Natasha Afxentiou: Hello and welcome to OnTheMove, a podcast from OnTheMarket. I’m your host, Natasha Afxentiou, and in this series we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about the home moving process from start to finish. I’ll be speaking with our guest experts who will share their tips and tricks to ensure you’re equipped to make informed choices, breaking down industry jargon and clearing the path to your dream home.
Today we’re going to be talking about where to start with your property search and sharing things people wish they knew before they moved. Before we get started, I’m pleased to introduce our special guest for this episode, Tom Ross-Bason, Regional Managing Director at Wards, part of the Arun Estates network, and Jack Roberts, co-founder of SlothMove, the platform that makes moving hassle free by updating your addresses and supporting you with your home setup.
Before we jump in, why don’t we maybe start by giving our listeners a bit of brief background on you both. Why don’t we start with you, Tom?
Tom Ross-Bason: Yeah, thanks, Natasha. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years now, trying to still fine art the world of estate agency, but started way back when in High Wycombe and loved it to death and now regional managing director within the Kent marketplace for Wards and still find those magic moments even now.
Natasha Afxentiou: Amazing. What about you, Jack?
Jack Roberts: So I started off in the energy sector and then I founded SlothMove with my partner in 2019 just to basically make moving as hassle free as humanly possible. And then over the past couple of years, we’ve helped around 85,000 people move. It’s been a really sort of interesting couple of years in the moving sector.
Natasha Afxentiou: Today we want to try and help movers feel as comfortable as possible with getting started with the property search that they’re about to embark on. Because of course once you have decided that you want to move and that you’re ready to move, getting started with the actual search itself can feel quite daunting or overwhelming sometimes. So what would you guys say would be your main top tips in terms of where you would say would be the best place to get started with your property search?
Tom Ross-Bason: Okay, well, things have changed dramatically since I started. We’re not as archaic as a bit of chalk and a slate, but certainly the platform of Rightmove, OnTheMarket, Zoopla, those platforms are now giving people real live data. But I would really strongly encourage buyers to not lose that connection with their estate agents on the high street. I know having moved only recently myself and dealing with customers still day to day, that personal contact is crucial and that’s just not me being biased towards the high street, I’m talking about in this marketplace we’re currently in, which let me tell you is a challenging one, never has it been more optimistic in terms of getting hold of a decent estate agent who knows what the market’s doing, who can help those first time buyers, those second time buyers, those that haven’t moved in several years, really get to understand what’s required in order to look.
Natasha Afxentiou: That’s a really key point because of course, while it’s super easy to make sure that you’ve got the searches there in front of you and looking for those properties, when you’ve got that agent there next to you to really hold your hand, I think that relationship is really key in any market, but like you said, in particular, perhaps more challenging ones. They’ll often have a database and they’ll often have things that perhaps aren’t on display to the public yet that they may know is in their pipeline. So having that relationship is really important and will put you in good stead to get started.
Jack Roberts: Definitely. And I agree with that. I think, why would you not enlist the help of an expert that knows the area extremely well? I think this is a great question because when I think about this, I take it from an angle of, I start with the financial situation, I feel that most people when they’re buying their home, don’t really fully understand the breadth of their options, so I think understanding what is available, different deposits, different schemes, I think is super important so you can actually know and understand the size of property that you can buy. And then I think the other bit that I don’t hear talked about enough is understanding risk. A lot of people could become house poor unintentionally because they don’t understand now how much energy bills cost or how interest rates might fluctuate in two to five years and they’re left unable to pay for that house. The epicentre of a search needs to be how much budget do I have? What can I afford? And then just understanding your risk tolerance and getting really educated on that piece, I think is really, really important. And from that, then you can begin your search after that point.
Natasha Afxentiou: A really good point. I think when it comes to things like affordability and budget, once you’ve got those sorted, it’s very simple to of course say, “oh, I want to move, or I think I’m ready to move”, but once you’ve really sat yourself down and understood your affordability and what your budget is and you’ve then also allowed for those other risk factors, that will also point you in the right direction and help you focus your search because it’s one thing knowing that you’re ready to move or that you want to move, but until you know what your affordability is, which may be slightly different to what you think your budget is, depending on the kind of mortgage that you can get, that will really help you focus your search to the right places and also the right price bracket so you know that what you’re able to afford is achievable.
