Moving home can be really expensive, with mortgage fees, valuation costs, removal costs, stamp duty and various legal fees mounting up before you even think about the asking price.
Stamp duty has been reduced quite a bit, which will help many buyers, especially first timers, but you’ll still be shelling out quite a lot of money.
What do you do if you need to move but can’t afford it
If you don’t think you could afford to move even with the recent changes to stamp duty/land tax, there are ways in which you could still move, you don’t necessarily even need to buy or sell.
Even with the reductions in stamp duty, buying and selling might still be a bridge too far. If you really need to find a new place to live, however, there are other ways to do it without stretching yourself.
Let to let
The let to let option involves you letting out your property (if you’re a home owner) and renting another property to live in yourself. It’s a good option if you’re struggling financially, especially if your rental income exceeds your own rental outgoings. It’s an even better option if you move back in with parents as you’ll probably be paying significantly less each month.
You do have to make sure your property is safe to let out and that your mortgage provider allows for this change of circumstances, but in most cases this is a simple process.
Head to an auction
If you do have a half-decent budget but it’s still not quite enough to secure the sort of place you want or need, then you might have more luck at auctions.
You shouldn’t just rock up to the auction house and bid on a property sight unseen, however. You’ll need to visit the place in person and to make all the necessary legal checks before placing a bid. Once your offer is accepted, you’ve committed to buying it and you’ll need to secure the purchase with a deposit, either from your own funds or from specialist auction financing. You’ll also need to pay for a survey and for all of the usual legal fees – the main saving is in the price of the property itself.
Buy with a friend or relative
Pooling your resources with a close friend or relative can also work well, as you combine your deposit pots and share the monthly mortgage payments. If you’re looking somewhere particularly expensive this can be a smart move, although you’ll have to get a legal agreement in place to cover eventualities such as a fall out or one of you needing to move again.
Look at shared ownership
There are lots of government schemes for house hunters and they’re not all for first-time buyers. If you’re a second stepper or even a retiree, you can get help to move and to buy a property, so take a look at gov.uk to find out what’s out there for you.