I have been so rubbish in the blogosphere recently. Life just got the better of me and I’ve had literally NO time. And when I did have time, I watched Made in Chelsea. And then I got writer’s block and just stared blankly at the screen and put Made in Chelsea back on and felt guilty for not writing. Vicious circle.
So anyway as work slows down just before xmas, here’s my first post in forever. Hopefully it will kick me out of this lull. I bought a house! I’m 31 and I’m a homeowner. SO CHUFFED.
The road to homeownership hasn’t been easy though, so I just wanted to share with you some of things I’ve learned (in a really dumbed down way, because let’s be honest, interest rates and mortgages are dullsville). So hopefully I can help some of you in some small way stick two fingers up to our generation of impossible deposits and relentless renting and get your own block of bricks.
My house buying journey (February 2015 – November 2015)
- Move home with parents and save hard for 2 years. Get laughed at and mocked for living with parents – suck it up
- Convince partner that even though we’ve only been together a year – buying a house is a good idea
- Times our combined salaries by about 3.5 (rough estimate of what you can afford)
- Look relentlessly on Rightmove and Zoopla at properties in London
- Get depressed at what’s available in our budget in London – briefly consider living in a parking space
- View a few places in London – realise what we can afford is only suitable for Borrowers
- Start looking in the dreaded suburbs. Find quite decent looking places, with gardens and everything
- Say goodbye to our weekends and start viewing ones we like
- Realise there is fierce competition and we have to be ruthless/on the phone every 10 mins to estate agents
- Find ‘the one’ – an adorable 3 bedroom Victorian terraced cottage with VERY bad decor (i’m talking diamanté heart shaped mirrors and a turquoise bathroom)
- Put in an offer. Get outbid
- Get in touch with a recommended mortgage broker. This was the best £350 we spent – our guy was the best – he gave us loads of advice (seeing as I knew nada) and helped us get the best mortgage product for our budget and understand what the hell all of the lingo means. USE HIM! Matthew Gallo firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Find ‘the one’ again and put in an offer. Get outbid
- Repeat – lose faith. Repeat – lose faith
- Really find ‘the one’ go mad with desperation and scream to estate agents
- Offer 15k OVER the asking price – it’s a sellers market – they rule the roost. Bastards.
- Offer gets accepted.
- Be in constant state of joy and fear that we’ll get ‘gazumped’
- Choose mortgage product – get partner to read all boring details about interest rates yada yada – pretend to understand. We went for a 3 year fixed rate.
- Apply for a mortgage to be approved in principal
- Briefly fear all those credit cards I maxed out after uni have savaged my credit rating
- Get mortgage approved in principal
- Get real mortgage approved (thanks Nationwide, you rock)
- Hire a recommended solicitor (we used Pat Astell Wood of Wortley Buyers who was also really really really bloody good and helped us clueless first time buyers cover our asses on more than a few occasions) USE HER! wortleybyers.co.uk
- Sh*t gets real
- Pay £810 for a surveyor to go in and tell us there is loads of stuff wrong with our house – including damp, unstable roof etc etc.
- Try to negotiate cost of house down to vendors seeing as it is practically falling down
- They refuse and tell us to get stuffed or they’ll relist the property
- Suck it up and proceed knowing full well they wear the trousers and there is nothing else better on the market
- A lot of back and forths go on between lawyers, estate agents and vendors.
- Some BIG legal problems crop up and indemnity policies are required
- Feel out of my depth
- Vendors refuse to pay
- Our lawyer tells them to get stuffed
- Vendors eventually pay indemnity policy to insure us for un-registered land (hurrah, small victory – stupid vendors)
- Get told on numerous occasions someone at the top of the chain is going to drop out
- Lose hope 8,0000 times – feel stress, real stress
- Sign the draft contract
- Realise i’m really boring and all I talk about is my house
- Exchange contracts
- 2 weeks later – complete. Collect keys and move in! OMG…
- Find loads of sh*t wrong with dream house – get ready to live rest of life paying a mortgage and fixing things
- Spend a lot of time on ebay buying furniture. Now for the decoration – what shade of grey do you reckon?
So if you’re thinking about buying a house in 2016 – the best of luck to you! If you need any advice or recos, you know where I am.
image source: http://bucks.happeningmag.com/time-home-buyer-seminar/