We’re in the process of buying our first house, this definitely doesn’t make us experts, but it does mean we can probably shed some light on the shit storm you’re about to go through.
- Step 1 – Find a house.
- Step 2 – Put in an offer on said house, and pray for it to be accepted.
- Step 3 – Let the aforementioned shit storm commence. 💩💩
Everyone tells you that buying a house is hard, really hard. But i’m not sure you can fully grasp how much torment you are about to put yourself through until you’re actually living it (and living it while living at your mums house in our case).
Once your offer has been accepted, the tough bit begins. And you’ll need to be ready to take on the world (or at least ready to take on an estate agent, a potentially difficult seller, and probably some legal difficulties just for good measure). When the day comes that someone finally accepts your offer and decides its a nice idea to sell you their house, be ready. You have been warned.
The first thing your estate agent will ask for once the offer has been accepted, is your DIP or Decision in Principle. This is basically your chosen mortgage provider’s way of showing that they will lend you the money for the mortgage on the house, if you’re not telling any fibs. If you’ve got a load of gambling debt or spend more than you’ve told them then they might not follow through with a mortgage offer. Your DIP should be the exact value that you’ve offered on the house, but can be easily changed if the original house you wanted was a different value.
You’ll also need to get yourself a solicitor, essentially a really expensive way of getting all of your paperwork done. But they’ll be there to let you know if there are any big legal issues, planning expected around your property, or any details in the contract they can negotiate, such as fixtures and fittings. NB, they’re not there to negotiate the cost of your house down if the survey comes back with any issues. This REALLY fun bit you get to do yourself 😒
Once you’ve got these in place and you’re happy to progress, it’s time to head off to the bank to see a mortgage advisor and get your actual mortgage in place. And that’s a whole story of it’s own. The mortgage can take around five weeks to put in place, so be prepared to wait. You’ll need a lot of paperwork, any information on your earnings, and outgoings, and usually 3 months of bank statements. So maybe try not to spend all your money on clothes, or anything else you wouldn’t like them looking through 😏 We thought the bank would be the tough bit, but in actual fact, if you have your shit together then you should be fine.
There are two valuations or surveys needed on your house before you exchange contracts, one by the bank, and one by you. Once you apply for your actual mortgage (not the DIP), then your chosen mortgage provider will send someone round to check it’s worth what you’ve said you’ll pay, and what they’ve said they will lend. Usually, unless the house has been massively overvalued by the estate agent or the seller, then you should be fine. If not, then you can renegotiate the price of the house with the seller, base don what the bank will actually led. You’ll also need to get a Homebuyers report done separately, to check it’s not falling down – although the report will make you feel like it probably is. It’s the surveyors job to pick out all the problems so that you know what to fix. There are different types of surveys that you can get done, but spend time finding a decent company and ask them for advice on what type of survey you need based on the age and the general state of the property. If the survey comes back ok, lucky you – but if not, be prepared for additional reports, extra quotes, and get ready to negotiate.
When you’re happy with all of the above, or as happy as can be when you’re about to sign up to 25+ years of debt, then the solicitor will draw up the contracts ready for the exchange. Once the exchange has been done, you’re legally bound to buy the house, so make sure you’re comfortable with your decision. Next step is completion, usually around four weeks later or so we’re told. We haven’t got that far yet… to be continued 😂