Something that I’ve heard before is that people often find themselves looking at what may be known as a bit of a moving paradigm, so it touches slightly on the affordability piece that we’ve mentioned already, but in terms of the other key things that people need to focus on when they’re moving, not only is it price, but also the location and the size of the property that they’re looking for and it’s often said that people will need to have a bit of leeway in at least one of those areas or compromise on one of them. Is that something, perhaps a question for you, Tom, that you see happening quite a lot with your clients and how would you guide people through that process of what they may need to compromise on?
Tom Ross-Bason: Really good point, Natasha. Compromise is part of our language. I reckon we use that more than most. It’s not a very sexy terminology, is it? You don’t want to take the fun out of that buying process by saying, right, what are we going to compromise? A bit like finding a new partner, you’re not going to go in with what am I going to compromise with? So I think the romance and the fun, we have to ensure that remains. So when you see that buyer coming through the door and you want to give that professional advice, that affordability, the risk that Jack talked about, you’ve got to allow them to get it wrong and that’s where the compromise comes in. I often use my own example, where if you looked at the home I’m living in, there’s so much that needs doing, but it’s the right location, we could afford it, the kids can walk to school, there’s a shop on the corner to grab a bottle of wine on a Friday. So that compromise is crucial, but you’ve got to handle it right. Because like I said, you’ll turn people off. It’s about what would you consider, what else would you think of, give a different angle, give a different perspective. You’re absolutely right and if you put people off before they’ve walked through the door, then of course they’re going to take the fun and the romance away. So a bit like Jack saying, this is what it’s going to cost you, you might as well give up every other habit and fun you have. You don’t, you create a visual moment that hopefully they can draw themselves into.
Natasha Afxentiou: Yeah, definitely. Even though it can be quite a stressful and also quite a daunting experience, it also, for the most part, depending on the reason for your move, can be quite a fun experience and also something quite enjoyable. It’s an exciting chapter. So if you can have the balance and you know that there are, of course, things that you’re going to compromise on, but still go into it with that enthusiasm, then you should be in a pretty good position.
Jack Roberts: I think you have a minimum size you need. If you’ve got a child and a study, you have to have three bedrooms, or two bedrooms. You’ll have that minimum, but it changes so much by individual to individual.
Tom Ross-Bason: I always try and give the advice that push yourself, whether that be emotionally, or whether that be your commute to get that core ingredient right, which is where is the heart of the home? Where are we going to be growing this family? Where is little Jimmy gonna be going to primary school, secondary school, what kind of people he’s gonna mix with, what growth with our property have? So I think it’s a really good point and one that’s probably not shared enough. There are too many estate agents, Natasha, that will just get the quick sale. “Where’d you want to go? Yeah. Okay. Let’s get you in the front door. Lovely”. Well, they’re going to remember that when they’re sat next to the M25 or there’s a flight path across the property. I’m giving you extremes, but you get my point.
Natasha Afxentiou: Yeah, definitely. I think that’s a really good point. And that then brings it back to what we said earlier, that it’s also quite an emotional process. So while sometimes people prioritise speed of sale as well, and speed of move, actually these other things that you can’t change later down the line are things that you really need to focus on. So that’s really important. And I think Jack, what you mentioned as well about it being really individual from person to person and from move to move is also something to consider because it’s not one size fits all when it comes to people moving home. So going back to an even earlier point where we said it’s important to make sure that you’ve established that good relationship with your agent, once you have that relationship and it’s a good one, they’ll really understand your motivations for moving and then therefore also be in the right place to guide you when it comes to that compromise in terms of what may be the best fit for you and the best suitable compromise for you depending on what your situation is.
So, once you’ve established your affordability and you’ve gotten more of an idea in terms of the location, the sort of price and the size that you’re looking at, and you’ve got that agent there to guide you through the process, perhaps this is one for you to start with Tom, when it comes to the actual search itself, what would you say would be your top tips in terms of getting started with your search? Where would you say is the best place to start?
