Moving house can be a wonderful time. For many people, it represents the opportunity to move up the property chain. For others, it gives them the opportunity to relocate to a more desirable location, or to be nearer family or friends. In these circumstances, moving house is the stuff of dreams. Unfortunately, however, moving can be the stuff of nightmares. And this is never more so the case than when a homeowner finds themselves stuck in a property chain.
What is a Property Chain?
A property chain occurs when three or more homeowners find that their house move becomes dependent upon the sale of the property belonging to the next person in line. For person B to move, person A has to sell their home. So person B can’t sell their home until person A sells theirs, which means that person C can’t sell until person B sells, and so on. And if a property chain collapses, this can spell disaster for everyone involved.
How to Spot a Property Chain
Spotting a property chain can be difficult, but there are ways to stop yourself becoming involved in a chain. If you’re buying, instruct your property agent that you aren’t interested in seeing properties which are already involved in a chain. If you’re selling, make sure you ask all potential buyers if they are currently in a chain.
Protecting Yourself in a Chain
If you do end up in a property chain, don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to protect yourself financially while you’re waiting for the chain to move forwards, and also in the event of the chain collapsing.
Minimising the overall cost of your moving is always a good idea, as this will free up your finances and help you to cushion the blow of a chain collapsing. Take as many money saving precautions as you can: pay off all of your bills, sell all of your unwanted possessions, and take advantage of the reasonable removal rates.
Many property owners also find that selling their property before they’ve bought a new one is a great way to protect yourself financially against the risks of getting caught in a chain. This is a great idea for people who have family and friends who they can stay with, in the interim period between selling and buying. And, of course, it’s always good practice to get your mortgage in order before you commit to a purchase.