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).
For our lender, we have chosen Alliance and Leicester - what will I need to check?
Recently, a number of lenders have opted to reduce the size of their 'solicitor panel', which may result in greater legal costs for buyers. We are able to act for many mortgage lenders so that you will not be required to pay the lender's costs.
Will I need a home buyers survey for our Cheam property purchase?
We strongly recommend that most Cheam buyers book a RICS surveyor if you are planning to buy in Cheam. It is a fact that there are many defects that can affect a property, for example flat roof leaks or unsafe chimney circulation. Such issues will not be considered during the conveyancing work itself.
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.
Is it easy to sell a house without using an estate agent?
It’s relatively straightforward to sell your own home without involving an estate agent, although you should be warned that it’s a time-consuming process (which is why agents set a certain fee to pay for their time in getting your home sold).
First you need to get a proper valuation of your home, which can be done by paying a chartered surveyor and registered valuer, or you can research the house prices in the area for similar properties to get an idea of how they are selling.
Once you are happy with the price, you can advertise the property (there are several free sites that allow you to do this). Legally, you’re required to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate for the property before putting it up for sale, so you’ll need to organize a registered energy assessor to create this for you. Then you can start arranging viewings and negotiate an agreed price with anyone who is interested.
We would recommend, however, that you sign up with an estate agent as they can do all the leg work for you. The key thing, though, is to understand their fees and rates before signing an agreement with them.
How do we uncover more data on the standard of Cheam and Cheam conservation areas?
English Heritage have produced records of the condition (poor to good) of conservation areas in Cheam and throughout England. Conservation area concerns such as area development, addition of hard standings to the front of houses or advertising hoardings are police by the local authority (Sutton).
What average time does it take our property lawyer to carry out the conveyancing process on the lower floor of Edwardian house we are purchasing in Cheam?
The legal process can take anywhere from a month to 3 months based on any number of things, such as the efficiency of the seller's conveyancing solicitor, or whether there are any linked sales.
Homeward Legal's property lawyers are highly proactive with a view to completing as rapidly as realistically possible.