“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.“
These words sum up fairly succinctly my experience of buying property.
First stage is finding a house you like. It involves getting yourself motivated to trawl through property websites and then make contact with sellers to arrange viewings. Photos rarely do anything justice, but estate agents have a way of taking photographs which don’t do the awfulness of a property justice. You’d expect a jar full of cigarette butts from the door to be disposed of before someone comes to view – that isn’t the case.
Second stage: When you get through all the checkboxes, finding somewhere you like, in a area you don’t expect to get killed to death. You can then move onto making an offer. This bit involves a fair bit of mind reading on all parts to come to an agreed price. Best bet is to find someone who knows what they’re doing (Dad) and let them take the lead.
Third stage: Pay for it. This is where we descend into the real depths and encounter Mortgage lenders. They are an odd bunch. I’d recommend finding a good independent mortgage advisor who can take care of things. You give them a pile of documents to confirm your identity, that you have some sort of deposit, that you have a job that isn’t going to give you the sack.
Fourth stage: If you thought the Mortgage lenders were bad, now the lawyers get involved. Get a good one you trust, and hope that the sellers too have got someone who knows what they are doing. Also, it should be noted that when buying an apartment things can get incredibly complicated between land fees, owner ship of management companies and shared amenities.
Fifth stage: everyone confirms they are happy. documents are signed, and you can sigh with relief.
Four months later you might be moved in and set-up. Chances are something will have gone wrong during the process and you’ll be back to stage one.