2023 your year, to the the leap and purchase your first home? We get this is the biggest purchase you have ever made so that’s why we’re here to help. Our Hagan Hacks below are here to make sure that the process is as easy as stress free as it can be.

1. Legal fees

You’ll always need to budget for solicitor or conveyancer when buying a house. Solicitors or Conveyancers are here to handle all your contracts, give you any legal advice you may need, carry out local council searches, deal with land registry and transfer funds to pay for your new home. As boring as it may be it is very important so make sure you choose carefully.  Don’t worry if you don’t know any or haven’t got the first clue where to find one; your estate agent can recommend one for you.Conveyancing fees normally start at around £500 - £1,000 depending on what you need. Always remember to ask for an estimated cost up front before agreeing to anything.

2. Mortgage arrangement fee

Another daunting word… a mortgage! They’re not as scary as they sound - it’s just a big loan. A mortgage arrangement fee is a cost for the mortgage product (sometimes it’s known as the completion fee). You can add this to your overall mortgage but be careful, this can increase the amount you owe meaning your monthly payments will increase.  We’d say budgeting for this and paying it up front is defiantly the way to go. This fee can be free (depending on how nice the bank is) or can be anywhere up to £500. A lot of money we know, but it is best to ask your bank or mortgage broker to include these in the list of mortgages you can apply for, so you know how much it is going to set you back. These can be negotiable so just don’t forget to hustle! Again, very boring, but very important. Make sure you shop around for your mortgage you can always get your hands on a deal and some banks even offer cash back which could really help with you with your costs.

3. House Insurance

Insurance, the most boring but essential thing on the planet! You don’t want to be left out in the cold after leaving that brand new Neom candle to accidentally catch fire to your pampers grass. A negative thought we know, but you gotta be prepared. Make sure you have buildings and contents insurance before moving into your new home. Buildings insurance will cover all the bricks and mortar. Shop around, as annoying as those Compare the Market ads are - use it! It’ll really help to find an insurance policy that is right for you. Contents insurance is another important one, you can usually kill two birds with one stone and get a policy that covers you across both. Check that premium though - most of the time the lower monthly costs will mean a high premium if you were to claim, so try to find a good balance of both. The average combined policy costs on average £161 a year. If you are buying an apartment, you won’t need buildings insurance but don’t forget to budget for your management fee which on average will be £500 per year. 

4. Removal Costs

Now down to the fun stuff, you’ve got your brand-new pad and its finally time to get all your lives possessions into it. So, you're going to need a removal company, unless your moving next door then you can just get all the fam round to give you a hand. Removal companies will charge depending on the time and amount of stuff you have. Make sure to  have a clear out before moving, because let's face it there is going to be a load of stuff that you won’t need. Google will be your bestie when looking for a removal company, just hit up ‘Local house removal companies’ and remember to shop about, get a few quotes and check reviews, ask your agent too they’ll have some good recommendations! Again, depending on how much of a hoarder you are, removal costs can be anywhere from £300 upwards. If you’re feeling adventurous you can rent a van and do it yourself and call in those favours from family and friends.

5. Rates & Utilities

Other items people forget to budget for when buying a new home is your rates and utility bills. Rates are an easy one, you can check how much your rates will be here, prices differ depending on the size of your house and the area you live in (https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/rates-calculator). Utilities add up though, it might not seem a lot per item, but it can be costly. Hagan Hack - owning a new home is so much more energy efficient and will save you money! There are some great apps that really help you keep a tab on your utilities, including your gas, electric, WIFI, TV subscription and your TV license. A lot of the time people forget to include these costs so budgeting for them from the offset will give you a head start!

6. Interiors & Furniture

Buying a brand-new home makes this so much easier! Every wall has a fresh coat of paint, the kitchens and bathrooms are brand spanking and there will be no manky carpet you need to replace. So, all you need to budget for is your furniture (we say all… that’s a whole lot)! Be smart and take your time, remember you can visit your new home empty, there will be no awkward cabinets or sofas in the way to make it hard to visualise. It’s a blank canvas so use that to your advantage. Make a mood board, Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok are great way to get some inspo, and don’t forget about the show home it showcases a great way to use the space. Write a wish-list and shop around for alternatives ! Also, up-cycle if you can. Facebook Market place has some bangers on there and YouTube has every up-cycling video you’ll ever need. Last but definitely not least, set yourself an affordable budget - Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’ll take time to build up your new home - trust the process!

Honestly, the most important piece of advice we can give you is to be organised and don’t rush! Buying a house is a massive achievement so don’t stress and take it all in your stride.