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13th April, 2018

House Hunting Season: How to Save Time, Stress, and Money

It’s springtime and house hunting season has begun. As the weather warms and new homes flood the market, you might be thinking that it’s time for a change. Follow our tips to make buying your next property less stressful, less time-consuming, and less expensive.

How to Save Time:

Buying a new home can take a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to. The tips below will help you get from confirmation of the offer to completion quickly and efficiently.

1. Buy a home without a chain.

Chains are one of the most common reasons that property purchases can take more time. If you can purchase a home that’s chain-free, you’ll significantly decrease the amount of time between initial offer and completion. If a chain-free purchase isn’t possible, look for a home with a very short chain to minimise time spent waiting.

2. Hire an experienced conveyancer.

Conveyancers can really slow down the home buyer process. If your conveyancer isn’t very experienced (or they’ve got too much work to make your sale a priority), this can slow down your sale significantly. Have an open conversation with your conveyancer and try to bring them on board as soon as you start looking for properties. Some professionals will allow you to complete forms and take actions that can speed up the paperwork, so speak to your conveyancer about your options.

3. Prepare your mortgage ahead of time.

Getting your deposit in order before making an offer on a property is essential to speed up the process. Speak to your mortgage broker and your lender to see what you can borrow and at what rate. Having a mortgage in principle (a mortgage amount that you’ve already had agreed) can make you more appealing to sellers.

4. Choose an experienced estate agent.

Your estate agent is a big part of the property buying process, and can quite literally make or break your sale. Choose an estate agent who knows the local area well and who is a good communicator. Estate agents that communicate well will keep you in the loop of your property purchase, and get the required information to your solicitor quickly.

5. Don’t go on holiday when you’re looking to buy your property.

If you’re not in the country, you won’t be available to answer questions or sign the relevant paperwork, which can seriously impact the speed of your sale. Once you’ve found a home, try to stay in the country and take local holidays only.

How to Save Stress:

Purchasing a property is a big investment, and that kind of investment is sure to come with some level of stress. We can’t take the stress out of buying a property entirely, but the tips below will certainly make it more manageable.

1. Give yourself plenty of time.

Rushing into purchasing a new property is a great way to stress yourself out. Take time to find a property that’s truly right for you before purchasing and you’ll cut stress in half.

2. Talk to a trusted friend.

Do you have any friends or colleagues that have recently bought a new house? Talk to them about their experience. Simply talking through your problems can make you realise that they may not be as serious as you had feared and can help you feel better in no time.

3. Choose an estate agent you trust.

Estate agents are a big part of the property-buying process. Having an estate agent that you can trust is a large part of making sure you stay calm and collected during the home-purchasing process. An agent you can trust is one that communicates clearly and keeps you informed every step of the way.

4. Consider a new build.

Worried about purchasing a property, moving in, and uncovering a laundry list of problems? With a new build property, you can all but eliminate that risk. New build properties feature all of the newest fixtures and often come with a quality guarantee, so if you’re really stressed, consider a property that has recently been built.

5. Have a list of non-negotiables.

Some of the stress from buying a home comes with sheer uncertainty. If you’re not sure what you want, then anything is open to you. Having a clear list of things that you’re not willing to compromise on, like number of bedrooms, location, and type of property is a great way to get started and take the stress out of purchasing a home.

How to Save Money:

Property is expensive, but there are ways to lower costs. Our tips below can help you reduce the cost of purchasing a property.

1. Compare mortgage rates.

The best way to get a competitive mortgage rate is to shop around. Be fully informed about the rates all the banks in your area are offering to make sure that you get the most competitive deal.

2. Choose an experienced surveyor.

An experienced surveyor will be able to identify problems before you buy to prevent you from having to fix them in the future. The money saved on repairs will counteract the initial cost of paying for a full structural survey, so spend now to save later.

3. Shop around.

Get multiple quotes from all of your suppliers, whether they’re movers, surveyors, solicitors, or conveyancers. Shopping around will give you confidence that you have the best deal possible and will give you the leverage you need to negotiate the best price possible.

4. Ask for the home to be taken off the market as soon as your offer has been accepted.

Once your offer has been accepted, ask the seller to take the home off the market as soon as possible. This reduces the risk of gazumping, when someone makes a higher offer at the last minute and ‘steals’ the sale. Gazumping can be extremely costly for buyers, so save money by doing all your can to avoid this.

Considering purchasing a property? Contact your local Fine & Country office today.

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