It's now been 12 months since we moved into our new house; the first one we have ever owned! To celebrate, I thought I would share some top tips for first time buyers. Not from an expert, you understand, but things that we have gleaned from the whole process!
1. Know what you want before you start looking. In Norwich, a lot of the older houses have downstairs bathrooms rather than upstairs bathrooms, for example. Having an upstairs bathroom was a deal breaker for us, so we didnt even look at houses without one. I love those old houses, but I knew no amount of original features would make up for having to carry Wilbur downstairs every night when he's learning to potty train!
2. When things go wrong, take a couple of days to dwell on it, pick yourself up and start again. The offer we put in on our dream house (which was at the very top of our budget) was rejected: the house ended up selling for much more than we could have afforded. We sulked for a day or two, picked ourselves up and started the hunt again. The very next house we saw was our house. It felt like home the minute we walked in the door, and now we can't imagine living anywhere else!
3. Once you've found the house you want and your offer has been accepted, make sure you choose a solicitor you're happy with: sometimes it can be tempting to just choose the one that gives you the cheapest quote, but that isn't always the best way. We were really happy with ours, because they took the time to talk us through every step of the, frankly confusing, process. It is nice to know that if you do choose a bad one though you have some recourse: Professional negligence claims against solicitors (a service offered by Redress Law) are always an option if you get a bad or neglectful service, although of course that would add to the stress of the already complicated house buying process so try and choose right in the first place!
4. Do as much work as you possibly can before you move your furniture in. It will make the process so much easier, and those days after you get your keys are likely to be when your motivation is at your highest. In the three days after we got our keys and before the furniture van arrived we managed to paint and paper all three bedrooms. Around a month later I painted the bathroom. Twelve months on and we're still yet to paint any of the downstairs rooms, despite the fact the paint has been in the cupboard for a full year! I really wish we'd taken a couple more furniture-free days and just got it done!!
5. Finally, take loads of photos on the day you move in. When it feels like you're not making any progress (something I feel all the time, when Wilbur is making it impossible to strip those doors or wanting to ride me like a horse when I'm bent down to fill in the skirting boards) you can look back at those photos and instantly see how far you've come!
Anyone who's been through the process of buying there first home, or currently going through the process now: do you have any tips and hints to add?
Love Tor x