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on 7 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It was ironic that this book should appear on my Amazon Vine list of books to review the same week I'd just bought and moved into my first house! Having just gone through the nightmare that is moving house (if you haven't yet done this, it is indeed true that it's one of the most stressful things you can do) I thought I'd be the perfect candidate to review this book.

Seeing that it was compiled by Which (impartial consumer advice service) I was already optimistic that it would be a wealth of knowledge to make up for the lack of experience that, let's face it, most of us have when moving house (unless you do it a lot...then you must be mad!)

At just over 200pages it is not an overly thick book which is good as when you're in the process of buying and/or selling a house you really dont have much time to spare (and if you did you wouldnt want to spend it reading about moving house!) You mostly just want the essential facts and a bit of advice, and that's exactly what you get here.

It is laid out in a sensible manner, which is more or less chronological. It starts out with a rough guide to the property market, which is kept to the essentials of what you need to bear in mind when buying/selling. While keeping mostly to facts, figures and advice the book does remain human and acknowledges the feelings that can come up while preparing to depart your beloved home.

Beyond the general intro of reasons for moving, and considerations to take into account (do you really need to move? Evaluating finances, choosing a mortgage....yawn...) we go through the different stages chapter by chapter:
Valuing a property
Selling your home
Buying a property
Managing the chain
Preparing for move day
Settling in
Selling and buying in Scotland
Selling and buying in Ireland and Northern Ireland

I think almost everyone would benefit from the knowledge contained within this book as even the most conscientious of us can get caught up in the excitement (or worry) of a new house and forget details that may be important at a later date.

This book will serve as a prompt at EVERY stage of the process, very logical and practical. Having received this book just 3 days after moving in I am still finding it potentially helpful as it's given me advice on how to store documents and paperwork for the future (yes I have already done it but many people would welcome this advice as it could save them weeks of work and a considerable amount of money chasing things up (building regs, electrical work, builders etc.) when they come to sell...and all for the measly price of this book.

I wish I'd had it a year ago and I may not have felt so lost at certain points of the purchase! (oh and I may not be sat in a bedroom with no curtains because we would have negotiated them into the sale price before we realised AFTER making the offer that the seller was taking them!!! Haha.)
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
WHICH Buy Sell and Move House (2012 Edition)
Kate Faulkner
When they are not providing independent tests on all goods consumer or crusading against consumer rip offs, WHICH also provides Essential Guides, written by practicing legal experts on a variety of topics.
Some of us move house many times in a lifetime (chasing jobs or doing up property as a business) others rarely move unless looking for the dream house or downsizing after the kids have flown the nest (with or without persuasion). A lot has changed since I had my first copy (earlier edition) of this book and moved house some 25 years ago. Key concerns there were minimising costs - eliminating agents / solicitors fees. (Was self conveyancing a practical option?)
25 years on matters are far more complicated now -prices and costs are higher .Mortgages are no longer thrown at us by the banks (they also now charge heavily for their "advice") and the penalties of getting it wrong (potential repossession) are high. Estate agents still abound but the use of the Internet (for buying, selling and legal issues) have added to the ease / complication of moving house and, in some cases reduced the costs. Getting comparative data can also help with the issue of market value / price in your selected area of selling or buying. The major issue of raising the necessary finance is even more critical today with house prices being several multiples of salaries.
In its 224 pages this book looks at all of the steps of preparing and selling your property , assessing what you can afford in a new property ( cost price , mortgage costs) ,finding a property , assessing its "value" vs. price asked , how to check for " problems and an assessment of the overall costs of moving house. The iniquitous problem of "chains" is still with us and not all offers to buy / sell reach fruition - with consequent losses of money in surveys etc.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's) also figure strongly now in the selling / buying process and have replaced the poorly conceived/implemented HIP's scheme - both were / are designed to show how energy efficient a house is. Behind the hype there is logic as energy costs of running a house inexorably spiral upwards.
Whilst the book is primarily for England, Wales, the unique system used in Scotland (binding bids - where most transactions are via Solicitors rather than Estate Agents) is also briefly covered .There is also specific section on Northern Ireland (where much property / land is sold via auction) which has seen a boom up to and a bust in House prices since 2006.
I liked the logical order approach and, like all WHICH books, it also advises the key legal aspects to protect you as a seller or a buyer and the issues that you as a buyer must consider Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware for the non classicists) still applies.
Overall this book works well as an check list / flow chart - even dealing with the question could you/should you / do you need to move anyway!

There is also a sister book by WHICH on renting and letting - for those who either have spare property or are buying property as an investment
( to let) OR have not the money to buy property and have to rent.
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VINE VOICEon 27 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This really is a book which explores the ins and outs of buying and selling a house. The pitfalls are highlighted: how to negotiate with an estate agent; how to decide how much your present home is worth; solicitors' costs; how to get a mortgage; how to know whether your proposed purchase is a `good' buy or if the person buying your house is genuine; etc., etc.

The book is clearly written and easy to read. Everything is laid out from beginning to end; all is logical and well thought out. Whether you are a first-time purchaser or someone who has moved several times, there is much to help make it easier and overcome any difficulties. The chapters are well signposted and the index at the end makes it easy for the reader to find out what they want to know. So whether you want to start at the beginning and look at the property market, from how to value a property right through to the day of removal, you will find all this in this book.

It is excellent and I could see nothing which had been omitted. It really is the A.B.C... of buying, selling and moving. I am tempted to say everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask! It won't take out the stress of buying and selling but it surely will make it a lot easier!

