Autumn is Coming

Autumn is Coming

For some of us it seems to have arrived.  I've just had two weeks blissful summer holiday in England and it appears our timing was perfect. We've fast forwarded through the balmy late summer days and the wind is blowing and the rain is coming.

Rather than feeling depressed by this, I'm excited because it means lots of our members start cranking up their house hunting.  Everyone knows it takes a while to choose an area, find a house, sell a house and get moved, so many people choose September as a great moment to gear up for a move, potentially mid academic year in January or to allow themselves more time to move ready for the next school year.

For Life After London that means more questions on the forum and more opportunities to help people who are reading our articles and that's exciting and positive.


A few tips to think about for you own move if now is your big push.


1.  Narrow down your search - I don't mean you need to name roads and villages, but try and locate a few areas that might be of interest. If you're struggling with this first step download our FREE guide on schools mapchoosing an area and email me so we can look at the issues and see if we can help make some choices.  You'll find a great website linked on our site which offers an easy way of working out train commuting distances.  If schools are on your radar then you'll also really need to look at this link which shows the Ofstead reports of schools in your area.  Also delighted to introduce you (if you haven't already met!) to the School Guide. They are a great website I've known for a couple of years.  The latest addition is super useful - the catchment maps.  Find a school you like and then check out the catchment areas.  Like with all these things, don't rely 100%, but a very handy tool.


2. Register on Rightmove, Primelocation, Zoopla and On the Market for your chosen area.  Be aware there is no one property search engine any more that has all the properties in your area.  You can draw maps these days to narrow down your search.  Don't be afraid of widening your parameters and thinking outside the box to buy in an area you really want.


3.  Telephone the agents in the areas you are looking and talk to them.  You need to get personal.  Registering on the websites is a process to go through but this step is MUCH more important.  Agents see houses all the time and when they spot the perfect one they are going to call you if they know who you are and you aren't just yet another website registration.  Bugging them is absolutely allowed and essential.  Set calendar notes to make sure you're staying in touch with the agents.


4.  Get your paperwork in order and if you're seeking a mortgage, start the process.  We know a few really good mortgage brokers who can help you.  Gone are the days when you just walk into a bank and get a mortgage, so you need to get sorted.  The same goes for any house sale you are organising.  Don't wait for an offer, find yourself a solicitor (we know a few good ones if you're stuck) and instruct them.  They will then send you plenty of forms which need completing.  If more home owners did this before the deals were done, things would be a little speedier.


5.  Come to one of our free seminars and ask advice about your move. The next one is being held in Putney on 22nd September.  Click this link to book your FREE half hour appointment.


If you aren't already registered with us make sure you sign up for our free moving tips.  Also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Periscope (@lifeafterlondon) for regular live broadcasts with house hunting tips.


Good luck with it all and keep us posted!
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