Tom Ross-Bason: Well, first and foremost, what I have seen more prevalent over the last three years Natasha, which has probably been the best marketplace I’ve seen in my lifetime to where we are today, which is, I would suggest we’re circa 2008 in terms of the number of applicants coming through our business, the number of transactions. So we’re talking about a very different marketplace. But what I found is there are a lot of sales prior to the property even launching Natasha. So if you’re a motivated buyer, if you have a very good relationship with your estate agent, then you should have the information prior to it going live. If you haven’t, and you’re simply wanting to test the water and you’re at home and you’re surfing, what could be your next move, then I would certainly be keeping your range as big as possible. So that would be both financial and in terms of what you referred to in terms of compromise. So if you’re looking for a three bed, would we select two because there might be more reception rooms, there might be the opportunity to extend, so keep your search as wide as possible. But I would be looking at a 24 hour alert. So having set up on a search program, whether that’s OnTheMarket or the others, then I would certainly be looking at that platform daily just to see what’s becoming live for sale so that you’re able to act quickly.
There’s too many buyers who are just surfing because they’re nosy neighbours. So you’ve got to really elevate yourself so that you stand out and sadly, there aren’t that many good estate agents, Natasha. So there aren’t many that wake up in the morning and go, “right I spoke to Jack last week. He’s got two springer spaniels. He’s going to need a decent garden. He’s going to want them to be safe. His wife doesn’t want a North facing garden. So, okay. We’re valuing one on Thursday. Jack, would you be able to view it on Friday? Not really, Tom. Well, Jack’s not motivated. I’ve got it wrong”. So you’ve got to get that professional understanding of the client you’re dealing with and also be predicting and foreseeing what potentially is coming to the market. So you’ve got two options one get into bed with your estate agent and let them know you’ll do anything at a drop of a hat to view it, or secondly, be really tight on your search platforms. If you can cover those bases, you’re going to be really unlucky if you don’t at least give yourself a chance to get through the front door.
Natasha Afxentiou: Yeah, that’s really helpful advice. I’d say what I picked up on there especially is that if you’re a really motivated buyer, like you said, if you’re speaking to your agent, they’ll often give you the hidden gems that will come along before they’ve even been put live on the market, which is going back to a point before where database is really key. So don’t be afraid to have those conversations and show your agent how motivated you are. One thing that actually links to is at OnTheMarket, we also display properties that are only with us. So essentially, we feature thousands of new properties every month, 24 hours or more before they’re advertised on Rightmove or Zoopla, and that can really give movers an edge in their property search. And also, if you want to make sure that you’re getting in as early as possible, when an agent comes to us and decides how long they would exclusively like to list that property with us, a countdown clock also appears beside those listings to show how many hours are left before those properties are made available to Rightmove or Zoopla. So you can really put yourself in a good position to get your foot through the door first. Another thing worth mentioning as well, where of course you can be looking and searching and setting up alerts going on every single day, making sure you’re checking your emails, another thing that can be quite overwhelming for a mover is when they’re searching for different properties, is just the amount of results that can come back. So, another tool that we have available on OnTheMarket is our Wish List feature where you can enter up to five key terms that are really important to you for your next property. So whether it’s just something that’s nice to have, or something that would be an absolute deal breaker for you, whether it be a driveway, a garden, a study, even a swimming pool, for example, you can enter those terms into your search and then we’ll return the properties that best fit those requirements for you.
So to take out the overwhelming feeling of, “Oh, I’ve been shown a thousand properties here, which one’s actually right for me”. You can then filter your search even further and look into the ones that are most suitable for you. Quite interestingly, just as a side note, we released our latest Property Sentiment Index and we saw that the top three most popular Wish List searches for UK movers was actually looking for a garden, parking and then a garage. So this may be one for you, Tom, do you see any kind of common themes with your clients in terms of the things that people are looking for?
Tom Ross-Bason: Thank you, COVID, because that has just completely reshaped the way in which people look for property. But certainly I think you really pulled out the main three core there, Natasha. But in terms of home space now, that’s a game changer for us. That was nice to have once upon a time now is becoming fundamental for those, especially coming out of London, coming outside of the M25, certainly looking for some space at home. And just picking up on your other point in regards to fine tuning your search, you’re absolutely right. I made the comment about keeping your search far and wide. You’re right. You don’t want to get lost in that plethora of information, but just try and get the balance between not cutting off your nose to spite your face where the one that you might have just potentially compromised on, you don’t want to rule out, get your key requirements down and OnTheMarket does that brilliantly.
Natasha Afxentiou: Yeah, definitely.
