At a glance

  • Many factors can influence your decision to buy a new home, which may or not be time-sensitive
  • Selling before buying can give you budget certainty, but be aware of how market changes can affect how far your cash will go
  • Selling and buying simultaneously avoids the need to look for temporary accommodation but being in a ‘chain’ can complicate the process
  • Be aware of extra costs such as stamp duty and legal fees

At a glance

  • Many factors can influence your decision to buy a new home, which may or not be time-sensitive
  • Selling before buying can give you budget certainty, but be aware of how market changes can affect how far your cash will go
  • Selling and buying simultaneously avoids the need to look for temporary accommodation but being in a ‘chain’ can complicate the process
  • Be aware of extra costs such as stamp duty and legal fees

At a glance

  • Many factors can influence your decision to buy a new home, which may or not be time-sensitive
  • Selling before buying can give you budget certainty, but be aware of how market changes can affect how far your cash will go
  • Selling and buying simultaneously avoids the need to look for temporary accommodation but being in a ‘chain’ can complicate the process
  • Be aware of extra costs such as stamp duty and legal fees

Buying a home is the biggest purchase most of us will make in our lifetime. Finding the right property and sorting out the finances can be stressful. The size of the price tag can also add to the anxiety.

Understanding your options and making the most appropriate choices for your particular situation will help to ease the stress.

These are some of the important things to consider around the timing of a house sale – and purchasing a new one.

Each purchase is unique

The decision to buy a home is influenced by lots of different factors.

Some of these create time pressures and dictate when you should buy. For example, you may be relocating for work or looking for something bigger because children are on the way.

Others are not time sensitive and will not influence precisely when you choose to buy. For example, a few good years may have boosted your finances and got you thinking about upgrading your home.

Whatever's driving you to buy a new home, you need to think about what is best for you and your family in terms of cost, convenience and timing.

You may want to sell your home, rent in the short-term, and then buy your new property. Or you may want to sell and buy, all at the same time. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both options.

Sell first, buy second

By selling your home first before trying to buy your next property, you’ll know exactly what you have to spend.

If you’re going to add to that budget, you can then work out whether it’s best to cash in some of your existing savings and/or investments, or to borrow from a mortgage lender.

Once you’ve sold your house, you become a ‘cash buyer’. This means you’re not reliant on selling your home to go ahead with buying your new one.

It puts you in a stronger position to negotiate when you find the property you want to buy. This is because you’ve got the money to move quickly and aren't at risk of potential complications from selling your own property – it’s already gone.

Once you sell your home, you’ll need to find short-term accommodation. You might decide to rent, look for a deal on Airbnb, come to an arrangement with a local B&B, or speak to a friend or family member with a second property you could use.

Carrying out research and having these conversations early will let you decide on the best option for you and your family.

While selling first gives you budget visibility, you may find your cash doesn’t go as far as you thought if the market is rising quickly.

If the market is stuttering, however, you’ll be in an even stronger negotiating position. If it’s falling, putting off a purchase could get you a lot more for your money than you’d first thought.

Selling and buying at the same time

If you’re selling your home at the same time as buying a new one, then you’re in a chain. The more links – or people – in the chain, the bigger the risk of a delay or breakdown. This is because everyone is reliant on each other to move from offer acceptance to exchange of contracts and completion.

Selling and buying at the same time avoids the need to find short-term accommodation as you look for a new house. It minimises the disruption for you and your family by letting you move straight from your old house to your new one.

If you’re completing the sale and the new purchase together, you can also consider ‘porting’ your existing mortgage. This means transferring your mortgage from the old to the new property.

If you need to borrow more to fund the purchase of the new property, you’ll have to pass your lender’s affordability criteria. The criteria may have changed since you took out your original mortgage, and your financial circumstances may also be different. These changes can affect how much you can borrow and how much it will cost.

When thinking about porting your existing mortgage, you should also research the cost a new mortgage. You might be able to find more attractive borrowing terms and conditions.

Don’t forget that you’ll have to factor in any early redemption fees on your existing mortgage. These are fees that lenders sometimes charge if you pay off your mortgage before your deal ends. You’ll also have to factor in any mortgage product fees.

Fees, charges and Stamp Duty

No matter whether you buy and sell at the same time or not, there are various costs to calculate. These include legal fees, estate agency fees, valuation fees and the mortgage product fees already mentioned.

