Is the buyer or seller responsible for the searches?>
It is you, as the buyer, who is responsible for checking that all is well with the property you are buying. This is why your conveyancing solicitor will order a set of standard searches (Local Authority, Water and Drainage, Environmental, and Chancel Repair – these are also the searches requited by your mortgage lender), plus additional searches dependent on the property, recommendations from the surveyor in the survey report, and the location and history of the area.
Need a little help on understanding the detail of your conveyancing? Our solicitors make sure that everything about your transaction is clear so you always know what's going on. Call now on 0800 038 6699 and we'll get your conveyancing under way today.
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.
Does the Smithfield lawyer do any searches on the London Victorian semi-detached home I am intending to buy?
If purchasing and obtaining a mortgage lender requires you to at least the following for properties in Smithfield: Local Authority (personal or official), Drainage and Water Search and Environment Search and, depending on certain criteria, specific searches, which may include a Utilities Search.
I am selling our jointly owned building in a local property auction, does your company have especially fast Smithfield solicitors ?
Often house buying solicitors firms may be passive creating further stress and worry to the property conveyancing process.
Our carefully selected solicitors are proactive and attempt to communicate end to end throughout the chain property chain and who always employ advanced automated practice management systems to drive through your move as quickly as possible.
The current owner has added inappropriate dormer windows to the flat which I think may infringe on Smithfield conservation area criteria.
City of London local authority LLC1 searches conducted by a property lawyer will determine whether the property is within a conservation area proof of council approval for modifications will be required. In the absence of any appropriate consents, your solicitor will inform you of the alternatives which include requesting from City of London planning authority or purchasing an indemnity insurance policy.
My lender is Monmouthshire Building Society - what will we need to be aware of?
Some lenders have limited the firms who can act for them, potentially creating increased conveyancing costs for buyers. Homeward Legal are able to act for many CML-approved lenders so that you will not be required to pay legal fees for your lender's solicitor.
Why is it silly to buy a leasehold with less than 99 years to run?
In large part, if a leasehold drops below 90 years, it’s because mortgage companies will not be willing to lend money to purchase the leasehold. They will almost certainly have a stipulation on the length of the leasehold as part of their criteria for lending.
Most buyers are very aware of this and the trend is for an insistence of the sellers to provide an extension back up to the 99-year or 125-year thresholds before considering its purchase. Otherwise, even if you can finance it, eventually you’ll have to consider the legal cost of extending the lease yourself.