We did it! We got a house!
After four months of viewing houses, eight months of estate agents, four months of chasing solicitors, three months of living with parents, and a huge amount of fees, we made it. We picked up the keys to our first house yesterday evening, and now the fun begins.
Completion day is a lot calmer than we’d expected, but this was probably due to the fact we weren’t under any pressure to move out of, or into a new house all in the same day – living with parents does have it’s benefits after all.
After receiving confirmation from the bank that our mortgage had been transferred to the solicitor, we received a courtesy call from the estate agent first thing yesterday morning to let us know everything was in place and we should have the keys by the end of the day. A couple of hours later, a call from the solicitors to let us know they’d paid the seller and that we could pick up the keys when we were ready. And that was it, done. No more stress that the seller was going to pull out, no more nagging from the estate agent, and no more unnecessary dragging of feet from either side.
We picked up the keys after work, a single envelope with a front door key and a back door key and that was it. No fanfare, no champagne on ice. A set of keys an empty house, and a great big mortgage. But now the fun begins, workmen at the ready, and the carpet was pulled straight up to see what was hiding underneath.
If you’re part of a chain, completion day can be a much messier affair, ours was pretty stress free as we were in no rush, and there was nobody living in the house we were buying, but try to give yourself as much time as possible to get everything in order. Make sure you’ve paid solicitors fees and stamp duty in advance of completion day or the completion won’t go through, which can result in added costs for you, as well as the rest of the chain falling through. If you’re the bottom of the chain, expect the sale to go through earlier in the day, whereas if you’re at the top of the chain, your sale is more likely to be last thing.
Other than fees, you’ll also need to make sure you’ve looked at options for buildings insurance before completion, as a lot of mortgages need insurance in place, just in case the house falls down after you get the keys. Sometimes the buyer is responsible for the insurance from the date of exchange, so remember to check this with your solicitor.
Now the fun bit begins, nobody has lived in the house other than a family of spiders for the last eight months, so job one is the strip the wallpaper and pull up the carpet to see what’s underneath, stay tuned.