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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 four months, and if you’ve got very specific requirements, or are searching in an area where certain types of property are few and far between, you may be looking for much longer than this.

During this period, it’s important to stay focused and not get disheartened. Here, we have some advice that’ll help you through the process and ensure you find the perfect home for you.

Be positive, you’ve got more time to save for a 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, as you 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. 

It’s also worth checking what information the credit reference agencies hold on you, and get any mistakes fixed if you haven’t already, 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.

Everyone is entitled to view their credit score for free once a year from the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, which they can do by going to AnnualCreditReport.com.

You can re-evaluate what you’re looking for

Are you looking for the impossible? If you’re getting frustrated, sit down and go through your requirements again. You will be disappointed if you’re looking for a four bedroomed detached property with a huge garden, in an area where your budget will only buy you a three bedroomed semi-detached with a small garden.

If this is the case, you may want to rethink your plans. You could consider moving to a different 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, that you can live in for a year or two before selling further down the line.

If you’re a first-time buyer, have you explored the option of a Help to Buy scheme, where you can own a home with just a 5% deposit? 

If in doubt, take a break

When viewings are taking up every weekend and you’ve lost count of how many properties you’ve seen without much luck, you should take a step back. Don’t let the search consume you and only dedicate a couple of hours – at the most – each day to looking for suitable properties. If it all gets too much, take a break. After your time out, the perfect property might come up, or you may have decided that what you’re looking for has 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 that helped them to find their perfect house and this may help you do the same. 

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