The large amounts of money involved can make buying a new home one of the most daunting experiences of our lives. However, whether it’s your first time buying a home or you’ve been through the experience before, there are some ways to spend less. While the savings you can make using some of these ideas won’t seem like much, the totals will soon add up.
If you’re in the market for a new home and you’re looking for ways to spend less, the more prepared you are, the better. Here’s everything you need to think about.
Establish your budget
The more you know about your short and long-term cash flow, the better. Knowing just how much home you can realistically afford is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot when it comes to paying your deposit and your future mortgage payments.
It’s always a good idea to use one of the many mortgage affordability calculators that you can find online. The more you have a clear idea of your budget, the better your expectations will be when it comes to your mortgage. Never forget that your budget won’t just have to cover your mortgage and your deposit. From furniture to removals, a mishap with your budget can leave you feeling very out of pocket.
Learn from the survey
You’re going to need to hire a surveyor before you begin the process of exchanging contracts. Your surveyor will highlight any potential issues with the property, including problems like rising damp, asbestos, or insect infestation. If your surveyor hands you a list that indicates the cost of resolving those issues will be excessive, don’t panic.
While problems like subsidence are an indication that you should pull out of the purchase, other issues can be a reason to readjust your offer price. Even if you’ve agreed to a price with the seller, use your surveyor’s report as a justification to negotiate on that price. This could end up saving you more than you think, but at the very least, the lower price should cover the cost of resolving the issues highlighted by your surveyor.
One of the biggest mistakes that many first time home buyers make is only to hire a conveyancing solicitor when they’ve made an offer on a home, and it’s been accepted by the seller. This is a mistake because if you wait that long, your conveyancer will have to start from scratch when they could be finalizing everything.
Conveyancers have to do a lot when it comes to a property purchase, and the earlier you get them involved, the better. They can pre-prepare the legal documentation, conduct all of the buyer and seller checks, and essentially streamline your home-buying. The longer it takes to get through the entire process of buying a home, the more your costs will start to add up. Get your conveyancing solicitor involved earlier, and you’ll save both time and money.
Finding the right removals firm isn’t going to save you a fortune, but saving even a few hundred quid will ease your financial stress somewhat. It’s always a good idea to use a removals firm that’s an official member of the British Association of Movers (BAR). These will have benefits like deposit protection, set prices, and all of their vehicles will be licensed and up to a legal standard.
Using a BAR-licensed removals firm can also give you legal options if you have a complaint to make, which minimizes financial risks.
It’s also wise to arrange your moving day so that it’s midweek rather than at the weekend. The costs will be lower since weekend moves tend to incur a premium rate. You might also consider decluttering your possessions as you pack, as this will mean a) more money to spend on your move if you sell what you don’t need and b) lower moving costs due to fewer possessions.
Of course, you could save yourself even more money by not hiring a removal firm at all and doing it all yourself. Get some strong friends involved and hire (or borrow) a van, and you could save yourself a lot more money than you think.
Avoid getting gazumped
Gazumping is on the rise in the UK, and it’s one of the fastest ways to add costs to your possible purchase. Gazumping is when you make an offer on a home, the seller accepts it, but their estate agent leaves the property on the market. A new buyer swoops in, offer a better price, and you lose out.
While gazumping has its unethical side, it can also cost you money. If a seller has accepted your offer, it’s likely that you’ve hired a surveyor and that your conveyancing solicitor has started conducting their property searches. So if you do get gazumped, you’re going to have to accept that you’ll have to pay for something you now don’t need. Always ask the estate agents involved in the sale to remove the property listing as soon as your offer has been accepted.
Smart ways to spend less on a new home
Making savings of a hundred pounds here and there might not seem like a lot when you’re thinking in terms of hundreds of thousands of pounds. But those hundreds do start to add up. No matter your budget, always look for ways to cut your property costs where you can. Always ensure that you communicate with everyone involved promptly and prepare as much in advance as possible.
Streamlining the property purchase process is always the key to spending less. The more prepared you are and the more planning that you can do, the less stress there’ll be on your bank balance. Take your time to get it right, and you could be moving into your new home with a lot more extra cash in your pocket than you expected.