Legal and valuation fees will vary, and sometimes they may be covered by your mortgage provider, depending on the deal you choose.

It’s also likely you’ll have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you’re buying a property in England or Northern Ireland.

You generally have to pay SDLT on residential property transactions where the price is above £125,000. Tax is applied in bands starting at 2% for the portion of a purchase between £125,001 and £250,000. The top band of tax is 12% and is charged on the portion of a purchase above £1.5 million.

In Scotland, there is also a tax on property purchases called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). In Wales it is called Land Transaction Tax (LTT). The rates and structures of the taxes in Scotland and Wales are slightly different to those in England and Northern Ireland.

Buying a home is the biggest purchase most of us will make in our lifetime. Finding the right property and sorting out the finances can be stressful. The size of the price tag can also add to the anxiety.

Understanding your options and making the most appropriate choices for your particular situation will help to ease the stress.

These are some of the important things to consider around the timing of a house sale – and purchasing a new one.

Each purchase is unique

The decision to buy a home is influenced by lots of different factors.

Some of these create time pressures and dictate when you should buy. For example, you may be relocating for work or looking for something bigger because children are on the way.

Others are not time sensitive and will not influence precisely when you choose to buy. For example, a few good years may have boosted your finances and got you thinking about upgrading your home.

Whatever's driving you to buy a new home, you need to think about what is best for you and your family in terms of cost, convenience and timing.

You may want to sell your home, rent in the short-term, and then buy your new property. Or you may want to sell and buy, all at the same time. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both options.

Sell first, buy second

By selling your home first before trying to buy your next property, you’ll know exactly what you have to spend.

If you’re going to add to that budget, you can then work out whether it’s best to cash in some of your existing savings and/or investments, or to borrow from a mortgage lender.

Once you’ve sold your house, you become a ‘cash buyer’. This means you’re not reliant on selling your home to go ahead with buying your new one.

It puts you in a stronger position to negotiate when you find the property you want to buy. This is because you’ve got the money to move quickly and aren't at risk of potential complications from selling your own property – it’s already gone.

Once you sell your home, you’ll need to find short-term accommodation. You might decide to rent, look for a deal on Airbnb, come to an arrangement with a local B&B, or speak to a friend or family member with a second property you could use.

Carrying out research and having these conversations early will let you decide on the best option for you and your family.

While selling first gives you budget visibility, you may find your cash doesn’t go as far as you thought if the market is rising quickly.

If the market is stuttering, however, you’ll be in an even stronger negotiating position. If it’s falling, putting off a purchase could get you a lot more for your money than you’d first thought.

Selling and buying at the same time

If you’re selling your home at the same time as buying a new one, then you’re in a chain. The more links – or people – in the chain, the bigger the risk of a delay or breakdown. This is because everyone is reliant on each other to move from offer acceptance to exchange of contracts and completion.

Selling and buying at the same time avoids the need to find short-term accommodation as you look for a new house. It minimises the disruption for you and your family by letting you move straight from your old house to your new one.

If you’re completing the sale and the new purchase together, you can also consider ‘porting’ your existing mortgage. This means transferring your mortgage from the old to the new property.

If you need to borrow more to fund the purchase of the new property, you’ll have to pass your lender’s affordability criteria. The criteria may have changed since you took out your original mortgage, and your financial circumstances may also be different. These changes can affect how much you can borrow and how much it will cost.

When thinking about porting your existing mortgage, you should also research the cost a new mortgage. You might be able to find more attractive borrowing terms and conditions.

Don’t forget that you’ll have to factor in any early redemption fees on your existing mortgage. These are fees that lenders sometimes charge if you pay off your mortgage before your deal ends. You’ll also have to factor in any mortgage product fees.

Fees, charges and Stamp Duty

No matter whether you buy and sell at the same time or not, there are various costs to calculate. These include legal fees, estate agency fees, valuation fees and the mortgage product fees already mentioned.

Legal and valuation fees will vary, and sometimes they may be covered by your mortgage provider, depending on the deal you choose.

It’s also likely you’ll have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you’re buying a property in England or Northern Ireland.

