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Conveyancing in Stevenage Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 17/10/17

Transport and public service information if you’re buying or selling residential property in Stevenage -

By road: Stevenage is served by the A1(M) and A602. By rail: The nearest train station is Stevenage. By air: London Luton Airport is 15 miles from Stevenage, while Elstree Aerodrome is 22 miles, London Stansted Airport is 29 miles, and London Heathrow Airport is 43 miles.

Hospital: Lister, Mill Lane, Stevenage, SG1 4AB. Council: Stevenage Borough Council (www.stevenage.gov.uk).

Attractions: Stevenage Museum, Hampson Park, Knebworth House, Cromer Windmill, and Farlands Valley Park.

Q.

What do you charge for the legal fees on a £116,000 property? We need fixed-rate conveyancing.

Many online and high street conveyancers advertise what they call ‘the cheapest conveyancing quotes’. But additional charges are hidden in the terms of engagement, which are often missed by eager buyers and sellers. Such disbursements ought to be defined on any conveyancing quote.

At Homeward Legal, we never hide any costs, and our quotes offer a clear statement of all your legal fees and the disbursements for a standard conveyancing transaction. Try our quote calculator, or call our team of conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699 to discuss your needs.

Q.

Because I am purchasing a property in Stevenage on the same road as parsonage land, will I need a chancel liability search?

The purpose of the chancel search is to identify whether any neighbouring church properties can make you liable to pay for any repairs carried out on the buildings. The chancel search process has been simplified, because each Parochial Church Council has had to register their interest in requesting affected home-owners to stump up for repair bills.

If the search suggests that there is a risk of liability, your conveyancing solicitor can advise you on the appropriate indemnity insurance you might want to take out. Stevenage church properties include:

  • All Saints, The Oval, Vardon Road, Stevenage, SG1 5RD
  • Holy Trinity, High Street, Stevenage, SG1 3DB
  • St. Hugh & St John's, Mobbsbury Way, Stevenage, SG2 0HL
Q.

For the purchase of our Stevenage home, we have chosen Aldermore Bank as our mortgage lender, but is there anything we need to check?

Until recently, most solicitors could act for the majority of lenders. In recent years, though, some lenders have limited the firms who can act for them. For purchasers needing a mortgage, this can result in significantly increased conveyancing costs. Homeward Legal, though, are able to act for many mortgage lenders, ensuring that an additional property lawyer will not be required to act for your lender and those costs cannot be passed on.

Call our conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699 for a fixed-fee quote backed up with our cast-iron ‘No Move, No fee’ guarantee.

Q.

In a few weeks, I am anticipating moving out of our house in Stevenage to our next property in Sawbridgeworth, but is it too early to appoint a removal company?

Homeward Legal strongly advises you not to line up a removals firm until you have exchanged contracts. It is only at this point that your move date is confirmed. To do so earlier creates the risk of the date changing and possibly incurring a rearrangement levy.

Once you have exchanged and are looking for removals firms local to Stevenage, you could try:

  • Dennis Bros Removals & Storage, The Yard, Leyden Road, Stevenage, SG1 2BW (Tel: 01438 427032)
  • Better Removals & Storage Ltd., Gunnels Wood Rd, Stevenage, SG1 2DG (Tel: 0800 783 7356

Q.

Taking your confirmation that you can represent mortgage lenders, please can you tell me which lenders in Stevenage you work with?

Most lenders in Stevenage are on our Stevenage solicitors' panel. Local mortgage lenders and brokers include:

  • Rubicon Mortgages, 115 Wisden Road, Stevenage, SG1 5NL
  • The Mortgage Café, 83 High Street, Stevenage, SG1 3HR
  • Independent Mortgage Advice Bureau, 61 High Street, Stevenage, SG1 3AQ
Q.

How long will it take our assigned solicitor to finish the legal process for a terraced home in Stevenage that we intend to buy?

Conveyancing, unfortunately, can be notoriously slow, but its duration can vary a great deal. The length of time is predicated on several issues which may affect the smoothness of the transaction

(e.g. slow responses along the chain, or problems with the confirmation of a mortgage application).

