It was always a goal of mine to get on the property ladder before I turned 30. I don’t know why because I have no other milestones in mind that fit with a certain age. For some reason this was so important to me and I am so pleased to say I have managed to do it with only a couple of weeks to go before my birthday!
Therefore, I thought I would write a blog post with some top tips if you are thinking about buying your first home. So many things I didn’t even think of put a hold on the process for us and in hindsight, I wish I had been a bit more clued up.
Firstly, the home I bought was my partner’s and we came to this decision in the summer of 2020. A bit of background information – I moved in with him in March after going back and forth for the first year or so of our relationship and then when lockdown hit, we decided to ‘lockdown’ together. He had bought his house just before we met so we weren’t looking to move into somewhere new together. I toyed with the idea of buying my own property but then Covid happened and it just didn’t feel right.
We started the process of joint ownership in August and only just completed last Friday. I understand that with the pandemic things were delayed but our circumstances I think were quite unusual. Without going into too much detail, there was a problem with the land registry records and they needed to be sorted before anything else could really happen. I also had an issue with my credit check which was a complete nightmare. My first top tip for anyone who is looking to buy their first home is to check your credit score! I had NO idea there was a problem. It added months onto the process for us and we were extremely lucky we weren’t in a chain because we probably would have lost the house. The problem was not something I had done – it was actually a technical error with a telecommunications company so it made it even more frustrating for us.
FYI. Trying to get hold of the solicitor and the mortgage advisor is like a full-time job! Prepare to do a bit of chasing and my second top tip is to make sure that you do it via email so you have time stamps on things. This is so useful to keep a record of when the last time you spoke with them was. Again, this was a little bit more complicated for us because we were still fixing issues from my partner’s sale.
Top tip number three is all about money. Obviously you have to have the deposit for the property you wish to buy but don’t forget about legal fees too. Just make sure to keep some money back for when these hit you like a ton of bricks. Think about things like stamp duty, actual moving costs and solicitors fees.
There were a lot of documents to sign that needed to be witnessed so for top tip number four, make sure you have someone on standby to help you out with these.
Whilst I am not an expert at buying a home (my mother is!) I do have to say, even though our experience was quite messy and not as simple as I first thought, I am glad we went through it. I genuinely thought that it would be so easy because I was just buying into my partner’s home and we were becoming ‘joint tenants’. How wrong I was! There were tears, tantrums and lots of glasses of wine for those days when you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. I know that some people’s purchases have been smooth sailing and I can only hope for that for us when we move into our next home together.
I hope this was somewhat useful for those who are thinking of buying their first home and for those who aren’t – well it’s just fun to be nosey isn’t it!?
Happy Friday x