Planning your move

The information in this guide was last updated on 26/02/2014

Before you put your home on the market or start looking for somewhere to buy, there are a few things you need to consider. 

Buying and selling property

If you’re buying or selling your home, you need to decide what order you want to do things in. There are three main options:

1. Buying and selling at the same time: this is the ideal situation, and if you can achieve it, you won’t have to take out a bridging loan to cover the cost of buying a new property before you’ve sold your old one. You also won’t have to keep all your possessions in storage. However, buying and selling simultaneously isn’t always easy to do.

2. Selling first: this puts you in a stronger position because you’ll be chain-free; you won’t have a property you have to sell when you look to buy a property. This means you can move faster when you find somewhere you want. However, there are disadvantages. You’ll need to first move into a rented place (or stay with friends or relatives while you look for a place to buy), then move again when you buy your new home.

Another potential issue is that prices may go up while you’re still looking leaving you less choice. You could make an agreement with the buyer to take your home off the market until you find somewhere appropriate to buy, but this would involve careful negotiation.

3. Buying first: if you do this, you’ll probably need a bridging loan to cover the price of your new home, plus you’ll have the expenses of having two homes at once. You also may be more vulnerable to buyers trying to drive down the price.

Buying for the first time?

How much can you afford?

Whether you want to upsize or downsize, take a good look at how the cost of any new mortgage will fit into your finances. You’ll also need to factor in things like ground rent and service charges if they apply to the type of property you’re thinking of buying. Consider as far as possible what the real cost of moving will be – see our cost of moving calculator.

Work out not only what you think your new mortgage payments would be, but also the overall cost of your mortgage over time. This can include taking into account the impact of any potential interest rises in the future.

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