What April Did – First Steps To Buying Our First House

Click on the picture to read about the process of finding our first home together, and why we had to wait for the month of April to set the house-buying wheels in motion.

First Steps To Buying Our First House

For the last year, we’ve been waiting for April. Waiting and planning, and waiting some more, and then all of a sudden it was here, and then all of a sudden, lots of things actually happened.

Why the wait?

Well, that was pretty cryptic, but it just means that everything has moved not just one, but two steps on in our saving/house buying scheme. Although we could have started the active phase of our house hunt before, we decided to wait for the tax year to end on April 5th, when we could turn in Lord Balders’ tax return, which would show the result of the last year’s hard graft (combined with my prodding), and gain us a higher mortgage amount.

So, after the hideous process of filing the tax return online – and this was surprising, as I had thought I was so prepared – we then called HMRC for Lord Balders’ SA302s for the last three years. Step one.

Finding the house

The next step was to find our house. Actually, it turned out that we found it earlier in the month, but we didn’t realise it at first. My email alerts for new properties in the area had been set up for quite some time, but when this house landed in my inbox, I wasn’t immediately interested.

First of all, when I realised that it was in the council estate on the other side of my village, I mentally switched off. Everything I’d heard about that area was bad, and one drive-by we did months before to check out another property didn’t impress us much.

Ok, the estate looked rough. But this house was impressively cheap, and had a garden, and eventually became so intriguing that I eventually showed its online listing to Lord Balders, with a bit of a throwaway comment. His interest surprised me quite a lot, however, and we ended up having a quick wander past to check it out.

That quick wander led to another, and another, and another at night-time, on the weekend, from the back, and around the entire estate, and guess what – not only did it no longer appear as rough, but the area immediately surrounding the house seemed rather pleasant. And so we made the call to the agent, but after struggling to get a response (strangely), we went over, knocked on the door, and arranged a viewing ourselves.

And now, it’s the house. But even before the viewing, around the middle of April, we had a feeling. So as soon as the SA302 plopped through the letterbox, I called Nationwide to book an appointment for a decision in principle. It was an amazing feeling, actually, giving all that information over, being checked, and… passing!

We’d been accepted, and I felt happy that we’d moved away from our interest-earning strategy onto our credit-building one, paying off all our stoozing cards in full every month. The full application should hopefully be as straightforward, I hope! That’s another major step completed.

Waiting for payslips…

Just as that one step was attained, I then had to wait for April’s payslip at the end of the month, as it would reflect my skinny payrise and several months’ backdated raise. So, I did, and as soon as possible, I had my last three month’s payslips. Which step was that? They had been moving back and forth all over the place!

Making the offer

Anyway, the last step was yesterday – calling the agent to put in an offer. A bit cheeky – a bit below the “offers above” price listing – but the place is a real fixer-upper. And it’s been a strange 24 hours, wondering if the oddly unresponsive agent is actually doing anything, whether we should call the owners or whether that would make us look too keen, whether we’ll be able to afford (or stomach) the renovations that the house needs… and whether or not to hold back some of our deposit to throw at the place straight away.

Of course, I realise that some of that progress happened in May… but the process I’d been desperate to kick-start actually did get going last month, on time, like I hoped it would! And I know it can all fall apart at this point, so I am trying not to get too emotionally involved, but there have been many decorating conversations in the Balders household, so it may be too late. Oh well.

The next step? More waiting.

Want to know what happened next? Read this post!

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