Buying property

You have decided to buy a home - so what happens next? Whether you are a first time buyer or an experienced property owner, you can find it a lengthy, confusing and complicated exercise.

Firstly you should ascertain how much you can afford to borrow and assess the fees and deposit which may be required. We are happy to recommend the services of a highly acclaimed independent mortgage advisor.

Please note: Mortgage commission payments of 10% of the Broker’s procuration fee, are received by the Agent when a Client chooses to use our recommended mortgage broker.

You should investigate the areas you want to live and the type of property you require.

Register with us and we’ll keep you up to date with properties we think will suit you best.

Select properties to view. A few common considerations are space, privacy, noise, parking, character and obviously price.

Another important decision to make is whether you want your property to be freehold or leasehold.

Freehold Property:

  • If the property is freehold, this simply means that the land which the property is built on is part of the sale and no ground rent or service charge is payable.
  • On some developments a service charge may be payable for the management of any unadopted shared areas

Leasehold Property:

  • A property may be leasehold, which means that the land which the property is built on is not part of the sale.
  • You may have to pay ground rent to the owner of the land – the freeholder. The length of lease can vary and you should check that the length of the lease on the property you are interested in buying is acceptable to the mortgage lender.
  • A service charge may also be payable, your lease will set out the way the service charge is organised and what can be charged.

Before making an offer on a property, consider the following:

  • What is included – fixtures and fittings
  • Property worth – value of similar properties
  • Leasehold – cost of ground rent/service charge
  • How much you are willing to pay
  • Seller’s circumstances
  • Your appeal as a buyer – agreement in principle or cash buyer
  • Interest from other buyers

You should instruct a legal representative as soon as your offer has been accepted.

They play a key role in the purchase of your home:

  • Appropriate legal checks on the property
  • Legal work for property purchase
  • Ensuring the mortgage meets your lender’s requirements
  • Identify title or planning issues
  • Advise on searches to have carried out
  • Legal work of transferring the ownership

You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England and Northern Ireland.

You pay the tax when you:

  • Buy a freehold property
  • Buy a new or existing leasehold
  • Buy a property through a shared ownership scheme
  • Are transferred land or property in exchange for payment, for example you take on a mortgage or buy a share in a house

Payment thresholds:

  • The current SDLT threshold for residential properties is £125,000
  • The threshold for non-residential land and properties is £150,000
  • If you buy a property for less than the threshold, there’s no SDLT to pay

First-time buyers pay less or no tax if both the following apply:

  • You, and anyone else you’re buying with, are first-time buyers
  • The purchase price is £500,000 or less