An easy breakdown of the home buying process
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An easy breakdown of the home buying process

The house buying process can be a complicated and hugely time consuming process. If you’re juggling it with your full time jobs and family commitments, it’s not hard to see why people begin to feel the stress. Whilst we can’t lighten the workload for you, we can give you a helping hand when it comes to understanding the whole process. If the strain of starting the home moving process is starting to feel like a burden, here is our simplification of the home buying process.

Get prepared

House buying is a big life decision, so it’s important that you don’t head into the process without doing a reasonable amount of research. Getting an understanding and background knowledge will be a big aid, and make the process of home buying much more straight forward. As with most things, having a greater understanding will allow you to make a more informed decision further down the line.

Find your mortgage

A crucial factor when buying a home is to ensure you get a mortgage that is well suited to your financial situation. Again, this will involve copious amounts of research and homework. If you’re unsure what types of mortgage are out there, it’s worth looking into, and getting the facts straight in your head before going out into the market.

Place your offer

Once you’ve got your mortgage lined up, viewed homes and are now ready to proceed, it’s time to put in an offer on what you want to be your new home. If you’re a first time buyer, you’ll have less constraints, as you won’t have an existing home up for sale slowing you down. Usually, you’ll put your offer in through your estate agent, as they will help your deal go through as smoothly as possible.

Source your solicitor

Now for the legal aspects, you’ll need to get yourself sorted with a solicitor, in order to handle the paperwork surrounding your impending move. It’s important that the finer details of your move are scrutinised ahead of signing your papers, so having a trusted solicitor on your side is an important addition.

Get it surveyed

Another crucial step is to ensure that you arrange for a survey of your new property to be carried out, to make sure that your new home has been thoroughly checked over and is valued at the price you’re paying. There are a number of different surveys and reports which can be carried out, from the cheaper condition report to the most comprehensive option of a structural survey.

Exchange contracts

Once your solicitor and surveyor are happy, it’s time to sign the contract and move ahead with the purchase. It’s at this point you’ll have to start the expenditure, as you’ll usually have to lay down 10% of the total price as a deposit. It’s important to know that once you put down the deposit, you’re committed to the sale, meaning that if circumstances change any you need to pull out of the deal, you’ll likely lose your deposit.

Finalise it

Upon completion, the property finally becomes yours. It’s time for you to get your keys and the deed to your first home. The completion of your purchase means you’ll now have bills to pay; the 90% of your home which you’re yet to pay for is transferred from your mortgage lender to your legal representative, and then on to the seller’s representative.

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Top tips to finding your perfect home
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Top tips to finding your perfect home

Buying your first home is a hectic, but exciting time in your life. On one hand, there is nothing like finally taking that prized ownership of your own personal space. On the other hand, it is stressful because in many respects, as buying a home can leave you in a financially tight situation, and provide you with a lot of work. While it isn’t uncommon for homebuyers to make  negotiation errors during the process of buying a home, these mistakes are easily avoidable. If you’re on the hunt for your dream first home, here are out top mistakes that you should avoid.

 

Get it checked

One of the biggest and most serious mistakes that homebuyers can make during the buying process is to opt out of getting a professional to provide a thorough property inspection. When purchasing a home, you’re likely to allocate funds towards remodelling rooms and new furniture. However, without a pre-purchase home inspection, you could find yourself unaware of any number of  structural issues  or deficiencies in the home. You can avoid this issue by hiring a professional to conduct a pre-purchasing home inspection.

 

Pricing

Another common mistake that homebuyers make, especially when purchasing without an estate agent, is that they will easily overpay for a home. While not doing a pre-purchasing home inspection leads to overpaying, so does not reviewing the pricing of homes in the area. Therefore, to make sure you aren’t being overcharged, do some research and review the prices of homes in the area. It will give you an idea of range you should be paying in and give you negotiating power when talking with the seller.

