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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 22 November, 2019

'Prime your poker face': 9 buyers share what they wish they'd known before house-hunting

From thinking twice about that fixer-upper to wearing your poker face at viewings.

"If we refuse to leave this house viewing, they'll be forced to give us the gaff, right?"
Image: Shutterstock/lenetstan

THERE ARE PLENTY of things you can prepare ahead of time when house-hunting – the ‘dream gaff’ Pinterest board, your saving sacrifices, the exact shade of blue you’ll paint your gorgeous front door.

And then there are the things you can’t predict, be it a nightmarish vendor calling the whole sale off or a contract taking months to draw up. The setbacks that make you want to end it all now and move into your parents’ garage, basically.

House-hunting can be a long and somewhat grim road, so we asked some people who’ve recently made it out the other side to share their insights.

Here are the things they say they wish they’d known before starting out…

1. There will be moments you’ll want to call the whole damn thing off

“Land registration issues delayed our sale by six months and the whole thing nearly fell through. We were pulling our hair out and ready to forget about moving house altogether. Thankfully we stuck it out and we finally got the keys just over a year ago.”

- Laura

2. Dial down the house-viewing thirst

“When I was viewing a home and liked it, I showed it. Like, really showed it. In one case I offered the full asking price and the agent came back to say someone else had just made a higher offer – but looking back I honestly don’t believe that was true. After that I started to research how estate agents pitch and picked up on a couple of things. I learnt to use my poker face more!”

- Niamh

shutterstock_335384081 Alright Super-Keen Sarah, time to chill out. Source: Shutterstock/Dean Drobot

3. Ask a surveyor, not your Da

It’s a fine line between ‘needs a bit of work, be grand’ and ‘as soon as you lift a floorboard an entire wall collapses’. Have some professional expertise on call if you have your heart set on a ‘fixer-upper’.

- Mike

4. New build? Start the DIY before you move in

See if there is a possibility of getting into your house before you get the keys. Neighbours of ours had their shed and some concrete slabs put in before they moved in and it looked great. It gives you a headstart.

- Dave

shutterstock_534599788 Ready, set... RENOVATE. Source: Shutterstock/red mango

5. Your bank manager is human, promise

“Our bank manager was top-class and was more helpful than our estate agent. We were in touch with her a good bit, especially when it came to signing stuff closer to the end of the buying process. She really put our minds at ease, and was even giving us advice on stuff not related to mortgages!”

- Becky

6. Keep back at least a few grand to get the place pretty

Our house was ready for us to walk into, we didn’t have to do any structural work. But we hadn’t factored in just how much it was going to cost to get it looking like *our* place. All of the extras like wall painting and picture framing ended up costing a few grand.

- Christine

shutterstock_569153572 'Any chance of a few freebies?' Source: Shutterstock/life-literacy

7. Be prepared to wait… and wait… and wait

“Even house viewings can take ages, so factor that in. We would find places online that we wanted to view right away, but we’d have to wait for the open viewing, two weeks away, usually on a Saturday morning at 11am.”

- Paul

8. Guess what? You’re more mortgage ready than you think

A lot of people I know work in the arts, like me, and think that their job is too unstable for them to be eligible for a mortgage. I now know that’s not true. Banks are looking for how reliable you are at paying things off, not just how much money you currently have. If you’ve been paying rent reliably for years, that can help a lot.

- Leanne

9. All this stress will be worth it, honest

“I have friends who say they prefer the freedom of renting, but I found I got more freedom by owning my own place. I was even able to move to another country recently, with small short-term lets first, then ultimately letting out the whole place. And when I move home I’ll be able to refurb the place and settle back in.”

- Simon

When you’re making the decision to sell up or renovate, everyone will have their opinion – and won’t think twice about letting you know what it is. But how do you block out the noise and get to the point?

At permanent tsb, we value finding a better way. If you’re house-hunting, or even just saving for your deposit, you’ll want to do things the right way. Head over to our Bring It Home Hub for the inside scoop.

Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Security and Insurance required. permanent tsb p.l.c is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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