The following is a concise guide to the process of buying a house in England and the professionals you will need to use.
You can help yourself to lower the stress by following a few simple rules:-
Because of the ‘credit crunch’ securing a mortgage deal before you start looking for a new home is essential, for most people a mortgage is the biggest financial commitment. An ‘in principal’ letter is provided by the mortgage lender stating that they are prepared to lend a certain amount subject to approval of the property.
After deciding you are going to buy a new home and finding out how much you can afford, it is worth sitting down to consider what you would like from your new home. The following are all worth thinking about:-
Find out about the area you are planning to move to, remember you can change the house but not the neighbourhood so just because you can afford a bigger house in a not so nice area it might not be right for you. Consider yourself living in the area. Will you feel:-
Watch out for high crime areas or electrical sub stations nearby or a shared access. In addition check parking availability. Choose a property with a light and south/west aspect if possible.
Houses come in all shapes and sizes, but some are more suited to the way you live. Open plan living spaces are great for entertaining but if you need a quiet space which is easy to heat it is probably not for you. Traditional Victorian and Georgian buildings can offer fabulous spaces but are going to need more maintenance than a new build. Consider if this home is for life or just a stepping stone; it may be cheaper to extend than move again, is there space to build an extension on the side or in the attic? How many cars do you have; a double garage is so much easier than having to move one car out of the drive to get to the other behind it in the garage!
A few more important issues to consider when looking for your perfect home include:-
New homes are built to the latest building standards and benefit from a 10 year warranty. A new home will probably be better insulated and should require very little maintenance. You will always be at the end of the buying chain and if you part exchange there is no chain at all. You may also be able to specify your own features if you buy the house at an early state of construction.
New homes tend to be more expensive and have smaller rooms. They are also often closer to neighbouring properties. High density of most new estates usually restricts the number of parking spaces especially for visitors. Other issues include:-
House builders often place strict limits for exchanging contracts, usually from reservation to exchange in 28 days. If you already have a mortgage in principal letter and a solicitor this should be an easier process than buying an older property. You will need to make your selection of the builder’s options and extras as early as possible.
On or before the completion date your builder will give you a home demonstration, you should inspect your home for any defects.
After you move in if you have any problems you should follow the builders’ customer care procedure.
You must ask the builders the right questions before you sign the reservation form. House builders have a legal obligation not to make misleading or false statements. Ensure you ask about discounts, part exchange, the location of social housing, the completion date and what specifications and choices are available. Useful information includes the level of Council Tax, postal address and postcode and the site manager’s professional credentials, who is responsible for walls, fences and boundaries and any adjacent public spaces.
What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the term used to describe the process of legal and administrative transfer of ownership of land and buildings from one owner to another. The process of Conveyancing starts after an offer has been accepted and the buyer and seller have exchanged solicitors’ details.
You can use a solicitor or licensed conveyancer or even do it yourself. But the risks and time involved usually outway the savings and the mortgage lender will usually insist on a solicitor performing the task.
The deeds are very important. Your solicitor should explain any unusual details within the deeds. They will detail any limitations, legal obligations or restrictions that come with the property such as not keeping chickens.
Contact Dale and Co. Solicitors for free independent legal advice before you bid!