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Ready to Buy in the New Year?

Selling and buying houses can be stressful, but here are some great ways to start the New Year.

 
Research suggests the property market naturally tails off before Christmas as people concentrate on the festive season. Once the bells chime in the New Year there seems to be a shift of energy as people focus on what they want, and New Year’s resolutions are made. January is an excellent time to start preparing to buy a house and it fits with the idea of new beginnings and moving forward in life. So where should you start when it comes to buying a property?
 
 
1) Mortgage Agreement 
 
If you are serious about moving, you need to have a mortgage in principle agreed with a lender. There are several ways to approach lenders, but perhaps the most stress-free is to work with an independent financial advisor. You usually pay them a fee of £200-£400 for their efforts on your behalf, but this is only due once you take a mortgage, sign on the dotted line and have your dream home waiting. It is excellent value for money as they have experience on their side and can approach multiple lenders at the same time rather than you trawling the high street bank after bank. They also have access to preferential rates that you will not get as an individual. More than this, they also handle all the paperwork and are your advocate when dealing with the life history you have to provide. They will guide you through the process. 

 
2) Have Your Deposit 
 
A standard minimum deposit in the UK tends to be 5%, so this means if you are looking at a house with a value of £150,000 you are going to need to have saved £7,500 leaving you with a mortgage of £142,500 - but you can put down more if you like, which tends to be what people do. For people moving on with a property to sell, the majority of the equity left from the sale (after solicitors, estate agents and other fees are paid) will become the deposit; for first-time buyers, it comes down to how much you can save. 

 
3) Ready to Sell
 
If you are already on the property ladder, you also need to think about selling your property. In order to secure a new home, by making an offer and having it accepted, you need to have a viable buyer with an accepted offer on your home. If you have your house on the market but have no offer, then you can register your interest in a new property but cannot secure it. This can be frustrating, so it helps to get a prospective buyer for your home as quickly as you can. Now obviously this forms a chain, and there is no security at this stage. It can sadly fall apart and have nothing to do with you, but instead break from a different part of the chain, which is why many buyers look for short chains. Examples of short chains are: empty homes, sellers who have already moved on, or a brand new home.