Hi everyone! Welcome to a little new (and different) series to my blog: moving house series! This is something I wasn’t really planning on doing, however I put up a little poll in my community group asking if a moving house series was anything of interest and surprisingly the answer was: yes! And I’m more than happy to be sharing this little mini series with you because although it’s more personal. This is a really special (and stressful haha) time for us as a family so having an excuse to document it to look back on is a great opportunity :). Moving house series #1: How We Bought Our First Family Home!
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Watch this video to find out everything 😀
Moving house series #1: How We Bought Our First Family Home!
How did we know it was time to move?
We currently live in a 1 bed flat in Sheffield City Centre, and have stayed here way too long! When we moved in here after relocating from London, we thought it was only going to be temporary… but have ended up being here for over 4 years! At the very start when we moved in here plans to have a baby were not even thought about but hey presto… 4 years on and now we have a 2 year old! Our little flat is too small for us and we need to move out. We desperately wanted a garden and outside space.
When did you decide to go from renting to buying?
Me and Ollie have always rented; I moved out when I was 18 and went to London for university. In first year I lived in student accommodation, then rented since then. It’s a lot of money down the drain with high deposits and in my experience, I’ve had my fair share of bad landlords.
However, we are only on 1 income at the moment, and didn’t even think we would ever be in a position to buy. I always assumed buying a house cost more than renting and I didn’t know any different. It was only until we started looking into our options more we discovered that renting can actually be cheaper, a lot cheaper, than renting! Crazy.
The prices for a decent sized house with a garden in the area we wanted to live in would have cost about £650-£800 PCM. This was out of our budget. If we bought the mortgage repayments would be significantly lower than that and so it became clear of the answer.
I come from a low income family background and I grew up in council houses so this has been completely out of my depth and at times very overwhelming. It’s strange to go from nothing to buying a house especially when you’re only 26, but thanks to the help of family we have been lucky enough to buy a house we really love that we hope to stay in for a very long time.
How did you find the house you bought?
The house we bought was actually the second house we put an offer down on and had gotten accepted. The very first property what was we *thought* we wanted; we had doubts but assumed that was just normal when buying a house… unfortunately, those sellers pulled out and we were left without a house which we assumed we were going to live in. Until that moment we had even got a mortgage offer and paid some money to fees, had a survey done and all of that. Because it was our first experience ever of buying a house we were left feeling very confused and stung. Honestly, we weren’t sure if buying a house was the right decision after all.
It was only by chance that we found the house we ended up buying and it turns out that actually, it’s a friend who was the seller. Silly me, though, I didn’t put two and two together; another friend tagged me in the house for sale post on a Facebook group; but I didn’t pay attention to who was selling it. We booked a viewing, loved it, I asked the estate agent if he knew the sellers (was it a family? rented? etc) and thought no more of it. A few days later it all clicked into place and turns out that friend who tagged me originally is friends with the seller, so we are mutual friends with her!
I guess everything happens for a reason… I am so, so glad that we lost that first house because this one is SOOOOO much better for us.
Was it easy buying a house?
NO!!!! There is sooooo much that goes into buying a house and the whole process seemed to take us forever. We started it all not having a clue what to expect. At first it was actually getting the mortgage which is all done through the bank. You can either go directly or go through a mortgage advisor/broker, this is what we did as we had no idea what we were doing otherwise!
Now that part seemed to go quite easy to be honest. Once you have the mortgage in offer you can “shop for the house”; a house on the market that you want to buy. You view, put the offer in and then it is up to the seller to accept your offer or not. Sometimes you have to offer more or you go “Head to head” against someone else who has also put in an offer!
Depending on if there is a chain or not, if the house is empty (no chain) if your offer is accepted and you have a mortgage (or money to buy without) it *should* go pretty fast from there. If there is a chain then it can take absolutely ages and is the reason the first house we found pulled out.
The house we ended up buying had no chain and was empty for about 6 months previous. This did work in our favour because things could move fast but there were problems with leasehold and paperwork which took months to sort out, had to go through lawyers and then the bank had to approve it before they agreed to buy the house. It was honestly really, really confusing.
A completion date is the last thing in the process which basically means that the bank (or you) have bought the house and you can get the keys. In the last week running up to our completion date, though, it kept changing because of the problem with the leasehold. If you are getting a mortgage, it’s essentially the bank buying the house so until they release the funds to buy the house then you just have to wait. And trust me there is a lot of waiting.
In the end it turns out our completion date was very last minute… we only found out literally within a few days it was going to be on that Friday. It’s weird how you can wait for months to get things sorted and then all of the sudden you just get the news that you have bought the house and can pick up keys. It’s completely different to renting. Completely!
So what now?
In the video above I talk about what’s going to happen which is, hopefully, going to see the house for the first time since buying! and then… it’s game on. We have to move in, furnish and decorate. Fingers crossed it all goes smooth!