Tom Ross-Bason: I’d love the data from the Wish List to what they actually buy, because my Wish List is nothing like the house I live in now. It’s crazy.
Natasha Afxentiou: How would you say you would advise, or suggest to movers, would be the best way to keep track of the countless properties that they might be coming across?
Tom Ross-Bason: The reality is, Natasha, that you’ve got to work hard at buying. I mean, I don’t want to sound like this is a job, but if you’re prepared to put it in, you’ll get the rewards. And I think the more information you can collate, the better judgment and the better outcome that you will hopefully achieve. My tip, personally, from the thousands of people that I’ve seen move home, is you’ve got to get out there, get out of your comfort zone, get in through front doors. You’ll very quickly establish, as Jack mentioned earlier, location. You’ll get a real feel about whether it’d be the neighbourhood, or the traffic, or proximity to shops, schools. So it’s all very well creating information and collating data. You’ve got to go and feel it. And the word that you mentioned, Natasha, for me really resonated with me was that emotion. So I know that when I’m dealing with transactions and the emotion that comes with that, that is so powerful. My overwhelming tip to any buyer, friend or family would be, get out there, view properties, because without seeing it and feeling it, you really aren’t going to be able to understand what you are wanting.
Natasha Afxentiou: Definitely. And I think that also helps you understand what you don’t want as well. Another way to try and focus your property search and understand how suitable properties are in terms of location, when you’re searching on OnTheMarket, you can also enter through your My Place dashboard, your very important places, or we like to call them VIPs, so whether you want to be close to a children’s school, or if you want to be close to your gym, or even just your best friend’s house, for example, or your workplace, you can save your different important places and the distances to these VIPs will be shown underneath the details of the properties that you take a look at. I think that’s worth mentioning because as we mentioned at the top of the episode, while you’re looking to compromise on things, I think sometimes for people, they may be less likely to compromise on location, so having that tool available is something that can be really helpful.
As well as the features we’ve mentioned so far to really help you with the actual search process itself, there’s also support available after your move as well. So this is something that you can dive into for us, Jack, in slightly more depth I’m sure, but we’ve integrated your platform, SlothMove, why don’t you take us through some of the ways that SlothMove can help after the move and the support that’s there?
Jack Roberts: So in a nutshell, what SlothMove does, instead of having the same conversation with 21 different providers, you tell us and an army of sloths update your address across all of your organizations. That could be governmental, utilities, charities, student loan company, driver’s license, you name it. So the average user that comes through our service saves around 15 hours of time and what we were saying earlier was that, you know, when you’re moving home, it is a super stressful time and Tom will be able to attest to this massively, you’re juggling what feels like a thousand balls and it’s very easy to forget things. So coming through a platform like SlothMove that really focuses on the last part of the journey around sort of two weeks before you move, thinking about what organisations need to know that I’m moving so I don’t get fined. What things need to get set up like energy and broadband and insurances and just making that as simple as possible, making sure people can get the right offers at the right prices in a time frame that makes sense. So we work with some of the largest organisations in the UK with the largest service of our kind, and it’s been a real pleasure to help and simplify what can be a really stressful experience when you’re moving home.
Natasha Afxentiou: No, that’s great. I think it’s really quite a long process most of the time to actually move, but then to be faced with all of those address changes afterwards, I think it’s really important to know that SlothMove is available to of course help with that and support with that, because I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t even know where to start. That leads us quite nicely into the second part of our conversation in terms of things that are important to know before you move. So What would you say are the most common things that you either hear from movers that you have worked with or the tips that you would give people that they should perhaps be aware of before they actually move?
So it could be things as simple as, let’s say, just how far in advance to book your removal service, because I’ve known people in the past where they’re ready to move and then they’re like, “okay, we’ve exchanged, completed, we’re ready to move. Now we need to move and get our stuff to the next place.” And actually there’s a massive waiting list for loads of removal companies. So what would you say are the most common things that you hear from movers and how would you advise them and what tips would you give to try and help them avoid potential pitfalls that they might come across?