You generally have to pay SDLT on residential property transactions where the price is above £125,000. Tax is applied in bands starting at 2% for the portion of a purchase between £125,001 and £250,000. The top band of tax is 12% and is charged on the portion of a purchase above £1.5 million.

In Scotland, there is also a tax on property purchases called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). In Wales it is called Land Transaction Tax (LTT). The rates and structures of the taxes in Scotland and Wales are slightly different to those in England and Northern Ireland.

Buying a home is the biggest purchase most of us will make in our lifetime. Finding the right property and sorting out the finances can be stressful. The size of the price tag can also add to the anxiety.

Understanding your options and making the most appropriate choices for your particular situation will help to ease the stress.

These are some of the important things to consider around the timing of a house sale – and purchasing a new one.

Each purchase is unique

The decision to buy a home is influenced by lots of different factors.

Some of these create time pressures and dictate when you should buy. For example, you may be relocating for work or looking for something bigger because children are on the way.

Others are not time sensitive and will not influence precisely when you choose to buy. For example, a few good years may have boosted your finances and got you thinking about upgrading your home.

Whatever's driving you to buy a new home, you need to think about what is best for you and your family in terms of cost, convenience and timing.

You may want to sell your home, rent in the short-term, and then buy your new property. Or you may want to sell and buy, all at the same time. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both options.

Sell first, buy second

By selling your home first before trying to buy your next property, you’ll know exactly what you have to spend.

If you’re going to add to that budget, you can then work out whether it’s best to cash in some of your existing savings and/or investments, or to borrow from a mortgage lender.

Once you’ve sold your house, you become a ‘cash buyer’. This means you’re not reliant on selling your home to go ahead with buying your new one.

It puts you in a stronger position to negotiate when you find the property you want to buy. This is because you’ve got the money to move quickly and aren't at risk of potential complications from selling your own property – it’s already gone.

Once you sell your home, you’ll need to find short-term accommodation. You might decide to rent, look for a deal on Airbnb, come to an arrangement with a local B&B, or speak to a friend or family member with a second property you could use.

Carrying out research and having these conversations early will let you decide on the best option for you and your family.

While selling first gives you budget visibility, you may find your cash doesn’t go as far as you thought if the market is rising quickly.

If the market is stuttering, however, you’ll be in an even stronger negotiating position. If it’s falling, putting off a purchase could get you a lot more for your money than you’d first thought.

Selling and buying at the same time

If you’re selling your home at the same time as buying a new one, then you’re in a chain. The more links – or people – in the chain, the bigger the risk of a delay or breakdown. This is because everyone is reliant on each other to move from offer acceptance to exchange of contracts and completion.

Selling and buying at the same time avoids the need to find short-term accommodation as you look for a new house. It minimises the disruption for you and your family by letting you move straight from your old house to your new one.

If you’re completing the sale and the new purchase together, you can also consider ‘porting’ your existing mortgage. This means transferring your mortgage from the old to the new property.

If you need to borrow more to fund the purchase of the new property, you’ll have to pass your lender’s affordability criteria. The criteria may have changed since you took out your original mortgage, and your financial circumstances may also be different. These changes can affect how much you can borrow and how much it will cost.

When thinking about porting your existing mortgage, you should also research the cost a new mortgage. You might be able to find more attractive borrowing terms and conditions.

Don’t forget that you’ll have to factor in any early redemption fees on your existing mortgage. These are fees that lenders sometimes charge if you pay off your mortgage before your deal ends. You’ll also have to factor in any mortgage product fees.

Fees, charges and Stamp Duty

No matter whether you buy and sell at the same time or not, there are various costs to calculate. These include legal fees, estate agency fees, valuation fees and the mortgage product fees already mentioned.

Legal and valuation fees will vary, and sometimes they may be covered by your mortgage provider, depending on the deal you choose.

It’s also likely you’ll have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you’re buying a property in England or Northern Ireland.

You generally have to pay SDLT on residential property transactions where the price is above £125,000. Tax is applied in bands starting at 2% for the portion of a purchase between £125,001 and £250,000. The top band of tax is 12% and is charged on the portion of a purchase above £1.5 million.

In Scotland, there is also a tax on property purchases called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). In Wales it is called Land Transaction Tax (LTT). The rates and structures of the taxes in Scotland and Wales are slightly different to those in England and Northern Ireland.

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