The home I’m buying has been empty for two years; what questions should I be asking the solicitor, the estate agent, and the surveyor?
If a home has been empty for a considerable period (such as the two years mentioned here), there’s usually a reason for it. There is estimated to be around a quarter of a million properties in the country that have been empty for more than 6 months.
The primary reason is that the owner hasn’t the funds to renovate the property, or they’ve started gutting the place and run out of money to take it further, or perhaps there’s been a significant problem (e.g. fire or flood are common instances). Most likely, these properties will come up at auction.
Your estate agent will be aware of its history if the property is on their books, so you can find out a lot from them, the council will have an empty property officer, and the Land Registry will have information on the deeds. As far as the solicitor is concerned, they will establish the position on the property as part of the conveyancing, while the surveyor will have experience of checking out such properties, with the advice that you order a Building Survey (the most detailed of the options) to check out its structural integrity. Note that mortgage lenders will be more reluctant to offer a loan on such homes.
Ultimately, the ball is in your court and, if you want to pursue buying such a property, you need to be prepared to do the research, which can take up a lot of time.
The moving process can be bewildering and stressful. Let Homeward Legal look after the legal side of things for you and we'll guide you through the process from start to end. Call 0800 038 6699 to find out more.
What can I do to avoid paying stamp duty?
Stamp duty scheme must be treated with caution by purchasers in Badminton. Such schemes are expensive and HMRC may challenge a scheme up to six years later.
How much is stamp duty and land transaction tax?
The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is based on a trigger threshold of £125,000, followed by a calculation of increasing percentages against the price bands, which are then added together:
- Less than £125,000 = 0%
- £125,000-£250,000 = 2%
- £250,000-£925,000 = 5%
- £925,000-£1,500,000 = 10%
- More than £1,500,000 = 12%
For example, a house bought for £450,000 will trigger SDLT at £12,500 (£0 for the first £125,000, £2,500 for the next £125,000, and £10,000 for the next £150,000 as the price falls in the first three bands).
Can you confirm which Badminton lenders your lawyers work with. Whose panels are your solicitors on?
We are able to work with the majority of lenders assisting purchasers in Badminton. Local mortgage lenders and brokers include Imagine Mortgages Ltd, 1 Straits Pde, Bristol, BS16 2LA, Bath Mortgage Search, 106 Broadmoor La, Bath, BA1 4LB, and MTI Independent Ltd, 42 High St, Hanham, Bristol, BS15 3DP. The Badminton solicitor handling the work for your sale or purchase can confirm additional costs or hurdles associated with your chosen lender.
Is a home buyers survey a good idea if we are buying property in Badminton?
Homeward Legal firmly recommend that you book a survey when purchasing in Badminton. A range issues can affect a property, for example unsafe chimney circulation. These will not be reported on by a solicitor.
Does our conveyancing solicitor in Badminton tell me about the cost of the council tax on a Band F townhouse before exchanging contracts?
A conveyancer will liaise with the South Gloucestershire local council to reveal the currently applicable council tax band and rates, which will be added to the conveyancer's title report. The correct charges for Badminton are listed at the South Gloucestershire council website. Currently (01 July 2012) the rates are:
- Band A - £1,023.00
- Band B - £1,193.00
- Band C - £1,364.00
- Band D - £1,534.00
- Band E - £1,875.00
- Band F - £2,216.00
- Band G - £2,557.00
- Band H - £3,068.00