Buying your first home is one of the most exciting moments of your life. No matter what age you are fortunate enough to buy, that feeling of getting the keys for the first time is like no other. However for most of us that first time opening your new home will not be your last. Inevitably you will need to move again in the future for a variety of reasons, anything from a new job to simply needing more space in key areas of the home. Buying a home for the first time is easy, but moving for the first time can be considerably more challenging.
Moving into your first home affords you many luxuries you will be without once you are paying a mortgage. In this article we will not only discuss why moving into your next home will be more stressful, but also suggest compromises you may want to consider to lessen the amount of stress you place yourself under.
Why Is Buying Again More Stressful?
It may seem a little negative, saying that the hassle of buying your first home is compounded significantly when you decide to move on, but it is true. Moving in for the first time means you can take your own time to find the perfect property,and enjoy the process of moving in with no removal companies and considerably less paperwork.
The additional stress can come in a few different places:
Contending with ‘The Chain’
The bane of any home buyer, and cause of so many fallen through property sales. It’s concept is simple to understand, if you’re buying a home then the person you buy from is also likely moving, they will need to move into a home that is currently owned and so on. Depending on how long your chain is it can cause volatility when negotiation and create a cagey, stressful feel to finalising.
When you first buy a home you can naturally be a victim of the chain, but only in one direction. Selling your home places you at minimum as the second link in a property buying chain, leaving you vulnerable to a move falling through.
There isn’t a great deal you can do to navigate the chain, but something to consider is selling your house before you move on. Depending on your situation you could either rent short term, or move back in with parents for a time. This would leave you with the time and freedom to buy at your own pace, and to add an additional benefit to this you will be a much more attractive prospect as a buyer for your new home.
Financial Timing, When Is Right?
House prices continue to rise, and eventually this will stop (at least at the current rate of growth). This means you may feel stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying your next home, when is the right time?
The best thing to do is accept you will never likely ‘beat’ the market. Unless you were to sell at a peak then wait a few months for prices to decrease it’s extremely unlikely. Provided the gap between your sale and exchange of your new home is fairly short, less than a few months, it’s not likely you would be heavily impacted.
Further to this you need to consider what your early termination fee would be if you decided to move house during your current mortgage agreement. Additional fees would be applicable so it’s important to understand these with your bank prior to getting your heart set on the mood.
Finally a big financial aspect that you wouldn’t have experienced as a first time buyer is the crushing weight of the stamp duty tax. Without warning this can add a significant amount to your end purchase price, adding an unwelcome additional cost.
How Do You Move To Your Next Home?
Consider how much you want to refurbish
New build homes are popping up like wildfire in many areas, meaning where there is demand you can have to move quickly. While modern homes are constructed with certain perks, such as a typically higher number of bathrooms, there is no doubt that there are a number of downsides. For one thing new builds are also more competitive, as first time buyers have a number of incentives that make it easier for them to buy these kinds of properties meaning getting beaten to the punch is common.
While a new build has that fresh, untouched feeling you may want to consider a slightly older home that needs a refurbishment. This could be as simple as adding a classic kitchen in place of the tired old installed one, or as complex as adding an extension to create additional space.
Compromise on location
Everyone has that ‘dream’ home in the ‘dream’ location. It could be where you already live or it could be a cosy village miles away. Depending on how strict you want to be on location you can instantly hinder yourself and make things a real challenge in finding a new home.
Consider how important the location of your home really is. This doesn’t mean you have to move hundreds of miles north where property prices are cheaper, but it does mean you should broaden your catchment area in order to find your next home.
Go old school to find your next home
The rise of property apps, as well as ‘do it yourself’ companies such as Purple Bricks are great if you want to retain a % of your property sale that would usually be paid via commission. However if you are buying a home there is a good chance you could benefit from embracing the old school method of buddying up with an estate agent.
This means finding your local estate agents, this could be a local specialist or a branch of a national chain, and talking to them about your needs. With the current property market as it is, many homes barely make it to market before they are sold, and those desirable homes that do get listed can incite a bidding war.
If you’ve got the ideal location, size and amenities in mind then it’s certainly worth communicating these to your estate agent. If they know you are serious about buying then you can easily get a step ahead of the competition who instead only look at apps.
Ok it’s obviously not the expected solution, but do you really need to move right now? Write down your specific wants and needs then think, are these essential and is there anything that can change about your current home to alleviate your problems? Bear in mind when you account for stamp duty, moving and estate agency fees that ‘lost’ money could instead be put into renovations or quality of life improvements.