What You Should Know as a First Time Home Buyer
Buying your first home is an exciting process, but without proper research you could end up getting into hot water.
As a first time home buyer it’s likely that you will have saved up for a long time before looking for a property, so a lot of your hard-earned money is at stake.
Buying a home is not simple, and there are a lot of details which shouldn’t be overlooked.
Conveyancing solicitors are there to help guide you through the process of purchasing your first home with ease, making sure that nothing gets overlooked.
Costs of Buying Property
You’re probably already aware that buying property is not cheap.
It’s a big investment to make, and trying to cut corners to save money is a risky step.
The first payment you will have to make towards the property is the deposit.
This can be anywhere from five to twenty percent of the asking price.
You should really have this saved before you start looking for property.
But, aside from the actual price of the property, what else can you expect to fork out for?
- Surveying costs
- Removal costs – for any furniture you already have
- Buildings insurance
- Furnishing/decorating costs
- Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees
- Stamp duty, which is a type of land transfer tax
Removal, furnishing and decorating costs may not be relevant to you if you have help from family or friends, but the other costs are unavoidable.
As a first time buyer you will be completely exempt from paying stamp duty if the property you are purchasing:
- is being sold for £300,000 or less
- will be your main or only residence
- is a single dwelling
If the property is being sold for between £300,000 and £500,000 and you are a first time buyer, you’ll have to pay five percent on the amount above £300,000.
For example if you are looking to buy a property for £350,000 you will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000, and £2,500 in stamp duty for the remaining £50,000.
First Time Home Buyer Mortgages
As a first time home buyer there are a range of mortgage types you may be eligible for.
Which one is best suited to you will depend on a range of factors, including your income, savings and outgoings.
If you are unsure of what type of mortgage you can and should opt for, you should speak to a mortgage advisor.
Whichever mortgage you apply for, you have to provide evidence of income and outgoings so the lender can be sure you are able to make repayments.
One way of purchasing your first home is through the help to buy scheme, a government-backed initiative with which first time buyers can purchase a newly built home under a certain price.
For this scheme you will need to have at least five percent of the price of the property saved for a deposit – the government will lend you an additional twenty percent.
Sale and Purchase Processes: Searches
If you’re a first time home buyer, you may not be aware of the searches process which should take place before you purchase a property.
This is the process of enquiring to local authorities and utility companies to make sure that the property is legally registered to the seller. Searches also help you understand any potential risks that may affect the future value of the property.
The searches process, which is undertaken by your conveyancing solicitor, will expose planning permission for nearby projects, how close sewer pipes are, and whether there is any contaminated land or a flood risk in the area.
Although searches are optional, we recommend asking your solicitor to conduct the process.
It can reveal a great deal of information which you will otherwise miss out on.
If there’s planning permission for a new factory to pop up opposite the property, wouldn’t you want to know?
Not only could it make the area noisy and busy, but it could also greatly impact the future value of the property.
Buying a New Build
Buying a newly built home as a first time buyer means that the conveyancing process is a lot more complex.
It often means that you have only seen a plan or show home, and not the actual property itself.
Your conveyancing solicitor will:
- Check that planning permission has been confirmed, and that the property is built in line with this
- Explain all of the lease details to you
- Highlight any restrictions which have been written into the lease, such as whether you can make alterations to the property
- Verify the buildings regulation consent, which controls the materials and methods of construction
If you’re purchasing a property which hasn’t been built yet, you might want to opt for a new build mortgage.
Offers for these generally last nine months, which might not cover the time it takes to build the property.
A conveyancing solicitor will be able to help you decide whether you need a mortgage extension following their checks.
Let Us Help You
We understand that for a first time home buyer, the process can seem very daunting.
Our conveyancing solicitors can assist you from start to finish to ensure you are happy with the process.
Get in touch using the contact form or call on 0844 414 0667.
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