Getting on the property ladder has always been a bit scary. We asked first-time buyers what they wish they’d known and heard of mistakes, late revelations and last-minute hitches that cost them a dream home.
No wonder previous Which? research has suggested that moving house is more stressful than having a child. To help make it a bit easier, we recently conducted a straw poll of the Which? office to find tips for beating home-moving stress.
This further highlighted the breadth of things that you need to consider.
What advice would you give people who are moving home?
One common piece of advice was to never view a property alone. Richard said:
‘I found it hugely beneficial to meet my surveyor at the property when he had finished there. He was able to show me around the property and point our things to look out for. Actually speaking with him there and being able to ask questions was useful.’
The difference between freehold and leasehold properties was another common theme. Lucinda told us:
‘I’d like more advice around owning a flat with a freehold. My solicitor said he couldn’t tell me whether to buy a badly run property or not! My building has been neglected by the freeholders for years and I’ve fallen in to the role of director of the freehold.’
Our energy expert Sylvia added:
‘On the day of the move, take electricity and gas meter readings at both your old and your new property and provide those to your energy supplier(s). This way you will avoid estimated bills and help speed up the transfer process.’
Meanwhile our recent interview with first-time buyer Chris revealed some of the worries of waiting for an offer to be accepted.
How do you avoid home-moving stress?
There’s no getting around it. Moving home is a long, complicated process. Hearing other people’s experiences has certainly helped me to feel more prepared though. And I’ll certainly have a printed copy of the Which? step-by-step guide to moving house clutched tight when it’s time to make that giant leap onto the property ladder.
What’s your best tip to beat home-moving stress? Do you have any tips, tricks or information that could smoothen out the home-moving process?