This page aims to explain the process step-by-step of buying a house to first time buyers.
Buying a house is a very daunting experience for first time buyers. We aim to make it as stress free and as smooth a process as possible. Here we explain the steps to consider when buying your first home, from your initial offer to exchange of contracts and completion. We are available throughout the day via email, telephone or skype and will constantly keep you updated on the progress of you purchase.
Once you have found a property that you would like to purchase, you need to make an offer to the sellers estate agents. If your offer is accepted, the sellers estate agent will contact you and confirm your offer in writing.
If your offer is accepted, a property survey will have to be carried out. This is funded by the purchaser (you) and it will provide a valuation of the property. We suggest that you get a “full structural survey”, this will give the most detailed and in – depth survey and is useful especially if you are purchasing an older house.
The purpose of this is to explain what searches can be made, what they cover and more particulary what their limitations are. You must appreciate that when you are obtaining a mortgage, we have legal responsibilities to your mortgagees and they also are interested in the results of the searches which we make.
This is always required and is most unfortunately named since it is a common misconception that this will provide information regarding the locality where the property is situated. It would be far better to call this search a local authority search: it describes matters registered against the property you are buying (or mortgaging) and virtually nothing else apart from proposals to construct a major highway, railway or tramline having its centre line within 200 metres of the property. In particular, you should note that even if the authority has given planning consent for something which you would regard as unfortunate in respect of other property in the immediate neighbourhood, this will not be shown on the search. It will show such items as planning consents , smoke control orders, proposals for compulsory purchase, planning consents and the like – but only in so far as they affect the property itself. It is possible to make additional enquiries of the local authority regarding public footpaths, pipelines, waste disposal and the like: it is normal for a solicitor to use some discretion as to which supplemental questions (if any) are asked since clearly the majority of them are inappropriate to residential properties in suburban areas.
This information used to be provided on the replies to the local search but the water companies are now responsible for providing their own information. They supply information as to whether the property has mains connection and also supply plans showing the routes of the nearest public mains, sewers etc. We regard these as particularly valuable since it can be bad news to have a mains connection actually running under the property as does occasionally happen!
This search has only been available since approximately 1999 but can show a lot about the neighbourhood including whether a property is subject to a flooding risk, what “nasty” industrial uses there are in the neighbourhood, whether there is a risk of subsidence and so on. Obviously if you are buying a property that you are already living in, you may not need this search but otherwise we recommend it. It is possible to obtain a slightly more detailed flood report at extra cost which covers such subjects as flood defences and the like but for the majority of premises the environmental search will be sufficient, at least to the point where you can make a decision as to whether a more detailed flood report is necessary. Remember that insurance companies are not keen to insure properties at risk of flooding!
This is only appropriate for properties located in coal mining areas but is very necessary in such cases. Whilst there is now no deep mining in northwest England, it shows whether any seams of coal have been mined under or near the property, when this was, and whether there have been any damage claims. It reports on nearby opencast workings, both current and proposed.
(a) The Land Registry search to check that the Seller (or anybody else on his behalf) has not done anything to adversely effect his title between submission of the original title details prior to exchange of contracts – theoretically it would be possible for him to have further mortgaged the property or perhaps entered into a contract with somebody else for its sale. This search gives protection of approximately six weeks against any further dealings with the property on his part;
(b) A bankruptcy search. This is required by your lenders if you are mortgaging the property – they require us to check whether you are or are likely to be made bankrupt in the near future – they do not like lending money to bankrupts!
Once the contract is exchanged, this makes the purchase legally binding. This is when the deposit would normally put down which is 5-10% of the purchase price. The date will be agreed for prior to exchange and will be inserted into the contract on completion.
We will obtain all the legal documents including a contract for sale and an inventory list from the seller. This will state exactly what is included in the purchase price E.g carpets, kitchen appliances etc. We will also ask you to confirm that the properties boundaries are correct in accordance with the land registry’s plan of the property
Once the purchase monies have been received by the sellers solicitors, the keys will be released to you by the estate agents and you will have purchased your first home. The only thing we can’t help with is moving in!
If you would like a free, no obligation quote from our conveyancing team, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01925 634681 email email@example.com or skype anlawsk
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