Christmas 2017: Want to move home before xmas? You need to start NOW | Property | Life & Style

For some would-be movers December 25 represents a significant deadline, as spending the festive season in a new home is a driving factor for many people who are moving at this time of year, with a typical sight increase in numbers of properties sold. In fact, stats from HMRC that report on residential transactions in value of over £40,000 show that in December 2016, a total of 109,510 people purchased residential properties in December, up from 102,390 properties sold in November 2016. 

So, if you’re thinking about putting up the tree in your next home, what can you do to get moving now so that you’re eating your turkey in your new abode? And actually, is it even possible? Answer is, if you’re prepared to focus on paperwork, be sensible about your pricing and get organised, yes it is, but as with every property transaction, it will depend on the market demand in your area, as some parts of the UK are seeing higher demand than others. 

Before you start, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got your mortgage Agreement In Principle (AIP) in place. That’s because once you find a property you want to purchase and decide to put in an offer, the estate agent or developer will want to see evidence as quickly as possible that you’ve got the necessary finance, especially if you want to move quickly.

As Brian Murphy, the Head of Lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau suggests: “By applying for a mortgage before you start looking for your new home, you’ll know exactly how much you can afford. The worst thing you can do is think that you can borrow a certain amount, find a place you love, put in an offer which is accepted then apply for a mortgage and find out you can’t borrow as much as you need. On average, it takes around three weeks to apply for a mortgage, so if you’re aiming for a quick move, the sooner you start the better.”

The good news is that lenders are offering some highly competitive deals at the moment for people who want to move in the next couple of months, as the latest Best Buy table from Mortgage Advice Bureau shows, so it’s worth taking time before you go any further to get this crucial element in order, then you know you’ll be able to proceed quickly once you do find your dream pad. 

If you’re selling, it’s best to get your legal documents in order as soon as you put your property on the market. It can take up to a month for your solicitor to finalise your Sales Pack, the crucial set of documents that will be sent…

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