Saturday, 20 January 2018

What I learned selling our first house and buying our second

When we bought our first home three years ago I wrote a post about my experience and what I had learned so I thought some of you might be interested to read what it was like selling that property and buying our second. Now let me tell you selling and buying is a hell of a lot more stress than buying your first...

  Our new home! dont worry that playhouse will be going and George will be making a turquoise door asap!! 

So what have I learned

- DONT DO IT!! - well no do but prepare for one of the most stressful times. Everything seemed so much harder buying our second home than it did being first time buyers.

For starters selling your first home. To go with an estate agent or not? we toyed with the idea of using sites like purple bricks to save on fees but in the end decided that as it was a first time buyers home it would be better to sell through an estate agent as the buyer might feel more at ease with the process than if they had to deal with us direct. We got three valuations one was VERY low the other two were pretty similar and we ended up going for the agent that quoted the mid range just because we preferred the approach he had but we put the house up for sale a little more than he had suggested.

Looking back now I do question if we did actually need to sell through an estate agent as I really only spoke to them a handful of times, they did the viewings for us but our house did sell relatively quick (as I said it is a first time buyers home so was on the lower end of the market). Did they really warrant the £2,600 price tag?! Maybe this was an area we could have saved on and perhaps in the future we wouldn't use an agent.

- The mortgage - So once you have your house valuation this will give you a rough estimate what you are set to make on the property and use towards your next. Luckily we managed to make around £54k in the three years just through updating and decorating so this would give us a good start when looking for our mortgage top up. Long story short we ended up sticking with the bank we had our first mortgage with as it would have cost too much to end the contract, however if we were nearer the end of our term we could have got a lower interest rate else where (its all a lot of numbers!)

- Being self employed - Again as I stated in my previous post what I learned buying my first home being self employed adds a whole lot of paperwork and stress when it comes to applying for a mortgage. They see you as a massive risk if you are self employed so expect extra checks and longer wait times, we got there in the end and left with a rough price range in which to start our house search.

- FEES -  Paying stamp duty, solicitor fees can amount to a lot of money which we didn't really think about too much when we were viewing potential new property's. What I learned was that when you get your rough guide to how much you can afford deduct £10k-£15k from that estimate to allow for the colossal fees! we ended up with a final bill of £14,810.30 OMG crryyy cryyy! Those fees included stamp duty, solicitor fees and estate agent fees.

Selling our home - As you would see from my blog we pretty much redecorated and renovated the whole house doing most of the work ourselves. Now this saved us a lot of money at the time but when it came to selling the house we realised we needed fensa certificates! The problem arose from a tiny rotten old window to the side of the house which George replaced with a lovely new one after a lot of back and forth between solicitors (costing us money) it was finally agreed that we would pay an indemnity insurance on the window. This could have been avoided if we would have known that certain work you do on your property needs to basically be signed off and given a certificate to say that it is safe. Luckily this didn't hold the sell up too much but it could have gone on and on if the insurance agreement hadn't been finalised. Lesson we have learned is to keep records of any work and fensa certificates!!

I could go into more detail but I do not want to bore you! if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or send me an email :)

To sum up our experience I would use one word LONG ...
But we got there in the end and on the 5th of January we waved goodbye to number 8 fortview terrace and moved into our 'new' home! which is actually over 200 years old and is quite a big project but I think it will be so pretty when we are finished, I will of course be sharing our renovation journey with you all too.

Happy New year!

Emma x

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