A survey a few years ago suggested that moving house is the most stressful thing most British adults will do in their lifetime. It was ranked more stressful than having a new baby, starting a new job and even getting a divorce.
It’s not all bad news though. If you’ve decided that it’s time to move, there are a few simple things you can do to make it less stressful. Our top tips will have you sailing through the process and settled into your new home in no time.
1. Sort your finances before you start your property search
Getting your finances in order before you start your property search will not only make the process of moving easier and quicker, it will also give you a better idea of the type of property you might be able to afford. This will help you to have realistic expectations when you go to view properties and ultimately should help you to find your next home sooner.
Your first step should be to speak to a financial advisor. Depending on your situation, this could be a mortgage advisor that works for your current lender or an independent financial advisor and mortgage broker. Some mortgages are portable. This means you’d be able to transfer your mortgage to your next property without having to pay any early repayment charge. If your mortgage is not portable, you may be required to pay fee of between 1% and 5% of your outstanding balance. Would moving house still be affordable if you have to pay a large early repayment fee?
Your financial advisor will go through your current financial position and help you to secure a ‘mortgage in principle’. This will mean your lender has pre-approvedyou and given you an indication of how much they’d be prepared to lend you. This pre-approval process should make it much more straight forward to get your formal mortgage offer when the home purchase progresses.
Before you meet with your financial advisor, online credit score checklists can offer some great advice on things you can do to boost your credit score. The better your credit score, the more chance you have of getting a good mortgage offer with a competitive interest rate.
2. Know what you’re buying so there are no last-minute surprises
The news is full of stories about rocketing property prices and stiff competition for desirable properties. This can add a great deal of pressure to the house-hunting process, but it’s important that you’re not rushed into making a bad choice.
Before you begin your property search, think carefully about what you need and want from your next property. You will, of course, need to make compromises, but it’s wise to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for. It’s no good falling in love with a property that you’ll outgrow in a year, or taking on a project that you don’t have the time, skill or finances to tackle.
Ensure you take the time to do a second viewing of any property you’re interested in. It’s important to use that second visit to see beyond your initial reaction to the property and look for any issues or projects that may need to be addressed. It’s important that you’re realistic about what you can and can’t tackle. If you spot anything that makes you concerned, a second viewing is a great opportunity to ask more about the property and its history. The last thing you want is to feel rushed into making an offer and then live to regret it.
3. Choose a good solicitor who will manage the sale well
Your choice of solicitor can make or break your house move. A good solicitor will be proactive and responsive, managing the sale through to meet your desired completion date. A bad solicitor will hold up the property sale, causing delays and unnecessary stress.
If you haven’t already chosen a solicitor to handle your move, asking friends and family for recommendations can be a great place to start. You can also look at independent online reviews.
4. Consider other ways to sell
If you’re struggling to sell your current house, or have had a sale fall through, you could consider using a cash home buyer. They can help you sell your house quickly and will guarantee the sale, so you don’t have to worry about it falling through at the last minute.
If your current property is unusual, or has issues that may prevent someone getting a mortgage on it, property auctions can also be a great option.
5. Take it one step at a time, but remain focused on the end goal
When you’re in the middle of the moving process, and are perhaps facing delays or challenges, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by it all.
The easiest way to reduce the stress and anxiety of a house move is to take it one step and one day at a time. Concentrate on the bits you can do to progress the sale process; things like ensuring you return any paperwork or queries promptly and keeping in regular contact with your solicitor. Also ensure you try to keep a healthy perspective on the move by booking in plenty of occasions to enjoy hobbies and time with friends. It can be tempting to clear your diary as you anticipate an impending moving date, but this can heighten your stress. The legal process of buying or selling a house usually takes around three months, so it’s important that you have enjoyable things to look forward to that are not ‘move’ related.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember why you decided to move house. Perhaps you wanted more space, greater financial freedom, a fresh start or to be closer to loved ones. As with each stressful life event we have got through in the past, you will make it through – regardless of how challenging it feels at the time – and you’ll soon beenjoying life in your new home.