 

Don’t get carried away

Don’t fall into the trap of growing too fond of a property before having a full research and view of properties. Try to stay relatively neutral throughout viewings,  whilst you want to make it clear you have an interest in the home, showing over exuberant enthusiasm for a property during a viewing or the negotiation process can spell trouble. Usually, the seller will notice your feelings and gain the upper hand, which will result in you paying more.

 

Why is it for sale?

One trap that many homebuyers fall into is to not question why the seller has put their home in the market. While in some cases, the seller wants to move elsewhere, it can also be the case that there are other issues. Therefore, in order to protect your investment and add to your negotiating power it is a smart move to ask why the seller has their home on the market.

 

Keep Your Options Open

Sometimes, home sellers notice when a homebuyer is desperate to buy a house. This scenario immediately increases the seller’s power, and reduces your negotiating chances. Also, you do not want to put all your hopes into one home. Thus, when searching through homes, it is best to keep your options open. Look through a number or properties and make a list of your favourites. This will help you keep calm when facing negotiations with a homebuyer and increase the chance that you’ll get the property that you want for a fair price.

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Homes with gardens: Make the most of summer
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Homes with gardens: Make the most of summer

The summer is well and truly here, and the beautiful weather of the past few weeks has led to many of us flocking outside to bask in the sun and warmth. When the warm weather hits, the garden is the place to be, and to many, the outdoor spaces of a home can be just as important as the indoor, especially in the summer. If you’re looking to move into your first home, or even want to upgrade from your current house to something with a little more to offer, an impressive ‘garden room’ can add real value to a home in the eyes of a buyer. If you’re looking for the perfect next home, and enjoy long summer weekends enjoying the sun, cooking up a barbecue and entertaining guests in a generous outdoor area, here are our top three picks of Keepmoat homes with a garden to offer.

Cutlers View, Sheffield

Cutlers_View_4859The Cutlers View development has proved extremely popular with home buyers, with properties all sold well into 2015.  The show home gardens have prompted many conversations with interested parties due their great design, entering the space down steps and leading to an arch, creating the effect of a secret garden.  Due to the location of the development atop a range of hills, the view of the city and peak district beyond are simply stunning. These great outdoor features have resulted in many purchasers being willing to wait over a year for their dream location. Situated on a tram route, the properties enjoy easy access  into the city, with trams running every 9 minutes, giving great links from the railway station to all over the country. All in all a brilliant location for city living but with the added bonus of being in a very green location giving the added feeling of a countryside retreat to boot.

St James Gate, Birkenhead

New Garden Pic 800x400St James’s Gate is a fantastic development which is playing a major part in the regeneration of the Birkenhead area, with a range of three and four bedroom homes available from just £99,995 or only £79,995 with Help To Buy.

Situated just across the River Mersey from Liverpool city centre, the development sets a great impression to viewers with a stunning new show home now open to give househunters a look inside these beautiful offerings. Set in Birkenhead, the development is around four miles from Liverpool city centre, and is surrounded by beautiful parks and golf courses on the Wirral Peninsula. Generous gardens only add to the properties, and make each offering ideal throughout the summer, however you enjoy making the most of the sun.

Horizon, Newtown

DSCN0247Horizon is an extremely popular new development of stylish and affordable homes in the heart of Birmingham city centre. Now in its third phase of development, Horizon offers a range of two, three and four bedroom homes just a mile from the centre of the UK’s second largest city.

The contemporary homes are ideal for couples and families alike, and come complete with energy saving appliances and environmental design features including roof mounted solar heating panels, the latest condensing boilers, energy saving lighting, double glazing and insulated walls, cycle storage and rainwater harvesting.

Boasting impressive and generous gardens, the Horizon development is the perfect midlands home if you enjoy evenings entertaining in the garden, or lazy weekends soaking up the sun.

 

If you’re the proud owner of a Keepmoat property, and enjoy spending the summer out in your garden, drop some of your top summer garden tips in the comments section below. We love to hear how you spend your time, and you might just inspire some fellow readers.

