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.
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).
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.
Conveyancing searches (environmental) are assessed from archived information and when you factor in recent flooding for example the statistics that 1 4m people are at risk coastal or river flooding, are they the best way to advise us enough about the ever changing Niton area flood risk?
A competent Niton conveyancer should always carry out informative conveyancing and environmental searches if the initial conveyancing searches determine a any kind of risk of flooding in Niton.
It is not uncommon for buyers to also get in touch with a local resident for further assurance.
Do you state taking steps to avoid paying stamp duty?
Stamp duty reduction should be treated with extreme caution, because these schemes are highly expensive and the HMRC can review a scheme up to 6 years after a sale is completed and the total stamp duty tax may be payable, along with interest and penalties.
What type of fact finding in respect to the potential risk of possible flooding in Isle Of Wight will a Niton conveyancing solicitor check out?
A key step in the legal process of purchasing a property involves a solicitor making an application for property conveyancing searches for information with regard to Niton flood risk area.