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When is the 'right' time to buy a new home?

Deciding to buy a new home is exciting and filled with possibilities. But on average, we take up to a year to put it into motion. Why is that? Why is it such a big decision that we take so long to research and plan? And how can we know it is the right time to move?
When is the 'right' time to buy a new home?
Coming to the decision to move might not be a huge challenge to you, but taking the leap to make your move a reality takes much more thought. It is estimated that the average homeowner will take up to a year from deciding to move to putting their property on the market.

Of course, suppose you are buying a property without selling anything else. In that case, the process may be much more straightforward for you. Still, for most homeowners, there is a need to sell a home at the same time as buying a new one. Is this the reason that we take a long time to actually move?

The stresses involved in selling and buying property simultaneously might be enough to put you off, but in reality, the reasons that you thought to move in the first place will likely still be there; it is more a case of preparing yourself, steeling yourself to make a move.

The reasons you thought about moving in the first place are still there. If you need more space, your current property won't have got bigger, or you need a new location, your current property won't have moved. And really, there is no need to procrastinate and deliberate before getting started. The idea of the stresses you will encounter is often worse than the reality of the moving process.

Timing is an often used procrastination point, where a homeowner or property purchaser will delay the process, citing that the timing could be better to buy now. There is never a perfect time, so there is never really a wrong time to buy a property.

Unless you plan to build an empire of properties for investment where the yield and return are at the forefront of the purchase, a property you intend to live in will be a significant financial investment, even if the market changes after moving in.

There is no crystal ball, no guarantee that the market conditions will be favourable and no issue really if the market changes. If you consider that you could have been paying rent to live in a property, any money you pay off your mortgage whilst living there is a bonus, and an even bigger bonus if the value of the property increases whilst you are living there, giving you additional equity.

The right time is the right time for you and your family when you need to move into a new property, whether for a new location, more space, or less space and reduced monthly costs. The timing is personal to you, not dictated by the market, the season or the new properties available for sale.

The best way to work out the right timing for you is to begin with the end - when you want to be moved into the new place - and work backwards from there. On average, the legal process of a sale takes 16 weeks in the UK, so that is 4 months from having an offer accepted to getting the keys.

Say, for example, that you want to move in before the end of 2024; you must have found the property you wish to buy and have your offer accepted by the end of the Summer. This would mean that your property search and financial conversations need to be done within the next 3-6 months.

If you require any borrowing, arranging your finances can be a lengthy process involving meetings and calls with a financial advisor. How flexible is your diary at the moment - could you schedule a one or two-hour meeting?

What about viewing appointments? Do you have the time to view all of the properties on the market in one go, or will you need to spread this out to keep up with your other commitments?

What are your next steps if you have decided that the right time is now?
  • Register your details with By Design, detailing precisely what your property needs are so that you can be informed of the suitable properties listed on the market as soon as they are listed.
  • Arrange for your property to be valued if you have a home to sell. By Design can provide a valuation, either online, remotely or in person, to give you an idea of your home's worth.
  • If you require any borrowing, get in touch with an independent financial advisor so that you have a clear idea of what your purchasing budget will be. There is no need to apply for any loans just yet, not until you have found the property that you want to buy. However, you must look at properties within your budget.
  • Get ready to start viewing homes - this is a super exciting part of the process. It will allow you to narrow down your needs and wants as you view properties and discount them or add them to your shortlist.

To get the ball rolling with your registration to By Design's database, get in touch with our team today.