 

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5 ways to sell your home quickly
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5 ways to sell your home quickly

Whether you’re selling a compact inner city apartment or a detached suburban home, you’re going to want to do it fast. While there is something to be said for real estate agents with glowing reputations and lighting fast turnover times, some of the most effective ways to slap a sold sign onto your home are up to you.

 

Let’s take a look at the top five ways that you can seal a deal, fast.

 

De-clutter and keep it neutral

It’s likely that you’ve built up a lot of household clutter and personal bits and pieces over the years. While you may consider this sentimental, you want to help potential buyers imagine themselves living in your home. This means it’s time to get rid of any personalised ornaments, photos, posters and other decorative trinkets.

 

If there are any large pieces of furniture you can live without, put them into storage as this will immediately make rooms seem bigger. Small areas such as the hallway are a great place to start while bathroom and bedroom surfaces should be cleared of all personal products. The kitchen should also be liberated of bulky appliances to make it seem as sleek and spacious as possible.

 

Consider a bathroom makeover

According to recent research from Remodelling Magazine, a bathroom renovation can add significant value to a house as well as slash the sale time. One of the best ways to give your bathroom a facelift is to upgrade the shower system. Electric showers are a fantastic choice as they are modern, practical and cost effective. For high quality at a great price, the Mira Advance ATL Flex is quite possibly the best electric shower by Mira.

 

A lick of fresh paint, replacement chrome fittings, new tiling or even re-grouting can also work wonders.

 

Analyse the market

If you want to be really smart about getting your home sold, take the time to analyse the local market and tailor your space accordingly. For example, if your area is popular with young couples, turn the second bedroom into a study. If families are more prevalent, advertise the spare room as a second bedroom or future nursery.

 

Enhance garden and curb appeal

If you’ve got a garden or even a communal outdoor courtyard or private balcony, spend a little time making it as appealing as possible. Things as simple as mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, planting a few flower beds or pot plants and sweeping up leaves can instantly transform the entire feel of the outdoor space. This will make your home far more appealing to potential buyers who will immediately view the outdoor area as extra living space. Sprucing up your home’s curb appeal will also pave the way for positive first impressions that can have a huge impact on the rest of the viewing.

 

Get the Word Out

Once you’ve prepared your home for viewing, it’s time to get the word out there! Your estate agent should have their own marketing techniques in place however you can help the process along by putting up flyers and posters as well as creating a buzz on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You never know who could be in the market for a new home!

 

If you’re looking to move out and are searching for the perfect next place to move your family, check out the range of homes on offer from Keepmoat. If you’re after something small, and perfect as a newcomer to the property ladder, their range of first time homes are perfect options for you to consider. If you’ve simply outgrown your current place, and want something bigger, then why not look into grabbing one of Keepmoat’s brand new homes.

 

Have you recently made the move into a new Keepmoat home? If you have, and needed to sell your old place before taking on the exciting new move, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a comment below and inform your fellow readers of any helpful hints and tips you learned along the way…

Photo Credit: liquidnight via Compfight cc

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Making the most of a holiday at home
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Making the most of a holiday at home

Being a new homeowner is expensive, and unfortunately that may mean cutting out the holiday that you desperately want. It might seem like a poor compromise, but in order to combat the home buying cost, you may need to have a holiday right in your own house… a staycation. Here are a few tips to help you get started for a week off work at home, or even a simple weekend of relaxation.

Frame of Mind

Be sure to act the same as you would on holiday; so stop watching the news and TV in general, stop going on the Internet to check up on Facebook, even stop using your phone. Being in the right frame of mind will help you relax and enjoy your time off more. Remember that this is a break from your hectic life and you don’t need to think about every day problems. Instead, read a book or invite people round for a social gathering. Do the things that you’re always too busy to do. Remove all clutter from the rooms, especially the bathroom. You don’t even have to sort it all out, just shove it in a drawer and forget about it for the weekend. Out of sight, out of mind definitely rings true here.

