I am in the process of buying my first house.
Unless you’ve already done it, you would not believe how tedious it is. You can read a lot about how stressful it is, but so far I’ve not found it very stressful, only irritating when I can’t get in touch with the bank. Other than that, it seems like an excuse for “financial institutions” (translate: black holes for your money) to send you loads of paperwork which you will have to read, check for naughty loopholes, sign, return and also send to someone else because why would any of the people you’re employing talk to one another?
Thankfully we’ve had the net to help us out. There are hundreds and probably thousands of sites which give advice on everything from mortgages, home inspections, how to negotiate price, how to use your estate agent (i.e. don’t, just use rightmove.co.uk – they actually have good information on pretty much everything), the difference between surveying and conveyance, moving and so on. It is all profoundly boring and yet you’re somehow expected to know it all for this one purchase, starting from a knowledge base of zero, which, in the scheme of things, despite total prices, isn’t really that expensive. sigh.
What it certainly is, is a cash cow. No wonder the banks et al. have been hoisted with the petard of their own greed, we’ve paid around £2,000 on our house move (you have to “buy” the right to get into hundreds of thousands of pounds of debt, and you have to “buy” the right to make sure the building is, y’know, actually *as described* and without fundamental problems) and the sellers could still pull out at any moment, if they wanted to.
Anyway, I cannot even imagine doing all of this without net connectivity. It would have taken *weeks* just to do what can now be done in hours. The preparation alone would have been a massive timesink, and I can totally see people getting even more robbed by banks by being sold their expensive add-on insurances which are mostly much more expensive than specialist sellers (which, of course, places like moneysupermarket will compare for you and moneysavingexpert will give advice on).
Hopefully you can gather from the tone of this that I think the whole charade is a big fat con, but more than that, just incredibly, incredibly boring.