Tom Ross-Bason: Well, first of all, let’s state the obvious, it’s not much fun. There isn’t much romance and it’s incredibly stressful. So try and remain calm and try and remove the emotion out of that completion phase because you’ve got lots of emotions circling the room. You’ll have lots of people wanting to allocate certain days that they can or can’t move, so be as flexible and as open mind as you possibly can. And I can assure you, once you sat unravelling the fish and chips on your first night, with the kids trying to put blow up beds up, it really is magical and it’s worth all the pain and hardship. My advice would be to lock in your removals and keep as many open completion dates as you possibly can. I’ve seen, like you have Natasha, on the day of completion, they’re trying to scratch around getting a man with a van, it’s carnage. So preparation, prepare to win, don’t prepare to fail. And the other tip I can only give you is communicate openly with your solicitor, ensuring that you have everything available. Whether it’s funds that need to be drawn down, which for those of you that do know doesn’t just happen within a transaction, they have to sometimes be across a course of days, believe it or not, there’s still people waiting for checks to clear. There’s mortgage monies that need to be drawn down, there’s deposits that may be coming from a different source. So just give yourself the best chance to have as smooth a transaction as possible by getting as much done beforehand before you actually do and find out where the local fish and chips is because you won’t be cracking out a Bolognese on your first night that’s for sure.
Natasha Afxentiou: No, no cutlery either. No rummaging around the moving boxes.
How about you, Jack?
Jack Roberts: When I think about it, I think at the top, beginning part of the process, I’m thinking about internet speeds, which can vary quite a lot from property to property. So I always think it’s worth just thinking about that before you move in. And then I think once you move in, it’s easy just to go into a holiday mode for a couple of weeks, but it’s super important just to make sure you cross those admin things off. You’ll get a pack of documents, which usually get thrown into a cupboard, never to be seen again for 20 years, lots of different stuff. So thinking about things like energy, often when you move in, you don’t take your supplier with you and you can be placed on deemed contracts, which can be more expensive. So it’s important just to check that you’re not ever paying for certain things and you get the admin done once you’ve moved in.
Tom Ross-Bason: Jack, can you get that done prior? So let’s say I’m moving on Friday, can I contact you and you get the wheels in motion?
Jack Roberts: Exactly. Yes.
Tom Ross-Bason: Well, I would recommend that big time because I think the longer you leave that administration, Jack, you’re right, I think you’re subject then to paying the wrong energy rates or getting double bills or then you’re in a headspace of just, who am I with? Is it Scottish energy or Southwest water? So, I’m giving the romance of fish and chips, but I would be encouraging my clients to get the boring stuff in order, because that will take the pain away later along the line. I genuinely mean that.
Jack Roberts: Especially if your previous energy supplier is sending bills to an address and you’re not there anymore, you can rack up bills. And we’ve actually seen rare cases where you can accrue a debt and no one knows where you live anymore. And then it builds up on your credit score and causes all sorts of complications. I’d say the main thing is don’t discard the admin. Look at a user service like SlothMove if you’re inclined, just to get those little bits and pieces done.
The other bit I think is so important to do the top end of the process and Tom, you’ll know more about this than I do, but just getting a bit of a vibe and culture check on the areas you think you want to live in, actually walking down those streets, going into the local places, just to make sure that, like you said earlier, Tom, you don’t want the sort of 747 coming over the house and foundations are shaking, the tea’s going all over the place, is really important. And then, you know, thinking about the admin as you go through the process.
Natasha Afxentiou: Definitely. The practical things are really important and they can often slip through the net, especially when there are so many things going on with the process itself and you may feel slightly overwhelmed with everything that you’ve just been through to get to that point of moving in. So if those practical things are dealt with sooner rather than later, then you’re not going to set yourself up for disaster. And I think that’s a really important point there, Jack, in terms of getting a real feel for the area, because while you may like the property itself until you’ve gone and explored, especially if you’re not moving somewhere locally that you might already be familiar with, you don’t really know the sort of place that you’re going to be in until you’re really there. So if you can spend some time either a day, not just the day that you’re maybe doing the property, but either going and staying in the location, if it’s not somewhere local, and actually getting a feel for what’s around, what kind of restaurants, if you like any sports or like you do any hobbies, have you got clubs that you could join there, for example, things like that, and maybe trying to go at different times of day. And also when the weather’s looking a bit different perhaps, because I think that can paint a very different picture. If you can get a feel for the place, that’s also really important.
You’re listening to OnTheMove the home moving podcast by OnTheMarket With me, your host, Natasha Afxentiou and my s this month, Tom Ross-Bason and Jack Roberts. So far we’ve discussed where to start with your property search and the tools available are OnTheMarket to support you. Moving on, we’ll continue discussing what people wish they knew before they moved.