With the experienced solicitors at Homeward Legal, every purchase is handled as fast as possible, without compromising on service, using solicitors who are highly proactive. We aim to complete the conveyancing work within six weeks. Give us a call on 0800 038 6699 to find out more.

Q.

As we’re trying to strip out costs where possible for the purchase of a flat in Stevenage, doing our own conveyancing looks like an attractive option, but would it really be a false economy?

There are no legal stipulations to dictate that you must employ a solicitor to carry out the conveyancing functions, and you can probably do the majority of the associated tasks yourself. However, Homeward Legal would seriously advise against do-it-yourself conveyancing for two reasons. First, it is a complex business, with confusing jobs to complete, using technical and legal jargon, all of which will mean that your inexperience necessarily introduces delays that may jeopardise your eventual move. Second, and most important, you will not have the necessary personal indemnity insurance that all legal firms are obligated to carry to protect you.

Give our experts a call on 0800 038 6699 for more information and your fixed-fee quote.

Q.

Do we need a homebuyer report for a newly-built Stevenage semi-detached house?

Homeward Legal completely supports the advice of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors that you should order a building survey. There are so many issues that could affect your property, regardless of its age, that you will only find after moving in (e.g. evidence of subsidence, rotten timbers, etc.). As it’s not part of the conveyancing remit to look at the building’s structure, you will need to appoint a surveyor as soon as you can.

Q.

What amount of time will the conveyancing process generally take, according to your estimates? We have a buyer ready.

A.

On average, the amount of time required to transact a residence does vary. This wide range results from potentially many issues affecting the property including if the property is leasehold. For most firms in England and Wales, the average is between 8 to 12 weeks, we however take a more proactive attitude, pushing a transaction to complete within 8 weeks if possible.

Q.

Could Stevenage topsoil be contaminated by cobalt?

A.

Legislation exists to control pollution, waste, water and chemical contamination. Land may also be contaminated by other sources, including water contaminants such as sewage.

Q.

We are purchasing a property in Sacombe. Is a chancel search specified?

A.

A property solicitor may suggest a chancel search, regardless of the parish in which the house being purchased is found. Chancel repair may be apportioned on the current owners of a house where church councils have previously chosen not to do so. It is not safe to rely on the historical behaviour of the parish council alone as a guide.

Q.

Our estate agent has put forward a solicitors firm that they have used before. Will it be cheaper to use them?

A.

Agent referrals are a common route to find a solicitor, however, such referrals should be compared against alternatives, such as local solicitors, or firms found online, as an agent may choose whichever firm pays the most per referral, not the best value for you.

Q.

With a home ready to buy, and no chain, how do we guarantee a fast conveyancing transaction?

A.

Instructing a proactive and experienced conveyancer is crucial to faster conveyancing. Consider the following:

  • Did you experience any delays when requesting a quote?
  • Which communication methods do they use? Days can be wasted waiting for letters in the post which could be emailed or faxed.
  • Will they work on a 'no sale, no fee' basis?

Q.

In a few weeks I am anticipating to move out of our period house in Stevenage to our next property in Sawbridgeworth at what stage to appoint a removal company?

A.

Homeward Legal tend to recommend that sellers hold off booking a removals company until the point where exchange of contracts as prior to this the firm moving date wont have been confirmed. Try Dennis Bros Removals & Storage, The Yard/Leyden Road, Stevenage, SG1 2BW Tel: 01438 316768 or Better Removals & Storage Ltd, Aspect One/Gunnels Wood Rd, Stevenage, SG1 2DG Call: 01438 771274.

Q.

In respect of the Met Office warning of more intense rainfall, I am questioning if conveyancing searches (environmental) won't be sufficient?

A.

Conveyancing searches conducted by a Stevenage conveyancing solicitor will include a far more informative flood search if required.

If you are still worried why not call a future neighbour or nearby Hertfordshire flood damage business for example: Letchmore Construction Ltd, 40 Letchmore Road, Stevenage, SG1 3PR Tel: 01438 426082.