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.
Should we use the conveyancing solicitor that often works with by our local agent?
If you choose a law firm this way, you may have the advantage of the agent being able to exert pressure on a solicitor to complete sooner. If the agent is paid a referral fee, however, an agent may select the conveyancer who pays out the highest referral fee, not the most appropriate choice.
What’s the difference between exchange of contracts and completion?
When you exchange contracts, this means that you are agreeing to all the terms drawn up within the contract made between you on one side of the transaction, and the opposite party on the other side. It is from this point that you are legally obliged to go through with the transaction (unless you want to be subject to financial and/or legal penalties).
The completion of contracts is the point where you officially take over ownership of the property, receive the keys and can move in. All monies are transferred between the various parties and the conveyancing solicitor contacts the Land Registry to register the change of ownership to you.
Confused by the jargon in conveyancing? Let Homeward Legal's straightforward and clear service help guide you to as early a completion as possible. Try our online quote generator or call us on 0800 038 6699.
If I’m putting my furniture and other things in storage, will the process take longer?
There shouldn’t be any reason why your move would take longer than a standard removal if you are pitting your belongings into storage. In fact, in some instances, it might be beneficial for the chain and your completion on the sale, since you are likely to incur fewer delays in the process because you can put your furniture and other things in storage before the event.
Whatever your plans, it’s worth mentioning them to your conveyancing solicitor so that they know the logistics on the day of completion, and may even be able to provide advice and pointers on what to consider before the day to ensure things move more smoothly.
Is a home buyers survey advisable when purchasing a house or flat, regardless of its age?
It is strongly suggested that most purchasers instruct a surveyor. There are many issues that affect a property, that a solicitor will be unable to address, including unsafe chimney circulation or settlement.
As a result of the serious flooding in the UK in April 2012 we are concerned that property conveyancing searches may not be sufficient?
Food risk searches handled by the property solicitor in Hitchin will also include the far more thorough flood search if required.
If you are worried you could try to contact a close neighbour or nearby Hertfordshire flooding repair expert - try Paul The Decorator, 3 Hillfield Av, Hitchin, SG4 0AJ Tel: 07985 496177.
What’s the difference between residential and commercial conveyancing?
In essence, there is very little difference between the tasks needed for residential conveyancing against commercial conveyancing. The real difference comes in the type of property and the purpose for which it is intended to be used.
The majority of residential transactions are freehold, whereas commercial transactions are almost exclusively leasehold, and commercial property conveyancing searches will tend to be more expensive because the structure and land will occupy a greater space on average than that for residential property.