When we embarked on the adventure, first thing we realised was that we didn’t actually have a clue what we were doing, falling for the tricks of the trade at almost every step of the journey. We relied on online material and a few books explaining WHY you should buy, but not really HOW. Both of us tumbled through the process from step to step, without being properly prepared for what was supposed to happen next and what was realistic. Sadly we had to let one house go after its survey revealed lots of issues that we could have spotted, then spent more than half a year trying to find another one and finally wound up in a chain that caused an additional 6-month delay.
Thankfully, we are both scientists. In our best bid to get on top of everything, we started to do uncountable hours of research, calculations, reading up and talking to relevant people – agents, surveyors, mortgage brokers, other First Time Buyers. While we were suffering through the conveyancing process, I finally realised that I increasingly needed a therapeutic outlet. This is how this book was born: a catharsis, a plea that no matter what, something good must come out of this!! I thought – if nothing else, let’s pass on everything that we have learned to make this a little easier for someone else. Because no-one deserves the unnecessary chaos, stress and financial losses that come with buying your own home.
This book is our compiled wisdom to make the home buying process more transparent. We hope it will help you plan, make informed choices, be better in control of the process and, most importantly, know what is coming and what to expect. The purpose of this book is for you to be prepared and less at the mercy of ‘the system’
Why is Sandra writing a book? Ever since she was a child, Sandra has loved writing. This resulted in surprising family and teachers with 10-page long holiday letters and being a founding member of and contributor to various student magazines. When finishing school, she initially had her mind set on becoming a journalist, combining her love for photography, film, research and writing. However, that vision quickly collided with reality when work experience highlighted just how much journalistic pieces reflect the story a producer dreamed up rather than a true representation of reality.
Not being keen on contributing to the journalistic creation of such a cartoon reality, she decided to make use of her technical skills instead and become a scientist. The idea was that if one can do the research themselves, one can both create change and write about it. This endeavour led to the successful completion of many projects and the publication of many scientific journal papers. And when the attempt to buy a house drove her round the bend, writing this book was the perfect way to stay sane and focused while applying her research skills and writing the results up. Almost just like other science projects.
Chapter 1. WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER RIGHT NOW
Chapter 2. CONSTRAINTS
Chapter 3. BASIC INGREDIENTS
Chapter 4. FINDING A HOME
Chapter 5. GETTING STUFF READY FOR AN OFFER
Chapter 6. VIEWING AND OFFERING
Chapter 7. OFFER ACCEPTED: PREPARING THE NEXT STEPS
Chapter 8. CONVEYANCING FROM START TO FINISH
Chapter 9. MOVING IN – THE FIRST STEPS
Chapter 10. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. STORIES FROM OTHERS
Appendix 1. GLOSSARY
Appendix 2. YOUR OWN CALCULATIONS AND WISHLISTS
Appendix 3. CONVEYANCING LOG-BOOK