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Buying a House: When to Make Your Move

The question of when to buy a house is very common among prospective buyers who are itching to move up the property ladder. However, predicting prices and trends in the UK is no easy task as the property market keeps on producing mixed signals. What is certain is that people will still move, rent, sell and purchase homes and other properties.

Property in the uk imageHaving said that, historical records reveal that there are some months in the year when buying activity is reduced. During these quiet times, only a few buyers are usually available, signifying reduced competition and more bargaining power on the side of house-hunters. If you get sellers who are keen on making a quick sale, you might even get a much better deal for yourself. Traditionally, these months have always been December and January, and the slow activity can be attributed to many people focusing on the Christmas festivities and the cold weather being unfavourable for house-hunting. For many home buyers, these are usually the best times to make a purchase. If these trends stay true, January 2015 may be a suitable time to dive in. Good weather usually brings along many frenzied buyers, and the increase in demand may result in property prices shooting up.

Expected Dip

Experts are predicting that a combination of new mortgage regulations and the possibility of interest rates rising could lower property prices for the first time since 2010-2011. Prices in the UK housing market have continued to rise over the years, defying gloomy trends in most leading global economies. This may change slightly in 2015, and the coming election may inject even more uncertainty into the market. House hunters may therefore choose to wait until the prices begin to fall so as to make a move. In fact, studies are showing that the average asking price for houses on sale has dropped in England and Wales by about 3.3%. This is may sound like a good incentive for house hunters to bid their time, but the housing market is very complex and this could easily backfire. The Centre for Economics and Bureau Research expects the growth of house prices to fall marginally by about 0.8% in 2015. This still means that house prices in the UK will rise by 5% in 2015, although this figure is smaller compared to 7.8% last year.

The forecasts, and the unpredictability of the market, show that delaying the decision of when to buy a house may not always be a good idea. Experts therefore advise that if you spot a great property that you can afford now, there is no point in waiting for house prices to fall, because it may not happen.

On the other hand, it is always prudent to evaluate your finances in order to make the right decision. Impulse-buying of mediocre property may come to haunt the buyer in the event of market prices falling and offloading the house turns into a nightmare. There are many bad properties on sale hence it is better to be sure before you commit yourself. The demand is still high, and prices will continue to rise in many parts of the country. London, in particular, is projected to experience a rise of 24% in the next five years. This is phenomenal, and it may suggest that waiting, expecting the market prices to dip, may not be the best idea.

Buying a Home

Buying a Home

The process of buying a home can be relatively simple with the right knowledge. This is a big commitment that will affect all aspects of your life especially in terms of finances. The duration of time required to complete such a transaction varies depending on how quickly each stage is completed. When working towards finally becoming a homeowner, there will be costs in form of fees and other charges. Time and effort will also be spent in finding the best mortgage, the ideal property and closing the deal. Professional assistance from legal professional and real estate dealers will also be required to avoid future complications. If you are ready to buy a home, there are stages that you should follow to make the process easier.

Know the Costs

Before you start house hunting, it is imperative that you know exactly what you can afford. Those who choose to first find a house before identifying the financial implications are likely to realize that they cannot afford it. Determine the amount of money that you can spend from your savings for deposit and what you can pay for a mortgage on a monthly basis. Calculating affordability will provide an estimate of what can be borrowed from a lender and paid back without too much strain. Other costs and charges should also be included such as mortgage fees and other expenses. Make certain that the budget is not stretched out too thin because this can have adverse effects on your financial stability. Start shopping for your mortgage as soon as you can since it is a time-consuming process. You can calculate the effect of every mortgage plan on your budget. Ensure that you have an accurate credit report before submitting any application so that you will know what the lenders will be evaluating.

The Perfect Property

Once you know exactly what the lender is willing to give you, you can start looking for a suitable house. You can act independently or engage a real estate agent for assistance. There are common factors that people consider when buying a home including the neighbourhood, the transport networks and access to facilities. Security and preference also play a key role in the final decision. Take time to explore your options and evaluate all the features objectively to avoid regretting a poor choice. When you find the perfect property, an estate agent will facilitate in making a formal offer and you may negotiate depending on the circumstances. If the buyer and the seller come to an agreement, the sale can move forward.

Survey and Legal Work

Surveying the house is necessary to determine if there are any problems and the outcome may affect the property cost. The valuation survey is carried out by the lender to ascertain it is worth the price and you can engage a property surveyor to identify hidden problems that could be costly. A solicitor is required to handle legal matters with regard to the home. There may be follow-up negotiations before the offer and the mortgage are finalized.

In an idyllic situation, buying a home would be completed within a short period. However, there are common issues arising such as withdrawal of property from the market, a better offer or even rejection of the mortgage application. Consult with a competent adviser if you find obstacles that could lead to failure.