Taking the stress out of moving home

It seems to be a truth universally acknowledged that moving house is one of the most stressful things anyone can do.

However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. At Chinneck Shaw, our friendly and team aim to make the process of buying or selling as smooth as possible – and even pleasurable, if possible.

Planning ahead and being prepared can go a long way towards a trouble-free transaction. A recent article in the Guardian covered some of the key points involved in the process.

It sounds simple, but completed in the right order the following steps can make a real difference:

1) Find out how much you can borrow. Your mortgage advisor will be able to help but don’t forget you’ll have extra costs to cover, including fees.

2) Sit down and think carefully about what you want from a home. Near a good school? A garden? Three bedrooms? How long are you intending to stay there? This will help narrow down your search, save valuable time and make finding your new home so much easier.

3) Research the market. By all means look online but don’t forget local agents like Chinneck Shaw have unrivalled local knowledge and many years of experience in the local property market. Make sure you register your details so you are among the first to receive details about properties coming to the market.

4) Hit the road. Go and view properties. Your dream home is unlikely to be the first you look at but it has happened!

5) Make an offer. If you’ve found a property, make your offer. Make sure you gain as much information as possible about the property. Chinneck Shaw, like most estate agents, will be happy to give you as much detail about the property as possible. Think about your strategy – whether that’s to bid below the asking price or offer the full asking price if you think it is realistic or face stiff competition.

6) Acceptance. If your offer is accepted, ask the estate agent to take the property off the market and find a solicitor or conveyancer.  The Portsmouth Property Association (PPA) is always a good place to start.

7) Getting the money. Contact your mortgage lender or broker to tell them the good news and ask them to start the ball rolling.

8) Paperwork. This will include a questionnaire about fixtures and fittings as well as the contract. This can often be time consuming, but finish it as soon as possible to avoid and prospect of delays.

9) The all-important survey.  Your mortgage lender will need a survey to show that the property is worth the asking price. However, in the majority of cases, it is advised to arrange your own survey too. The depth of survey, through to a full structural investigation, will often depend on the condition and age of the property.  Again, the PPA is a good place to start to find a RICS qualified surveyor with excellent local knowledge and experience.

10) Read the survey report. You may need go get quotes for any work which needs doing or negotiate a discount from the asking price if there are areas of concern. In any event try to move relatively quickly to avoid any delays.

11) Nearly there. If all goes smoothly, the next step is to sign a contract legally committing you to the purchase. The deposit usually needs to be paid at this stage.  At this stage you will usually agree a date to complete the sale too.

12) The big day - completion!  This is when the property finally becomes yours. Most people will move in the same day unless they are having work carried out. At Chinneck Shaw, this is the best part of our job; seeing people’s faces when we hand over the keys to their new home.

Finally, don’t forget you’ll need to book a removals van and get insurance arranged prior to moving in.

Please don’t hesitate to ask any of our friendly and expert team for more details. You can also read the article online at https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/nov/24/factsheet-buying-home-property