How do you work out Stamp Duty Land Tax, and how much should it be on a £263000 residential property?
Stamp Duty is dependent on several factors, including the value of the property, and whether it is in a 'disadvantaged area'. Stamp duty will be £7890 on a £263000 residential property in Houghton Regis (information correct January 2013).
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.
I’ve lost my gas/electrical certificates; will that stop me moving?
There is no legal imperative for you to provide either the gas or electrical safety certificates as the seller; you are required to provide a gas safety certificate on an annual basis, however, if you are planning on letting the property out. The Institution of Electrical Engineers recommends that an electrical certificate be updated at least every ten years or when the property is transferred to a new owner (every 5 years if you are letting the property out).
However, this usually means that this is the responsibility of the buyer with the onus on organising an inspection for a new certificate falling on them.
Homeward Legal offers competitive, fixed-fee quotes, protected by our 'No Completion, No Fee' guarantee. Try our online quote calculator or call our team on 0800 038 6699 to see what we mean.
How soon do I need to find a conveyancer?
The straightforward answer is, the faster you instruct the better. Instructing your solicitor earlier for a sale means that prior to marketing the property, documents can be prepared to make it potentially more attractive to motivated buyers, whereas if you are buying your offer may be taken more seriously if you already have a solicitor instructed.
Of the major Houghton Regis lenders, who have joined your panel?
Of lenders with branches around Houghton Regis, Homeward Legal work with many. Lenders and mortgage specialists in Houghton Regis include Phillips & Co, 5 Church La, Flitton, Bedford, MK45 5EL, L A Mortgage Services Ltd, 88 Hastings St, Luton, LU1 5BH, and Easy Mortgages, Hyde House/Station Rd, Flitwick, Bedford, MK45 1LA.
Doing ones own conveyancing without the support of a conveyancing solicitor in Houghton Regis looks to be possible as a buyer of a maisonette. However, would it be a good economy ?
There are no arguments why you cannot undertake the majority of the legal process without a proficient Houghton Regis property solicitor. The truth is however that a property lawyer takes care of a huge array of jobs ranging from chasing notices/share certificates and apportioning service charges most of which require adequate training. More importantly amateur lawyers will not be covered by suitable cover that all solicitors firms must carry.