Review by Shirleyanne Seel (who used to be a conveyancer).
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on 9 January 2014
I was disappointed with this book. I was a first time buyer and I bought it as I wanted to understand the buying process: I wanted a sort of timeline of what needs to happen when. I especially wanted to know about the ins and outs of conveyancing as my solicitors- sadly, like most other conveyancers, it seems- were appalling and I had to do much of the work myself. I felt like I was stabbing in the dark and would find things out in conversations with friends about what my solicitors should be doing. The book touches on conveyancing but at a high level only, it doesn't detail exactly what a local authority search is, what things to look out for, what restrictive covenants to look out for in leases etc. To be fair, the authors probably assumed competence from conveyancers. But I've not heard one good story about conveyancers so more and more people seem to need advice in this area!
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VINE VOICEon 29 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Impartial advice can be difficult to come by these days with incentives and ulterior motives flying around buying a house definitely isn't made easier. This step by step guide gives you the lowdown on everything from what to look for when considering a house, through selecting a house to what you should think about on moving day. While quite a lot of what is included may be considered obvious by some it's good at suggesting those things you might have otherwise missed or giving additional information around things you don't know that much about.

The book begins by asking the key question - do you really want to move? Once it's taken you through the process of finding and estate agent and getting all the legal stuffs in order it then moves on to what to look for when purchasing a new house and then how you go about the negotiation process. There's also a section in the back that deals with the difference of the processes in Scotland which would be useful for anyone who's not used to the irregularities. Where the book excels though is dealing with the legal aspects of purchasing the house such as home information packs and the jargon that surrounds the entire process.

Overall, this is a great end to end guide of how to buy, sell and move house - a true complete guide to navigating the property market.
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on 25 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Buy, Sell & Move House is a comprehensive Which guide which tells you everything you need to know. I am selling a house for the first time and have found this book invaluable. The book manages to cover everything you need to know without being 1000 pages long! There is a very useful chapter at the beginning of the book which helps you assess whether you can afford to buy and whether it is the right thing for you to do at this time. I would definitely recommend reading any first time buyers read this chapter. The sections that have been most relevant to me have been the ones on selling a house and the legal process. The book takes you through everything you need to do if you want to put your house on the market and I found myself constantly referring to this section to make sure I was not forgetting anything. There is a long list of questions to ask estate agents and solicitors which I found incredibly useful. There is also advice on what you need to look out for in any contract you sign. The book also has plenty of general advice on the housing market and what makes certain houses desirable. If you want to buy or sell a house you really only need this book alongside the internet to find out everything you know.
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VINE VOICEon 17 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Unfortunately as I've seen happen with friends and colleagues, it's all too often a fact that house sales fall through after lots of money exchanging hands, and before contracts are exchanged. In some cases, even after this important step a sale can fall through, so books like this serve to try to shrink that risk to as minimal as possible.

This book covers most of the important steps, working out how much you have to spend, finding a property, associated fees, affordability of repayments, evaluating a good purchase etc..

Whilst extensive, it won't eliminate all the potential risks that can cause a purchase or sale to fall through. However it will likely ensure you cover all the right bases, from negotiating well with estate agents, to ensuring you get all the paperwork done on time and within expectation.

Buying a house is not quick or easy. Even more so when you are either a first time buyer, or somebody with limited funds that has decided buying is money better spent over renting. Being a "Which?" guide also gives it an impartiality you won't get with guides or advice from banks or other parties with a stake in the sale. I thoroughly recommend this, and will be reading it cover to cover when I am serious about purchasing a property.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
'Buy, Sell & Move House' from Which Publications is a comprehensive guide to the minefiled of buying and selling property. We moved in December 2012 and without this guide we would almost certainly have suffered with higher levels of stress and definitely spent a lot more money. Therefore the Which Guide 'Buy, Sell & Move House' is not only good for your health it is also good for your wallet.

Chapters include:

Facts and Figures; The essentials of moving house plus facts and figures.
Assets, Advisors and Affordibility: Choosing a mortgage, how much, mortgage problems, insurance policies.
Valuing a Property: The market and property prices
Selling Your Home: Getting ready, estate agents, Selling your property yourself, Energy Performance Certificates, the Legal Process, Problems with your sale.
Buying a Property: Needs Vs Wants, location, first time buyer schemes, viewing property, making your offer, surveys.
Managing the Chain: Running the chain
Preparing for Move Day: removals, getting organised and actually moving.
Settling In: paperwork, disputes
Selling and Buying in Scotland
Selling and Buying in Northern Ireland and Ireland

So to sum up ... an affordable guide that is a must have if you are planning to move.
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on 18 February 2013
This book is extremely useful for anyone buying or selling a house. The author points out toots of things that might be obvious, but easily forgotten, and lots of things that are not obvious at all! I would say it was essential for anyone buying/selling a house, even if you have done it before. The only little gripe I would have is that there is not a lot of information provided for explaining the process once you have an offer accepted, if you are not getting a mortgage. Aside from that, an extremely helpful book!
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on 24 December 2013
Found this a very good book for what it covered but wish it had a little more sellers information beyond the point where you sign up with the agent, have viewings take place and instruct the solicitor. We had issues around our survey result and there was no information on this or other potential pitfalls at the later stages of selling. However, it is a very user-friendly, easy-to-read book for a straightforward sale and/ or purchase.
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