What are searches, and how do they differ from a survey?
Searches are a set of enquiries carried out by your surveyor to various authorities such as the local council, HM Land Registry, etc., and focuses on the impact of the local area on your potential enjoyment of living at the property, while a survey (a HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey) is focused on the structural integrity of the home and its permanent outbuildings and constructions.
While each may throw up similar issues (such as missing planning consents or boundary issues), they are very different and achieve very different purposes.
Our solicitors at Homeward Legal are willing and happy to explain anything you don't understand in the conveyancing, because you need to know what you're getting for our competitively-priced fixed fee. Call our team on 0800 038 6699.
What specific search enquiries should a lawyer in Gotham apply for when acting on a Gotham flat?
The common conveyancing protocol is to get Local Authority (personal or official), Drainage and Water Search, Environment Search and Gypsum Mining as well as any specific searches e.g. a Coal and Brine.
How does a Help to Buy scheme work for me?
This government-sponsored scheme aims to assist homebuyers with three ways of purchasing a property:
- Help to Buy ISA - if you are a first-time buyer and don’t own any other property (anywhere in the world), and you don’t have another cash ISA opened in the same tax year, when you buy your first home, the solicitor will apply for the government bonus on your behalf when closure of your Home to Buy ISA used to buy the property is confirmed.
- Help to Buy: Equity Loan - if you have no other property and are buying a newly-built home, the government will provide 20% of the cost of the house (up to a maximum of £600,000), leaving you with the saved 5% deposit and a 75% mortgage to cover the remainder. This is open to current homeowners and first-time buyers, and the home cannot be sublet nor can it be used in a part-exchange deal.
- Help to Buy: Shared Ownership - if your household earns less than £80,000, you could be eligible for this scheme, which allows you to buy between 25% and 75% of the home’s value, while the government pays the remainder on which you would then pay rent.
(information retrieved from HM Government’s Help to Buy website on 16 April 2019).
Contact the Money Advice Service, the government’s Help to Buy website, or your local ‘Help to Buy’ agent for more information.
Is there a checklist for buyers or sellers helping to decide what’s most important?
The process of buying and selling is a complex one, so it’s helpful for your research to have checklists to ensure nothing is forgotten. There are several online resources with checklists for individual aspects of the moving process, including what to consider as a first-time buyer, help to buy schemes, removals, speeding up conveyancing and so on.
When it comes to deciding what you want for your new home to help you narrow down the choice of locations and types of property available, this is largely down to personal choice, so a standardised checklist might limit your requirements. You can talk to an estate agent about what you want as they will have the experience to narrow down your options. However, you need to consider the size of the property (number of rooms, bathroom facilities, bedrooms, etc.), size of garden, proximity to public transport links, noise, entertainment options (e.g. cinema, pub, eateries, etc.), access to off-road parking, schools, speed of broadband, and so on. Consider making a list of what the property must have and an associated wish list so that likely compromises can be made.
Is top-soil in Gotham contaminated by lithium (Li)?
Even where some contamination has occurred in Gotham, risk levels are usually low. Metal contamination of top-soil in Gotham is more likely to occur near ex-industrial or waste handling sites. Data on other contaminants, like groundwater contaminants like sewage and insecticides, will also be included in an environmental search.
Is it wise to avoid paying for HMRC stamp duty?
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is usually due for home purchases priced at over 125,000 pounds. Stamp duty avoidance is not advised, as such schemes are expensive and often likely to fail.