Having recently bought my first house, I have been thinking about the whole experience and the things I wish I had known a bit more about before going through the home-ownership process.
There Are Lots of Extra Costs
Aside from the main cost of the house deposit itself, there are so many extra costs associated with buying a home, which I wasn’t completely aware of before embarking on this house-buying adventure. When you buy a house, there will be a lot of fees associated, primarily in the form of solicitor’s fees, but there are also searches, surveyors, and mortgage costs to factor in.
Before you agree to buy a house, you should get a full survey done on the property to highlight any key areas of concern, like if it is days away from falling down! For us, this cost £590. Our solicitor’s fees, including costs for searches came to £1,600. It had been less, but we had to end up paying more because we needed to reschedule our completion date twice due to Coronavirus lockdown. Finally, while you can get mortgages with no upfront costs, the one we chose required us to pay £1000 straight up.
This means, we had to pay £3200 upfront, on top of our house deposit. This is a pretty significant amount, and had I known it would be quite this much, I would probably have held off buying our first home for a few more months to help get a bit of extra cash for it.
The Survey Will Be Terrifying
When you get a full homeowners survey done, the results will likely be terrifying, especially if you’re buying an older property. The survey is basically like a worst-case scenario document of doom that highlights every single problem the house has or could potentially have or develop.
When you actually read between the lines, you’ll realise that it probably isn’t all that bad, and that most things probably won’t be that big an issue at all, but at first glance it is so scary. The day we got our survey back I cried, and we seriously debated pulling out of the sale for weeks. We tried to get a few of the issues fixed, but the owners seemed reluctant.
By the sound of the report, the house was filled with asbestos, the wood was rotting, and the roof was about to cave in. We got a few things clarified, and the owners got some of the roof redone. Ultimately, we had our heart set on the property, and realised that we would just have to deal with any issues that happen when they arise.
There Is So Much Paperwork
You’re going to need a few evenings free if you want to buy a house! There is so much paperwork involved; not just things to sign, but also so many documents from the solicitors searches on things like how the house connects to the sewer system and what you’re allowed to do with the outdoor space based on the deeds.
We had hundreds of pages to read through, and it got a bit overwhelming at times, as it becomes difficult to tell what is important and what is not.
One of our biggest challenges was that we needed a lot of our signatures on documents to be witnessed by independent witnesses (meaning people not related to us). This was particularly difficult during lockdown, when we weren’t meant to see other people.
Bills Are More Than Expected
When you go from a little one-bed flat to a three-bedroom house, your utilities are naturally going to get a bit pricier. On top of that, we also have council tax and insurance to pay, which have all ended up being a bit more expensive than we expected. We’ve been making some changes to the house though, such as making all the lightbulbs more energy efficient, and getting the most energy efficient appliances and white goods, so hopefully, we should see these bills drop a little!
Everyone Will Offer You Furniture
While I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, one of the most annoying parts of buying a house was how EVERYONE tried to kindly offer us their old furniture to put in our new home.
I’m not against second-hand furniture, but I had always intended to make the house nice from the start, rather than upgrade furniture over the years. This is because the house has steep steps at the front and is a bit awkward to get into, so I didn’t really want the faff of struggling to move furniture in and out as I replace it.
The other thing is that a lot of stuff we were being offered was not in the best condition, and not to my taste or style. Although I would have loved any old sofa, bed or bookshelf when I was a student, I’d recently inherited some money and wanted to put it towards getting nicer things.
Moving In Takes Forever
I had two weeks to move out of our old place and move into our new home, and I thought that that would be plenty of time to get all of our stuff sorted and the house to be completely ready. But it seems like once you’ve moved in, motivation dies, you find a tonne of other jobs that all need doing urgently and other jobs like laundry and dishes take priority.
We’re still living surrounded by a mountain of boxes that we need to climb over every time we try to go from one side of the room to the other – it’s a chaotic mess. I’m hoping I can do a little bit each day and not let it overwhelm me, as I just don’t know where to start at the moment. But at the moment, it kind of feels a bit like this will drag on forever!
Internet Providers are Useless!
One of the most annoying things about our move has been getting the internet connected. I don’t know why it’s always such a drama, but it has been a nightmare with every house move I’ve ever had.
I’ve been working from home recently, on top of being a blogger, so having internet is a pretty important thing in my life. Unfortunately, the internet move got messed up big time, and our old house was disconnected two weeks before we were due to be connected at the new property. On top of this, someone forgot to actually set the internet to go live, so we ended up having to wait a further ten working days for our Wi-Fi.
Having my own house is a lovely experience, and I’m looking forward to making it a home! Hopefully this has provided some insights into the home buying experience, but if you have any questions, do leave me a comment below!