How To Approach Moving House & Getting A Mortgage

How To Approach Moving House & Getting A Mortgage

As it stands right now, we’re not actually moving house, but we are starting the process and I wanted to share what I do to prepare for a big move. We’re hoping to be in a position financially, to begin the process at the end of 2022, to move during 2023. This might seem like ages away, but when it comes to planning your finances, mortgage offers, actually choosing a place to live and finding the perfect home, a year or so is actually not much time at all!

Firstly I would like to say that buying a house is very personal and is unique to everyone’s situation. Please don’t forget to seek independent advice when it comes to your personal circumstances and please do your research based on your income, location and situation. Citizens Advice have a lot of very helpful information when it comes to buying a home.

I would also like to mention that if you’re not looking to move or make home improvements then it might be best to avoid binge watching Your Home Made Perfect, as this has sent me into an interior design/home hunting spiral!

I’ve lived in a lot of places over the last 10 years, starting with student accommodation, renting crappy student houses, getting a much nicer place in Bristol after uni, moving back to Surrey and then living in my own flat. After all of this I moved back to Bristol at the end of 2019 and that is where I am currently.

I have been through the house buying process a couple of times, with one time pulling out at the very last minute, which was very unfortunate but definitely the right decision.

We own the house we currently live in, so when it comes to moving next, we will be looking to increase our mortgage and hopefully get something bigger and better and ideally, with a much bigger garden.



Keep and eye on the market

The house buying process doesn’t start when I’m actually ready to move, I keep an eye on the market pretty much all year round. I do this because I have a genuine interest in property and houses, and because I want to know what houses are worth, what areas are more expensive, and whether or not a property I want to make an offer on is actually worth the price it’s up for.

I like to keep myself educated on the market, so I have a few areas (and to be honest end up searching the whole of the UK) that I keep very much under my radar.

If you’re thinking about moving in the next year or even two, I would recommend looking quite thoroughly at what’s out there at the moment, and monitor how the properties and prices fluctuate over time. This way you have a really good idea of what you can afford, what you want, and whether what you want is available in the area you’re hoping to live.



Finding out what you can borrow & what your repayments are likely to be

Of course, the most important thing is finding out how much you can borrow. We’ve all made the mistake of assuming we can afford something far above our budget, getting excited about the houses in that price range and then having the hard reality that you can actually only afford something half that price!

Using a mortgage calculator is the best way to get a ballpark figure, which can help to guide your search and keeps your expectations closer to reality!

Finding out what you can borrow, and knowing roughly what your monthly payments are likely to be will help you to factor in these costs in the lead up to applying for a mortgage. Can you actually afford the repayments and can you demonstrate to the bank that you can afford to pay them?

Estimating mortgage affordability based on income is an easy way to get a rough idea, and you can input your salary (and a partner’s salary too if you’re buying together), to see how much you could borrow.



Get your finances in order

Having a good credit rating is important for so many reasons, but when it comes to buying a house, having your finances in order in general is really, really important. Get rid of any overdrafts, credit card debts, loans etc, where you can, and ensure that payments are up to date and that you can afford the outgoings you have where you do have monthly payments. Obviously things like car repayments, phone bills and other expenses have to be paid monthly, but you will need to show that you’re not scraping by every month as the bank is going to want to know their payments are going to be made.

Set yourself goals for paying things off – it could be in 6 months, a year, or even two, but by making this a priority now, it means you’re more likely to secure the mortgage and property you want when the time comes to move.



Treat house hunting like a job

This sounds a bit dramatic but it’s actually a really good tip. If you think buying a house, moving or relocating is easy and will happen at the drop of a hat, you’re either extremely lucky or in for a shock!

Set aside an hour (or more if you can) a day, this could be in the morning when you first wake up, or when you’re drinking tea before bed – you will need to make the time.

Use this time wisely. Set up spreadsheets, make lists, set alerts on all the main housing websites and contact your local estate agents and let them know you’re keen. Stay on everyone’s back and be persistent.

Not checking your emails for one day, or missing a few calls could be the difference between someone else getting there first and stealing your dream house! It takes work and it takes time but it absolutely pays off to be organised and dedicated to the search for your perfect home.



Choose your final figure and stick to it

Houses go in a heartbeat, and when a house is listed, it’s likely that a number of other buyers are also prepped and ready to go and it can literally be a fight to have an offer accepted.

When this happens it’s easy to panic and add another 5 grand, 10 grand, fuck it add another 20 grand!! This is where you can find yourself in deep water, making offers you can’t really afford to be making, and spending more than you actually know a house is worth because you had your heart set on it.

Pick and figure, then pick your absolute maximum and never offer more. If the house you want goes above this price then it’s happened for a reason and it’s not meant to be. Don’t find yourself paying an absurd amount for a property because of a momentary panic decision and regretting that later on.

You will find the right thing and unfortunately losing out is a big part of the process. Dust yourself off and keep going!



Don’t be scared and enjoy the process

So many of us are truly terrified of having a mortgage, being locked in for so many years for so much money and don’t take the plunge because of the fear.

I know the fear because I have the fear haha! But despite this, mortgages are a very normal part of life, and even though they are a very big one, they are just another bill to pay at the end of the month, so even though it seems terrifying, you won’t be lent something you can’t afford and as long as you’re careful, it will be absolutely fine.

The reward is you have a beautiful home and it’s yours! No more paying rent to someone who is benefiting from your hard earned cash, and hello to freedom over your own space.

Buying a house and making it a home is a massive milestone for anyone at any point in life, so enjoy it, revel in your hard work and have fun while you’re doing it.


I hope this has helped anyone looking to start the process, or who may not realise how many elements there are to buying a home! If you’ve done it already congratulations and if you’re going through the process now then good luck! If you have your dream home or are renting and are looking for ways to improve your decor, check out some of my other posts that do just that!

Home Decor – Tiles

How To Make a Victorian House a Home

Adding Some Art Deco To My Home