Buying a house is probably the most significant purchases of your life. It’s certainly not something you should do without a certain amount of thought and preparation. You wouldn’t want to invest in a property that does not suit both your short- and long-term needs.
We have put together a guide to the things you may want to consider before buying a property. Take a read and make sure that you are ready for the exciting time to come.
Before you start your search for a property, make a list of things you feel are essential, desirable and not needed in your new home. For example, if it is essential that you have a private garden, don’t waste your time looking at third floor flats.
When making your list, consider the following points:
- Location- does the area that you are viewing properties in have all the amenities that you want?
- Detached, semi-detached, terrace or flat?
- Freehold or leasehold? With a freehold you own the house and land, a leasehold you have exclusive possession for a specific period, but not ownership.
- Do you want a new build house or an older property?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
- Do you want off-street parking?
As you start to view properties, your lists may change. This isn’t a bad thing, it just reflects your changing priorities as you learn more from viewings.
What can you afford?
You have probably been saving for some time to buy your home, which makes sense as the larger the deposit you have, the better the interest rates will be available to you. Also, you will have more equity in the property to protect you from any drop-in property prices that may occur.
When looking for a mortgage, a financial advisor will be able to breakdown all the important numbers for you. This will be based on your earnings to inform you on how much you can borrow, over what timeframe and at what interest rate.
You should also investigate whether you are eligible for a Help to Buy scheme. This is provided by the government on both old and new build properties. The government acts as a guarantor for up to 15% of the house value, so reducing the risk to the mortgage lender.
Conveyancing, searches and stamp duty
The term ‘conveyancing’ refers to the legal transfer of one owner to another. This includes carrying out searches, arranging completion dates and the transfer of funds.
Searches are enquiries made to find out more information about the property you plan to purchase and to check that there isn’t anything unusual around the property, such as an application for motorway to be built through it. They are incredibly important in helping you make an informed decision about your purchase. NYL utilise a digital system to minimise the waiting times for search results, thus shaving off time in the process.
The main searches carried out when buying a house are:
- Local authority
- Water, drainage and other property searches
- Chancel repair liability
- Title searches
These can seem a little confusing, but don’t panic. Your legal team will arrange for the searches to be carried out and then present all the information that they have gathered for you in an understandable report. This gives you piece of mind when you are making such a large commitment
Stamp duty land tax is payable on any residential property bought in England for more that £125,000. This tax applies to both freehold and leasehold properties, regardless of whether you are buying the property outright or with a mortgage. You can get an estimate of how much stamp duty you will have to pay by using an online calculator. However, NYL Solicitors will advise you on the exact amount and arrange the payment itself.
Are you looking to buy or sell a property? The experts at North Yorkshire Law can help you with your conveyancing. Contact us today for more information.