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Moving house- five things you should know about

Five things you need to know about when moving house

1) Timescale

The time it takes to purchase a house can vary from person to person, and house to house. Once you have decided what you want in your new home, e.g. Four bedrooms, a large garden, a drive etc., you then need to start your search.

When you have completed the search and have found your perfect house, you then need to negotiate and agree on a price. You’ll also need to appoint a solicitor who will arrange for the property to have a survey carried out, while they check on any legal issues surrounding the house. Once this is done, the exchange of contracts take place. This can take anything from four to twelve weeks.

The next phase is the completion of contracts, deeds, payments and the exchange of keys. This is when the property become legally yours. This element of the process can be instant or up to four weeks.

2) Mortgages

Make sure you find the best mortgage for you.

Most agreements in principle (AIP) are only valid for 30 days, so make sure that if your search takes longer then you contact the mortgage provider to ensure that it is still valid, or request a new AIP.

Don’t just go to directly to your bank as there are many options out there; new mortgage deals are being made available on a daily basis. Just because your bank offers you a good deal doesn’t mean it’s the best. There is a good chance that another lender will offer you a better deal.

Comparing mortgage providers can save you money. For example, if you took out a mortgage for £150,000 over a 25-year period, and one provider offered you a rate of 4%, you would be paying an additional $pound;24,000 when compared to a lower rate of 3% from another provider.

3) Property Survey

Remember, a mortgage valuation is not a survey. The lender is carrying a valuation to assure themselves they are happy to lend you the money. Some of these valuations are carried out by a “drive by”.

There are a few different surveys:

  1. A Home Buyer Report – normally suitable for a property less than 50 years old.
  2. Full Structural Survey – suitable for older properties and are more detailed then the Home Buyer report.
  3. Snagging Survey – This happens on new builds, and it pinpoints any defects and bits that are unfinished. This is for the developer to correct them before completion of the contracts.

4) Insurance

Don’t forget to arrange your insurance for your new property. Once you have exchanged contracts you are then legally bound to purchase the property. It is also worth noting the rebuild cost from the mortgage valuation, as this might not be anything like the purchase price.

5) Stamp duty

Once you have completed on your house, you then have fourteen days to pay your stamp duty. This is normally done by your solicitor. They send the transfer of deeds to the Stamp Office and pay any fees due. You normally pay your solicitor this money before you complete the purchase.