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Should I buy a house or rent instead?


Read this before instructing a conveyancing solicitor.


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Choosing a Property to Buy and Some Useful Completion Tips

When thinking of buying a property, it is important that you have done your part not just in research but also in viewing the property to make sure that you have seen what it looks like and what potential issues lie ahead in its entirety. While you may be unable to inspect the house thoroughly, you’d at least get a picture of how it is going to be when you complete your purchase and move in.

When viewing though, you need to consider visiting the house you’re looking to buy at least twice and at different times of the day and at weekends, just so you’ll have an idea how it is at such hours. You might want to be keen as well on possible right-of-ways that are not on the title deeds. See if there are no gaps within the boundaries that lead from and to other properties.

If this happens and you think it is going to be a bit of a problem, you may have to consult a property solicitor on how to properly deal with it. This is why it’s important that you find a conveyancer or property solicitor ahead of time.

If you’re looking to buy a flat, ask who owns the building’s freehold - which sometimes may be a management company consisted of the leaseholders (flat owners) and other parties. But to even be more sure, work with a conveyancing solicitor to find more details about the flat and the building itself.

When buying as joint owners, work out how you could split the property’s ownership by percentage to prevent last-minute arguments.

As you finalise your decision about buying, though you’re also looking to sell a property, consider working with an estate agent to be properly advised of the property’s value and negotiate for you. If you’re taking out a mortgage, your lender’s valuer is very likely to conduct a valuation and survey for you at the same time, generally at a discounted rate.

Stamp Duty and Land Registry

Both are mandatory financial obligations to government agencies and their costs are dependent on how much you are buying the house for. The first £125,000 though is free of Stamp Duty Land Tax. It is important that you keep track of time when working out the payment for Stamp Duty in particular as you only have 30 days after completing the purchase to settle this.

Generally, your conveyancer should assist you in the paperwork when paying for Stamp Duty and Land Registry fees. To be sure though, discuss everything with them prior to sending out your instructions, just so you would know what they would be responsible for throughout the conveyancing process towards completion.

Completion and Removal Reminders

It is important to note that your seller will not hand they keys to the property over until they have confirmed that the funds (payments) are in their account. So, make sure that you forward the deposit properly to your conveyancer whilst they will be sending it over to the seller’s solicitor. A receipt should be issued as soon as the monies are in.

As for the rest of the funds, your conveyancing solicitor should make arrangements with your mortgage lender, and the latter will then send the funds over through Electronic Funds Transfer to the seller’s account (or their solicitors). Wiring the money may generally take up to three days, so if you want everything sorted before the weekend, consider working the funds transferring process with your conveyancer on ideal days.

As soon as they seller confirms that they have received the payment for the property, you will be issued an official receipt and a notification (via a phone call, email, or SMS) that the keys are ready to collect from the estate agent or their solicitor.

When moving in, do not forget to send out your notifications to your bank, credit card providers, utility providers, DVLA, doctors, dentists, your family and friend, etc of your change of address.