The prospect of owning your first home is a milestone many people across the UK wish for and, for Kirsty, it was just around the corner. However, with the housing market still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 stamp duty holiday made the process much more stressful and demanding. Kirsty and her conveyancer were ready to get the process moving but, with the deadline quickly looming, it became very clear that she also needed a trusted property surveyor and fast. With time ticking on, it was vital she found a verified surveyor who could get the job done in time.
A young professional in southeast London, Kirsty had been renting in the area since she graduated in 2015. “I live by myself...I was really looking forward to buying my first house,” she explained. “I wanted a house rather than a flat, which is quite unusual for a first-time buyer in London, I think. So I was looking for something quite specific because, obviously, I'm not a multimillionaire,” Kirsty laughed. “I knew I wanted to stay in southeast London. Southeast London is somewhere that I really love and spend a lot of time in. So, that was really important to me.”
Whilst the viewing process took a little bit of extra time to ensure her first home matched her budget, Kirsty soon found her dream house in her perfect location. It was a beautiful, cosy 2-bedroom Victorian terrace house with a stunning, little garden for her to enjoy during the rare British summer sunshine. The property was far more spacious than her previous flats and she could immediately see it had so much potential.
However, as a first time buyer, Kirsty soon realised that the buying process contained many complicated steps that she would have to prepare for. “You know, obviously, when you're buying your first house, you're going through the process for the first time and everything is quite unfamiliar,” she explained. “There's a lot going on or there's a lot to manage and deal with.” And, Kirsty specifically, had a lot more to deal with compared to your average house sale.
As the housing market was recovering from the global pandemic in 2019/20, the UK government introduced a stamp duty holiday that would run for many from 8th July 2020 until 30th June 2021. This June deadline made the process much more stressful for Kirsty and her conveyancer, adding to the pressure immensely. “It was really, really stressful. I mean, 8 weeks from offer to completion is quite a tight time frame anyway. But, yeah, that was a big ask and obviously, so many people were trying to make that deadline. So yeah, it did put quite a lot of pressure on it.”
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Part of this process meant finding a reliable surveyor as quickly as possible to assess and inspect the property before the end of the sale. As a first time home buyer, it isn’t always obvious who to turn to for help when it comes to comparing surveying quotes. But with one simple Google search, Kirsty soon found the help she needed. “I was just Googling how to find a good surveyor,” she told us. “And what was really helpful with your service was that I very quickly got a few recommendations, but then was able to find a really great surveyor who was able to come out really quickly. [That] was really important to me because I had 8 weeks between the offer and the stamp duty deadline - I really wanted to make that.”
After receiving a few helpful quotes from a range of Compare My Move partners, Kirsty soon found the right surveyor for her. “I did get a few quotes, but the [surveyor] that I went with, I went with quite quickly because he was able to come by quickly…” she explained. After entering her details into our online form, it only took around half an hour for Kirsty to get connected with her chosen surveying firm. “It was great to find this surveyor who could come out in 48 hours and come and do the survey.”
“I did read the reviews and that's what I really liked about the person that I ended up going with. There were lots of reviews that had referenced him individually and how helpful he'd been...that was really good. He was just great - he came out very quickly. Really, really, really good.”
Due to their superb 5-star reviews and helpful flexibility, Kirsty decided to arrange a property survey with Ark Surveyors through Compare My Move’s quick and easy service. Ark Surveyors have been a partner with Compare My Move since June 2020 and have already amassed many glowing reviews from our users. Based in London, their local knowledge and experience meant they were the perfect team for Kirsty and her requirements.
As the property she was purchasing was around 100-years old, Kirsty arranged a Homebuyers Report with Ark Surveyors, a type of property survey that is now known as a Level 2 Home Survey due to the recent changes to the RICS Home Survey Standard. When asked about the property inspection and resulting report, Kirsty said, “When you're buying an older property, this house is 100 years old, I think it's really important to have a more extensive survey done. And so I was really, really happy with that."
Never underestimate the importance of organising a property survey when buying a house. The results could shock you, indicating that the home is not a worthy investment and instead in great need of repair. Luckily for our first time buyer, this was not the case with her dream home. “[The surveyor] was great,” she explained. “He came out very quickly. Really, really, really good. And, actually, so much so that my friend ended up using him a few weeks later for her house. We were really pleased!”
After the property survey, the rest of the transaction was smooth sailing for Kirsty and she even made the tight deadline she was so nervous about. “...I managed it, I exchanged and completed on the stamp duty deadline,” she laughed. She is now enjoying the luxury of owning her first home and is planning all the decorative work that she could never do whilst renting. “What do I enjoy most [about being a homeowner]? I think the area, there's lots of light in the morning. It's just really nice to wake up and for it to be very light and airy...that's great.”
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When asked whether she would recommend Compare My Move’s services, Kirsty replied, “Yeah, definitely! As I say, when you're going through something that's completely unfamiliar and you’re not sure what to expect, it’s really helpful to have recommendations and see the other people that have worked with that person before. So, yes, fantastic!”
Compare My Move works with a range of trusted and verified companies to help ensure a smooth and stress-free house move. We have helped hundreds of happy movers over the years, connecting them with the very best in the business. If you, like Kirsty, are searching for a verified surveyor to get the job done, then simply fill out our quick online form to compare surveying quotes today. But our services don’t just end there - you can also compare conveyancers or removal companies should you need further help with the move.