Should I wait until after Christmas to move house?
It’s that time of year again. The Christmas trees and lights are probably up and if you haven’t already begun or finished, then the Christmas shopping is definitely on that ‘to-do’ list!
But what if a seasonal house move is also on your to-do list? Should you bite the bullet now, or wait until the New Year? Most of the UK estate agencies get really busy in January with those people selling their homes wanting to get on the market as soon after Christmas Eve as possible. So it’s a fairly well-accepted fact that the housing market in the UK gets really busy after Xmas – should you be first in the queue at the estate agents’ by trying to sort out your mortgage pre-Xmas?
If you were to head into that busy January period with your Decision in Principle already sorted, then you’d clearly have your pick of the properties for sale (within reason of your price budget and prospective geographical area of course!). So whilst sellers should – and do – wait until after Christmas to put their homes on the market at this time of year, buyers (including first-time buyers) should already be planning ahead and getting their mortgage applications underway with their chosen broker.
We’ve previously published some great top tips on applying for a mortgage and our guide to our mortgage application process, and we’re always happy to speak to you and to give our advice directly. Every January, the property market always starts to move quickly once again and it’s generally regarded as being a great time to buy and sell a property.
Once the Christmas Holidays, and that all-important Christmas Day and all its ceremony, are out of the way, then it seems that the people of the UK knuckle down to their favourite January sales activity: house buying. House prices aren’t going to suddenly go up after the Christmas period, of course, rather there’s a glut of buyers and sellers to the market and so with an early Decision in Principle you could get ahead of the game and beat the rush to the house of your dreams.
What is a Decision in Principle, and will it help me?
Before you make a full mortgage application, and without having any effect on your credit score, your mortgage broker will work with you to get an Agreement/Decision in principle (AIP/DIP) from your chosen lender.
Basically, your authorised and regulated mortgage broker will gather in all of your supporting information and conduct a search of possible mortgage lenders for you, with the aim in mind of finding you the best match. At this stage of the application process, there’s no search logged against your credit file as this is still preliminary work undertaken by your mortgage broker, before then going on to hopefully secure you that all-important Decision in Principle.
That Decision in Principle, once secured, is basically a pre-agreement by a lender to loan you a certain amount for a mortgage, subject to final proofs and/or a final check of your credit file. This will put you squarely at the front of the queue when it comes to buying a house: estate agents will be eager to show you the best properties before anyone else gets to look at them as you basically have an ‘in principle’ mortgage offer pending, ready to go: – you just need to choose a house to make the final application against.
A really good mortgage broker, one regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, will always look to secure you that Decision in Principle as the second step of your mortgage application process. The first step, of course, will be to obtain proof of your credit history and all your proofs of ID and income – all as discussed on the linked articles above.
So if your New Year’s resolution is to buy that dream home, then your best chance of success is to start right now. It’s never too early to plan ahead, and we’ll happily talk you through all of your options and help you get started on that road to successfully moving to your new home.