So we’ve already touched briefly on a couple of the things that we would suggest to movers to consider before they move or the things they may need to think about, but of course, lots of things can slip our minds and there are things that we haven’t mentioned so far already. So we actually asked our audience to share a few things that they wish they knew before they went on and moved themselves. So I thought it would be nice for us to share some of the contributions that were sent in to us to hopefully try and help our listeners avoid pitfalls before they get on the move themselves. So, a couple of things that came in, you touched on it briefly Jack, in terms of things like broadband, but there are lots of gadgets in the home now that require broadband, so you need to make sure that there is a working connection set up prior to you moving in and something that may also be possible is requesting that the previous owner doesn’t totally shut down their account, but rather transfers it over to you. So if you have, you know, something like Nest or a Hive account set up in a home, you don’t want to be moving in and then having no heating. Another one that came in and we touched on it briefly when we mentioned that, of course, it can be quite a stressful process, just moving in general, but something to take into account before you move is just how long the process can actually take and the risks involved in terms of how things can potentially go wrong. So for example, in the UK, a buyer or a seller could pull out at any time, obviously, until you get to the point of completion and the contracts are exchanged. So I think that’s something that’s worth keeping in mind that, of course, it can be out of your control in a lot of circumstances until you get to that point where the keys are in your hand. So potentially something for you to touch on there, Tom. How would you alleviate or take some pressure or potential stress from that situation away from movers?
Tom Ross-Bason: You’ve got to be brave, first and foremost. So if you are motivated and committed in making that journey, then there will be challenges, that’s for sure. So don’t be naive. The law states that at any point in time, a buyer can pull out from a transaction, which coincides with exactly the same law for the seller. So there is no financial or legal requirement for the, for the transaction to complete. All I would say is do your due diligence in regards to understanding the motivation of the seller, making sure you’re speaking to the right people. People with a proven track record that could be a financial advisor. It could be a local, well established solicitor who will know the pitfalls of radon gas and quarries and mines that haven’t been open since God knows when. So my advice to anyone who’s coming into this arena is be open minded, do your due diligence and speak to good people. I think you said it’s a trilogy of people, Natasha. It really is. But if you go cheap and you go lack of experience and you don’t do your due diligence, then you are heightening that risk of things going wrong. A bit like when you’re having your offer qualified, if the estate agent isn’t asking where your money’s coming from, or how you intend to purchase the property, then I would suggest that they haven’t got the quality needed in order to satisfy the seller’s needs that you are a precious commodity, a motivated and quality buyer. That would be a red flag for me immediately.
Jack Roberts: Yeah. I think that’s such a good point to emphasise to not think about estate agents and solicitors as some sort of commodity. You want to get an estate agent like Tom, for example, who’s really focused on it and a, you know, a high quality law firm who is going to be really diligent, even if it is slightly more expensive, the expertise is really, really important and they can perceive pitfalls and avoid nightmares essentially. So I think it’s worth investing and thinking about that properly and not just sort of seeing it as a commodity.
Tom Ross-Bason: It’s our biggest challenge. Natasha, exactly what Jack said, your average buyer will already be fronting a lot of cash in terms of getting a deposit down. So when an estate agent comes along and they will feel they’re being sold to, that’s my biggest challenge is trying to get across the sincerity and the genuine transparency of “look, you make that choice, but let me give you all the advice and evidence available to make the right choice”.
Please don’t always just go with the cheapest option because it probably will be the most expensive in the long run.
Natasha Afxentiou: That’s a really good point, really good point. So the next thing that came in, this is when you’re actually viewing properties take someone along with you who’s got really good eye for detail. So someone who can spot things like snags or things that you may not notice in the first 30 minutes that you have seen the property for, because once you’ve moved in afterwards, you may find that actually the work that you thought you wanted to do on a property is actually not as much work as what needs to be done. So I thought that was quite an interesting thing. Another one that came through was to pay if you can for the removal firm that you go for to deconstruct and then rebuild the furniture for you on the other end, because after a long day of moving, the last thing that you want to do is be looking for the different parts, the different bits of furniture, because you’ll soon realise that actually you have a lot more things than you thought you did. Of course it can take time, but if you can get the bulky things done sooner rather than later and the removal firm can help with that, then that was a tip that came through, which I thought was super helpful. Moving on, a couple of things that came through I thought were important to touch on were the additional costs of the fees associated with buying that you may not think of straight away. So outside of things like your deposit and obviously getting yourself a mortgage set up, things like the actual mortgage advisor fee, the fee for your solicitor and your surveyor, your arrangement fee, the building insurance and Stamp Duty and making sure that you really budget for that. So do either of you have any tips in terms of making sure that you have all your ducks in a row in terms of the finances?
