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How to climb up the property ladder

If you're a first time buyer, you'll find plenty of advice and guidance online to help you take your first step on to the property ladder. But what about when you're ready to climb up to that second, equally important, rung? Whether you've outgrown your current home or want to relocate to a new area, what do you need to know about moving onwards (and upwards)?

Image of model house held in someone's hand.

In some ways, as a 'second stepper' you have an advantage over first-time buyers, because you'll have been through the process before. You know what you're doing and you know how much it costs to run a home. Expenses like basic home maintenance and home insurance are part and parcel of owning your own home, but there will be other things you'll need to be aware of.

The Costs

This will probably be the first time you've had to think about selling a property, so make sure to budget for extra costs you might not have had first time around. Your home will need to be valued (at least once) and you'll have to make sure it's in tip top condition to attract potential buyers. Get all your paperwork in order too, you'll need an energy performance certificate (EPC) if you haven't already got one.

You'll also have to find a bigger deposit for your new home — The Telegraph reports 'second-steppers' will need an extra £58,400 to cover the difference between the sale price of their first home and the cost of the house they'd like to move to. That's more than double the average £25,900 first-time buyers need to find for their deposit.

Often the reason you're looking to upsize to a bigger property is because your family is growing, which makes it tricky to build up enough savings to cover these costs. The Money Advice Service offers some helpful steps to making saving for a deposit more manageable.

The Chain

As you already own a home that has to sell before you can move, likewise, the people who want to buy your property will probably need to sell their home. This creates the property chain, and the number of links in the chain will affect how quickly things happen. According to a 2016 Which? survey, around three in 10 (28%) people have experienced a house purchase falling through, so try to prepare yourself on what to do if the worst happens.

Getting the right mortgage

Most people, even if they have a mortgage already, will need to borrow more in order to move. Make sure to look into the different types of mortgages, to get the very best deal for you. There are plenty of tools and help available online, and you could even speak to a mortgage adviser. You'll need to work out which mortgage will be cheapest for you, which means fully understanding the different interest rates and fees, plus all the different products that are available.

Most mortgage providers insist you have a buildings insurance policy in place. At Hastings Direct, we offer quality insurance at competitive prices. Our home buildings and contents policies are Defaqto 5 Star rated and come with a range of benefits as standard.

Get a quote today and see how much you could save.