Staycation Setting

Make your home into your holiday paradise. If you love the beach then put out seashells, deck chairs and parasols. If you love the countryside then put out water fountains, decorative pine cones and scented plants such as lavender. Use new colour schemes to feel like you’re abroad or in a hotel. Candles are also a nice touch, especially outside. If you have a big enough garden, move some furniture around and bring the inside to the outside; put down a rug, bring out cushions and blankets, even bring tables outside if you’re struggling with garden furniture. A fire pit is perfect to sit around and feel like you’re on holiday so if you have one then light it up and relax in the heat.

Things To Do

Cutting out TV and Internet might leave you thinking that you’ll have nothing to do over your well deserved break, but that’s not true. Invite your friends round and spend the day having a barbecue outside with your newly moved garden furniture. If your fire pit is alight then roast some marshmallows and enjoy s’mores for dessert. Try eating food you wouldn’t normally try and if you have no interest in cooking, have it delivered so you don’t have to leave your holiday cocoon. Eat different food every day to maintain the foreign food experience. Another option is to have a spa day. Soak in a relaxing, scented bubble bath with candles and music.

 

It might not sound ideal, but having a mini-break at home is a great way to recharge your batteries and take a break from your everyday hectic life. If you’re interested in getting onto the property market, simple tricks like enjoying some time off at home instead of abroad can be a great intuitive money saver. For those looking to make that first move and become a first time home owner, check out the services of Keepmoat, over at their website.  
Photo Credit: StevenM_61 via Compfight cc

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Avoiding mistakes as a new home owner
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Avoiding mistakes as a new home owner

First-time homebuyers may not have the burden of a house to sell in difficult times, but they can still make a lot of mistakes during the buying process.

Leaving Financial Planning for Later

There are a lot of online calculators and tools to help you determine how much you can truly afford before you start the buying process. Here’s a great mortgage calculator by The Nest. However, when you start getting serious about buying a home, you need to know exactly how much you can put into a house and hopefully, get pre-approved for a mortgage.

DIY Home Buying

With all the classified listings out there, along with websites like Craigslist and apps like Zillow, you may start looking at homes ages before you ever contact an agent. But wait, do you even need an agent? Can’t you just figure this out on your own? Well, maybe, but buying a home is an incredibly complicated process, and it helps to have a real estate agent to coach you through the ins and outs of financing, scheduling inspections and making an offer.

Falling in Love Too Soon

Many first-time buyers become enamored with one particular property and suddenly it seems like they’ve just got to have it. But, this is a bad idea where home buying is concerned. Not only can falling in love with a home make a difference with the real estate agent — they’ll make you pay for it — but you can be setting yourself up for heartbreak if it isn’t in your budget or another buyer makes a better offer.

Renovating Too Soon

Even if you don’t let yourself fall in love before you can afford it, you may come into the home with a very specific work-in-progress vision for your home. Maybe you want to remodel the kitchen right away to make it the airy, open-plan cooking space you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe you want to add a conservatory or tack on an orangery.

The increase in value to the home will practically make these renovations pay for themselves, right? Well, it may not have the effect you were hoping for. In this unpredictable market, you never know if making upgrades will reap the rewards you’ve been hoping for or be a thousand pound mistake in the making.

Forgetting That There’s More Than the Mortgage Payment

First-time homebuyers may know what they’re getting into as far as the monthly mortgage payment is concerned, but there is so much more to homeownership than your mortgage. Suddenly, you’ve got additional taxes, home insurance, higher utility bills and maintenance to contend with. These things can overwhelm those used to renting.

Be sure to estimate the cost of living, as well as the mortgage payment before you close on the deal. There are a lot of ins and outs to buying your first house and you’ll always run into things you didn’t expect or plan for. Fortunately, if you avoid making these five common mistakes, you are well on your way to finding the home of your dreams at a price you can afford.

Photo Credit: MarkMoz12 via Compfight cc

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