We plan to buy a property in Widford. Are we advised to get a chancel search?
The solicitor responsible for your move could advise that a chancel search is ordered. Although some parish councils have taken the decision to impose chancel repairs on the current owners of land subject to chancel liability, a solicitor cannot state with certainty that a parish where chancel repair fees have not been paid previously will not continue to be so, so the solicitor will be unable to make any guarantees, and will recommend insurance.
What specific things do I need to look out for if I’m buying a house on the coast?
With worsening weather and floods now becoming increasingly commonplace, with the media remarking on it in depth, buying a property that has a likelihood of flooding is a difficult decision to make. Not only is there the issue of cleaning up if it does flood, but insurance premiums will be much higher (and perhaps even prohibitive).
For homes in coastal areas, there is also the problem of coastal erosion, where some properties have been seen to literally fall into the sea.
However, the good news is that picking a home in a coastal region doesn’t automatically mean that it’s going to be subject to flooding or that it’s eventually going to slip into the sea. The searches ordered by your conveyancing solicitor will identify the level of risk associated with the property and, based on this, your solicitor may recommend that you take out specialist reports (e.g. from Landmark or other organisations) to get a more in-depth description of the risks and options. These are in addition to the standard set and will be charged to you as a disbursement at cost.
Your surveyor will also be able to identify evidence of previous floods and other problems during their inspection and provide advice in their report. If the problems are considered sufficiently severe, the surveyor may also note the specifics for further investigation by your conveyancing solicitor.
Should I change the locks after I move in?
It would be a wise move to replace the locks upon moving into your new home, for peace of mind if nothing else. Although you may have received a number of copies of the keys, you may not know accurately whether that bunch constitutes every copy.
Although changing the locks will be an extra cost, you may find that buildings insurance may look on the move favourably, too.
Need guidance on what to expect from the conveyancing and legal work associated with your planned move? Call our team at Homeward Legal on 0800 038 6699 and they'll get you set up today.
Can I withdraw my offer on a property at any time?
When you make an offer on a house that has been accepted by the vendor, you can ask them to take it off the market as part of the acceptance. If you are selling, you can show your intent by agreeing to remove it from other potential buyers’ interest.
As a buyer, you can withdraw your offer at any time (and, as a seller, you can reject an offer at any time) up to the exchange of contracts, which means you are now legally committed to go through with the transaction at the agreed price. You should check your contract with both the estate agent and your conveyancing solicitor as there may be fees and other penalties associated with pulling out of the transaction after the offer was initially agreed.
If you decide to withdraw from the contract after exchange, then you are in breach. This means, if you’re the buyer, the seller is entitled to keep whatever agreed sum has been set for the deposit, and could claim damages; as the seller, you will be liable to pay interest accrued during the Notice to Complete period as well as the deposit, and the potential for claiming losses, and the buyer has to return everything about the property at the seller’s expense.
As a result of the fact that 2012 was second wettest year since 1920, I am concerned that environmental searches might not be thorough enough?
A diligent Croxley Green conveyancer will consider apply for conveyancing searches if the environmental searches determine a the local Croxley Green flood risk
It is not uncommon for buyers to speak to a neighbour or local resident to get further information if still concerned.
We are on a deadline and would like organise a fast purchase, how could we speed up the transaction?
Primarily, a fast completion is essential to is to use a communicative solicitor. That said, there are a range of things you can also do to accelerate the legal work, including, calling or emailing the solicitor, and chase them if you suspect any delays, responding to your solicitor by phone, fax or email wherever possible and if you intend to get a house survey, doing so as early as you can.