Looking for a home to buy is an exciting life step, especially when you’re financially prepared. Before you sign the mortgage and hire the moving van, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Your credit history can be an important factor when buying a home, as you’ll likely need a score that’s high enough to secure a mortgage.
Even before you go searching for a home, it can be helpful to know where your credit score stands. Checking your credit report won’t impact your credit rating or credit score, so you can look at it as often as you like.
Taking a thorough look at your credit report before you go house hunting may give you a sense of how likely you are to be approved for a mortgage. It can also give you time to ensure there are no mistakes or that you haven’t missed any payments that could be impacting your credit.
Though you might be focused on the price of the house, buying a home can also have a number of unexpected costs, from mortgage and legal fees, to stamp duty land taxes to survey costs and more.
These costs can fluctuate quite a bit with the size and location of the home you’re looking to buy. For example, council tax can range from a couple of hundred pounds a year to several thousands for bigger houses in expensive councils.
You can check the council tax band for UK addresses online. It may be helpful to do this prior to making an offer on a property so you understand the cost.
In some cases in the UK, homes will have management fees that may cover charges for communal areas and maintenance. It may be a good idea to have a solid understanding of what is covered – and what’s not – before moving.
There are a number of government assistant programs to help UK residents buy a home.
For example, if you’re a first-time buyer in England and Wales, you could get a loan to help with the cost of a new-build home.
Another option across the UK is getting shared ownership of a home through a housing association. In this scheme, you buy a share of your home (usually between 25% and 75%) and pay rent on the rest.
It’s a good idea to learn about the details for home ownership schemes that may be applicable to you, so you can be fully informed before making a purchase.
There’s a lot to consider when buying a new home and moving in.
Some of the items on your to-do-list may include notifying your current utilities provider, scheduling your movers, connecting your new utilities, giving notice to your current landlord (if you’re renting), clearing out your current home, and notifying everyone of your change of address.
Changing your address is particularly important for your finances, as you probably don’t want any statements or documents with personal information going to your old address.
Staying organised can help ease any anxiety related to your move and free you up to focus on the excitement of settling into your new home.