Buying a bigger home: how to minimise the buying stress

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January 31, 2022 - Kevin Dunn

Buying a bigger home: how to minimise the buying stress

Whether you need more room because your family has grown, or if you need more space so you can work from home, taking a step up the housing ladder and buying a bigger property can feel like an overwhelming challenge.

Getting your present home ready for sale, securing a new mortgage and selling and buying property can be a sequence of events all of which are delicate to manage. Even if the process appears to be going smoothly, it only takes one mishap for the deal to fall through. Your new mortgage could fall through at the last minute, another buyer could come in with a higher offer, a home survey could reveal hidden problems, or the valuation could come in below the sale price, affecting your mortgage terms. That makes a long list of potential pitfalls to manage.

No matter how hard you try, some aspects of buying a house are simply beyond your control. However, there are ways you can minimise the stress involved and get through the process with fewer bumps in the road.

1.     Know What You Want

An estate agent can’t read your mind, and if you don’t know what you want, you’re going to spend a lot of time looking at houses that just don’t match your needs. Doing your research first and being specific about your requirements means you can provide a focused brief to an agent, who can then be more effective at helping you find the best home for your family. Maintaining good relationships with the agents in your search area is important and a well thought out brief saves their time and yours, so work out your list of must haves first.

Things to take into consideration include:

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Noise level in the community
  • Practicality of the floor plan
  • Desired square footage
  • Type of housing (semi-detached or single-family home etc)
  • Distance to train stations, motorway access, or work
  • Age of the home
  • Amount of maintenance required
  • School districts
  • Neighbourhood

 

2.  Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan

You may feel that qualifying for a mortgage shouldn’t be too difficult, especially if you already have a mortgage on your current home. But after careful review of your credit and income, a lender may think otherwise.

In order to help ease your path toward pre-approval, clean up your credit by paying all your bills on time. This raises your credit score, increases your favourability to banks, and helps you qualify for the best possible interest rate. Don’t think it is best to stick with your current lender either. A slight difference in the rate of interest charged on your mortgage can make a big difference to the amount of money you repay over the life of the loan, so it is important that you shop around to get the best deal.

Paying down consumer debt can also help you qualify for a mortgage since lenders factor in your debt-to-income ratio when deciding whether or not to approve your application. However, while debt repayment is important, you shouldn’t sacrifice building a financial cushion in favour of it. Buying a house is expensive, and you’re going to need money in the bank for movers, repairs, furniture, and other related expenses.

If you are self-employed or have a more complicated credit history, arranging a larger mortgage can feel daunting. A mortgage adviser will be experienced working with lenders and mortgage underwriters, they will know where to best place you application for success. They can also advise you on specific ways you can improve your application.

It is always advantageous to get pre-approved for a mortgage before making an offer on a home, especially in a hot property market: there may be lots of buyer interest, and having a pre-approved mortgage offer can mean the difference between your offer being accepted or the home of your dreams being snapped up by another buyer.

 

3.  Save Enough Cash

Buying property is by far one of the most expensive transactions most people ever going to make, so be sure you understand the cost of buying a house before making the leap. You could be borrowing a large sum of money, and there will be significant closing costs such as Stamp Duty, legal fees, survey reports as well as any mortgage product fees.

So, what can you expect? Stamp Duty is the greatest cost. The table below shows the rates you have to pay. You will usually have to pay 3% on top of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rates if you are buying a second residential property.

 

Property price tiers

 

SDLT rate

 

Up to £125,000

 

Zero

 

The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)

 

2%

 

The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)

 

5%

 

The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)

 

10%

 

The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)

 

12%

 

4.  Keep perspective

Yes, you can expect a measure of anxiety when buying a house, but don’t lose sight of the fact that this is supposed to be an exciting time. Minimising the stress is all about preparation. To get help finding the best possible mortgage and arranging pre-approval for your loan, contact one of our Mortgage Advisers at Furnley House who will be pleased to help. Call 0116 269 6311 or email yourmortgage@furnleyhouse.co.uk

 

 

All information correct at the time of writing.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.