I’ve wanted a place of my own for a while. I currently rent a room in a house share in Stratford with five others and I’m craving my own space that I can fill with quirky vintage items and where I can relax with my feet up after a long day at the office. My sister, who currently rents with a friend in Mile End, is in the same boat and so, armed with my insider knowledge of the sales market and an early advance on our inheritance from our parents, we have decided to buy a home together! To the surprise of many, we get on like a house on fire despite an age gap of 6 years. She knows to keep her distance from me in the mornings, while I know not to chew gum or whistle around her. It makes sense to us to buy together because with rents in London being at their current highs, we would prefer to pay off our own mortgage rather than someone else’s and at least have something to show for our money at the end of the month.
We started off with a little shopping around to see what was on offer in terms of mortgage deals and property values – with a budget of £345,000 we’re realistic about what we can afford and have decided that our priorities are two bedrooms of a similar size, walking distance to a station with easy access to Central London and the West End and nothing in an ex council block. After a few trips to local estate agents and a mammoth meeting with our mortgage broker, we had a much better understanding of what we could afford and could finally get properly stuck in.
Finding the property
It was interesting to experience first-hand a process that I usually see unfolding from behind the scenes. Even though I have a good understanding of the sales market, it’s still been an eye opener and we’ve been lucky to have people within KFH to call on for advice – especially when confronted with some issues on the first property we wanted to buy. After spending many long evenings scouring websites, speaking to every estate agent that would listen and following countless trips to previously uncharted territories, we came across a beautiful two bedroom property in Seven Sisters. It was love at first sight! We placed our offer at the first opportunity and were ecstatic when we were told it had been accepted and that the flat would be taken off the market for us.
Solicitors were instructed, wallpaper was being chosen and IKEA catalogues scrutinized. We paid for our searches and the solicitors started delving into the paperwork. Sadly, the online order for our new ‘Home Sweet Home’ doormat was soon put on hold when discrepancies regarding the planning permission secured on the flat came to light. Weeks passed and after many telephone conversations between myself, the solicitors and the estate agent trying to rectify the situation, going on advice from our solicitor we finally decided to pull the plug on the operation. On a scale from one to ‘devastated’ we were gutted, to say the least.
The things that saved us money
A saving grace for us was the ‘no move no fee’ guarantee with Londonwide Conveyancing which meant that we could pull out of the purchase without having to pay for solicitor’s fees. The search fee guarantee also ensures that the searches will be free for the next property we buy. Luckily we hadn’t yet paid for the mortgage valuation as these issues arose fairly early on in the process.
A few weeks down the line we are more determined than ever to find our home. The search continues.