They say that buying your first home is one of the most stressful and frustrating things you’ll ever do. You know what? They don’t know the half of it!
We’re going through the absolute mess of trying to buy our first house, and it has been an absolute nightmare. We started looking for a house back in September, but we are still not ready to complete yet. So, I thought it would be useful to explain this little “adventure” of ours so far, so that if any of you are going to buy a house soon, you’ll actually know what to expect…
Getting Things Started
The first thing that we needed to do was get a Decision in Principle from the bank. In short, this is a guide document of how much the bank is willing to let you borrow as a mortgage. We were lucky that the bank offered us a 95% mortgage, so we only needed a 5% deposit. I say lucky because it took us 4 years (with help from my wife’s parents) to get just that much. Saving for a deposit is a nightmare in and of itself (and you can see how we did it here).
Once we’d got that, we started looking around various houses in Nottingham, as we’d both fallen in love with the city and the surrounding area. Eventually, we found a house that we loved as well. My wife wanted it before we even went inside!
So, just after looking at it, we put in our offer. That was during the last week of September. Looking back at it now, we should have known what it was going to be like when it took 2 and a half weeks for the seller to accept or decline our offer. He accepted.
So, two weeks in October, we started getting our solicitor on the case…
The First Steps
The next stage of the process was for the bank to sort out their valuation of the house, and for our solicitors to do their identity checks on us. The bank was done lightning fast, but it took just over another week for the solicitors to finish their identity checks. So, it was the last week of October before any of the legal aspects of the purchase even began!
From there, the searches on the house were started. These involve finding out all the environmental details of the area around the house, the history of the house and more.
It took 6 weeks of waiting and chasing before eventually the searches were sent over to us. However, it seems as though they actually came back to the solicitors a few days before, but they hadn’t checked… If it weren’t for us chasing constantly, it might have taken even longer…
By now, we were half way through December, getting ever closer to the Christmas holidays, with just one week left before the solicitors closed for the holiday.
The Point Where Everything Went Crazy
This started to become really stressful during the last working week of December. We were waiting for a variety of documents from the seller’s solicitors, and our solicitor was chasing them constantly. We were also calling up the estate agents to get them chase the seller’s solicitors as well, because you’re not allowed to speak director to the other party’s solicitor.
However, by the time the Christmas holiday started, we were still waiting.
Throughout the holiday, we were constantly stressed, worried about why the documents were not sent and what would happen. This is especially true as we have a rental contract running out, so timing is very, very important. Then, Christmas and New Years Day passed and I went back to work. I got a phone call from the estate agent which made my heart sink…
The seller had pulled out.
All of a sudden we were now into the first week of January, just 11 days before the planned completion date, and the seller had pulled out! Our rental contract was coming up for renewal or giving one month’s notice that we’ll leave… And we had no house to buy anymore! We started looking around again, trying to find a house that we could purchase quickly. We also had to get another Decision in Principle. I got that sorted out the next morning at 8am.
Then, just an hour later, the estate agent called. The sale was back on again.
A Roller Coaster of Emotion That Never Ends
I’m sure you can imagine what we went through during the time between the seller pulling out and then deciding to continue. Mentally and emotionally, we were both all over the place. But either way, the sale was back on and we decided to continue.
After all, by this point only three documents were outstanding and the seller had said he wants to complete on the planned day.
So, a week goes by, and now we’re just 3 days away from the planned completion date. I bet you’re thinking all of the documents are done and we’re ready, right? I wish! We’re still waiting for one of the documents, the completion date has been pushed back, and we’re just hoping we get the contracts sorted in the next couple of days. At that point, we’ll be able give our notice to the rental agency.
But still, when the seller’s solicitor has the document, but fails to send it all day, it does worry us.
And That’s All Folks
When you here someone say that buying a house is one of the most stressful things ever, know that it is an understatement. We’ve been pulled all over the place, our emotions completely wrecked. Arguments and frustration have become the norm, simply because we are so stressed out all the time.
I’ve been calling the estate agent and my solicitor 4 or 5 times every day, just trying to get things done or find out what is happening..
Buying a house is a nightmare… It really is. I just hope we get that last document tomorrow, and can get the sale done. If we do get that house, it’ll be worth it in the end. But we have both lost almost all hope…
Have you bought a house? How was it for you? Let me know in the comments below.