Dear Diary #8: What Else Do I Need To Do When Buying A House?

What Else Do I Need To Do When Buying A House?

Dear Diary,

I’m getting bored of starting blog posts with “Dear Diary” – it’s starting to sound silly. The last I checked I’m not a teenager wishing for the zits on my face to vanish, and for Laura to ask me to the end of year Christmas dance. But I’ve probably gone too far with it now. I should continue.

Dear Diary,

I’ve sent off my mortgage application so it’s just a case of waiting to hear back from the lender. So, my agent has advised me that the next steps are to organise building insurance and a conveyancing solicitor. I’m on it!

Obviously my agent did offer to manage and arrange both building insurance and conveyancing services for me, but I kindly refused. Certainly going via any estate agent for additional services would result in paying above the odds. Known fact!

Actually, the fees my agent tossed around when I enquired about the rates (out of interest) proved to be predictably eye-watering when I compared them to the rates available to anyone that isn’t blissfully too lazy or naive to fetch their own quotes.

Finding Landlord Building Insurance

I went for the usual suspects of course:

After spending a few hours researching landlord building insurance options (that was truly invigorating, really!) and navigating through different comparison websites, I came across a rather unassuming resource, QuoteSearcher.

Long story short, I ended up getting my best quote from there, and paying just shy of £120 (that’s for a 2 bedroom terraced house).

On a side note, and an interesting thing about purchasing landlord building insurance at this stage – before even owning the property – is that once you’ve exchanged contracts with the seller, you’re legally-bound to purchase it, so it’s your responsibility if anything happens to the property in the meantime. So while this step might look and sound premature, it’s not.

Update (2020): I still recommend QuoteSearcher for Landlord Insurance, so much so that we agreed to form a partnership. How beautiful.

To quote a satisfied customer:

just to report a good experience with your Insurance searcher – one of the brokers that contacted me can provide LL insurance at about 20% cheaper than my current provider, AND I get more extras than before: contents, legals AND malicious damage all included! Thanks so much

Organising Conveyancing services

I’ve read many horror stories that emphasised the importance of picking the right conveyancing company to manage all the legal jargon when buying a house.

Actually, funny enough, throughout my journey, my parents’ have provided little to no wisdom to help me along the way (not they’re fault, they’re not exactly experts), but the one story my dad did share with me was about the one time he got royally screwed over by an incompetent conveyancing solicitor when he purchased a house “back in the day”

Thanks Dad! That’s actually useful.

When a mute talks, take note!

Essentially, there were two areas of concern:

  • Working with the wrong conveyancing company can lead to shockingly poor service and result in major delays, if not worse!
  • Conveyancing fees drastically vary, and some companies are eager to pull your pants down and make you pay through the nose

So with that in mind, I did my due diligence: I Googled, asked for recommendations, I read the reviews, and ended up finding a suitor.

Update (after completion): I royally fucked up. The conveyancing solicitor’s I ended up choosing proved to be absolutely horrendous, so I have removed their name/link from this blog post. I wouldn’t even let my worst enemy get caught in their web of deceit.

My due diligence was evidently insufficient. The company I used was the root cause of several delays and I’m convinced they’re also the spawn of Satan. The fuckers’ lost my driving license, for crying out loud!

Lesson learned.

I now recommend using this comparison tool by Reallymoving.com to receive 4 instant quotes from expert SRA or CLC regulated conveyancing solicitors or Licensed Conveyancers who can organise the conveyancing for buying, selling or remortgaging your property.

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