into practical information and expert advice whenever you need it.

See our comprehensive home buying guide >

10. Be happy

Yes, there might be a few ups and downs along the way, but it will be worth it – because taking that first step into an elegant and spacious new home is an unforgettable experience.

Start your search today >