Jack Roberts: I would always think about your budget as at a 20 percent cost on your accounting for everything, so worst case scenario you’re completely covered. Best case scenario, you’ve got more funds when you move in anyway. And then I think, thinking about it in terms of a flex fund, you know, whether it’s a thousand pounds or whatever the number is for you, so that even if there are those unexpected costs, you’re not left high and dry. And then when you move in, if it could go wrong, it probably will do at some point and the last thing you want to do is move in and find that your front door’s fallen off or something. So, budget for those emergency renovations, I would actually consider that as an essential, having a sum of money, you know, a flex fund once you move into the property.
Natasha Afxentiou: That’s super helpful, yeah, really good point there, Jack. Anything from you, Tom?
Tom Ross-Bason: Just on the point of taking lots of people with you on viewings, just be careful because sometimes when you take your dad or your uncle Steve or Johnny the neighbour who’s DIY king, it can also be quite awkward. So select your audience wisely is all I would say.
Natasha Afxentiou: Definitely. Take a trusted team with you. So the final thing that came through was to chase your solicitor. So I suppose it may depend on the solicitor that you go for, because of course people work differently and some are more efficient than others. But something that came through from a first time buyer was of course, I think unless you’ve been through the process, you may not be so confident with the buying process. So for a first time buyer in particular, if you feel as though you do need to be in the loop slightly more, or that you would like to chase for more updates, not to be afraid to do so was a tip that came through, which I think is quite a valid point. Are there any final thoughts from you guys in terms of last minute tips?
Tom Ross-Bason: Just in terms of solicitor, Natasha, you want to try and research someone who is fit for purpose and what I mean by that is, you don’t want a call centre, and I would always associate that with cost. So the cheaper the solicitor, the more your help and advice is diluted. That’s fact. So the cheaper the cost, there’ll be a plethora of administrators trying to process your transaction. But you also don’t want Old & Co. who have lunch at two, they close at five, you can’t get hold of the actual solicitor. You want someone who has got the ability to share with you the information live. So that could be via some kind of a web page that shows you the certain moments within the transaction survey, money’s come back. So just please don’t, again, I’m reiterating the point, don’t always be attracted to the cost. Do your research, look at Google reviews, look at Trustpilot reviews, that will tell you all you want to know. So just wanted to pick up on that point. It’s really key for a first time buyer, especially.
Natasha Afxentiou: Any final thoughts from you, Jack?
Jack Roberts: Yeah, there’s always a joke about people who have Excel spreadsheets have it for like everything, but I think it gives you control of the process if you know what’s happening and when it’s happening so you’re not blindsided by a million different things. So just organise in whatever way you find best, whether it’s post it notes, whiteboard or an Excel spreadsheet. And then the big one is just to have fun and enjoy the process, because when you move in that first night, your furniture’s not ready, you’re sleeping on a mattress or something questionable, ordering food that you definitely shouldn’t be eating it’s amazing and super fun. It’s such an exciting process. So you don’t want to lose the magic.
Natasha Afxentiou: Definitely, I think that’s a really nice note to leave it on. Like we said, it’s a long process, it’s a process with a lot of stages to it, but it should be one that you enjoy in the end. So I think that’s really important to mention and a really nice place to finish. So what’s left for me to say to our audience is, thank you for joining us for this episode of OnTheMove. You can find all future episodes on all the major podcast platforms and we’ll be sharing links to episodes as they’re released on our social media channels too. On the next podcast, we’ll be looking at migration patterns among movers and exploring where movers in cities are looking to move to, to uncover migration trends across the UK. For access to our show notes and additional information on the topics that we’ve covered today, you can visit our blog at OnTheMarket. com. Thanks again for listening, and remember, if you’re looking to get OnTheMove, get OnTheMarket.