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When to start looking for 1st house?

(10 Posts)
DinoMania Thu 09-Nov-17 08:17:44


Would love some advice on when to start looking for first house!

We are currently renting but would like to buy before our lease is up start November 2018. Ideally we'd like a month where we own the new house and are still renting to make moving easier and less of a rush (As if everything goes right we should be having DC2 around about then too).

So when should we start looking if we want to exchange keys in October? We already have our deposit and fees saved.

Tia xx

zoemelb Thu 09-Nov-17 08:24:02

I am about to (or hoping to) exchange end of this month, and we talked to mortgage lender and broker from April, actively looking from June, found place in August, offer accepted in September (free chain for both our vendor and us). If there is a chain from your vendor, then it will take longer.

JoJoSM2 Thu 09-Nov-17 13:57:28

Unfortunately, it can be very unpredictable. It could be 2 or 6 months from offer being accepted to you getting the keys. Have a look at terminating your current contract early. I wouldn’t leave it till late as you might find yourself homeless.

DinoMania Thu 09-Nov-17 17:14:02

Luckily we wouldn't be found homeless as we can move into one of 3 sets of parents if we really had to.

Thank you for the replies. Might start the hunt in Febrauary/March Then!

hlr1987 Thu 09-Nov-17 18:04:24

We had 3 months of looking for the right house and then 4 months of waiting for solicitors. With a week of negotiations in the middle. As long as you're clear when you like to complete and don't tell sellers that your happy to move in 2 months, most will be happy to have the extra time. All sorts of delays can happen and it's so much easier to get the solicitors to take longer than speed them up. Looking earlier gives you an idea of what's around and what your money will get you.

SunnyUpNorth Thu 09-Nov-17 18:50:35

I have bought quite a few houses, almost always with no chain involved, quite straight forward purchase, a couple of times no mortgage and without fail they've always taken around 3 months to complete.

There is always some little niggle or a building document that's gone astray, or an unresponsive conveyancer etc. So i would say you would want your offer in July/early Aug with a view to completing end of October. Or end of June/early July if you'd rather complete end of September and allow a bit of leeway.

So maybe start keeping an eye on your search area from the new year to get a feel for prices and depending on how picky you are start viewing maybe march, April?

If you start looking too early you might fall for something at the wrong time! So be prepared for that. Some people seem to look for months, also depends if it is a high paced area like London, you might keep getting out bid. We were relocating to our current home. Came here for a weekend, viewed 11 houses, 3 second viewings on the Sunday and bought one. So it's risky take me long!!

wobblywonderwoman Thu 09-Nov-17 18:58:11

Property searches are usually good early spring so I would say March / April

SadClown Fri 10-Nov-17 11:22:57

When we moved from rented to our first house we contacted our estate agent before looking to see if we could break the lease early, so long as they were able to rent it out again they agreed. If rentals in your area go quickly it might be worth contacting the letting agent and see if they'd agree to similar, that way you won't be missing out in any houses coming up.

KitKat1985 Fri 10-Nov-17 12:49:14

It really is a bit 'how long is a piece if string' and depends how long the chain involved is and how many complications arise. But very roughly my EA says on average conveyancing takes 12-16 weeks once chain has all set up, so that would mean you would need to be starting conveyancing around June / July -ish, so I'd probably start looking in about April / May.

DinoMania Fri 10-Nov-17 21:36:57

Thank you so much for your replies!
We are looking in Essex so yeah property is in very high demand here and gets snapped up so fast. We are renting privately without going through an estate agents, I reckon our landlady would be lenient on when we left as they'd get new tenants so easily.

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