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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Change solicitor, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, DIY Conveyancing, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, Property, Property Market, property owner, Property Report, property searches, Quicker conveyancing, sale, searches, signing contracts    No Comments

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So, your Conveyancer keeps twittering on about ‘exchanging’ and ‘completing’ but, what is exchange? What happens on completion?  Let’s face it all you want to know is when you get your keys right?  So what are we actually talking about?

Exchange

When your Conveyancer talks about exchange they are referring to the legal ‘exchange of contracts’. In simple terms this procedure legally secures the purchase or sale. It is called an exchange because each Conveyancer has one signed copy of the contract which they exchange with each other. Both Conveyancers agree to the terms in the contract verbally over the phone and confirm the date of legal completion. Your Conveyancer is legally obliged to send to the sellers Conveyancer your 10% deposit at this stage, although in practice this rarely happens and is just held by your Conveyancers on a promise it will be sent with the rest of the purchase monies on completion. Your Conveyancer may call you to get your verbal authority to exchange for you on the day and afterwards you will need to make sure that your buildings insurance for your new property is in place from the date you move in. Make sure that you are absolutely sure before you exchange contracts as if you fail to ‘complete’ after you have exchanged contracts you will lose your 10% deposit.

Completion

This is the day you have been waiting for. It’s the day you get your keys. On the day of completion (or generally the day before) your Conveyancer will have received the money from your lender if you are having a mortgage and will send this money plus any other money due from you to your seller’s Conveyancers by way of a telegraphic bank transfer. This transfer can take anything from a few minutes to a few hours to reach the seller’s Conveyancers bank account. Once they have received the money then completion is deemed to have taken place and usually keys can be released to you at your estate agent, or from the seller directly, soon after. However the contract will often state that the sellers can take until 2pm to move out and arrange for a key hand over if they need more time.

The final part…

While you’re unpacking we carry on working on your file and will pay stamp duty and then apply to the Land Registry to transfer the property in your name. It might be a few weeks until you hear from us again when we send you the deeds to your new home.

Need help with your conveyancing?

If you would like a conveyancing quote, more information or to see our frequently asked questions then please visit our website or call 01623 45 11 11 and speak to one of our experienced team.

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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, DIY Conveyancing, Do your own conveyancing, drainage search, environmental search, First Time Buyers, full structural survey, Property Market, property searches, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

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Solicitors like Latin. Conveyancing Solicitors like one Latin phrase in particular, CAVEAT EMPTORThis means “Let the Buyer Beware!”

In English Law it is the responsibility of a purchaser to ascertain whether the property is structurally sound, whether there are any physical defects and also whether there are any legal issues. This means your seller is not necessarily legally obligated to reveal defects in the property.

Searches on the property you are buying

Searches are investigations that your Conveyancer carries out as part of their Conveyancing work.  They send a standard list of questions to certain authorities in order to obtain information about the property. The searches most commonly undertaken are:

Local Authority Search which gives information such as whether there have been any planning applications or building regulations applied for the property.  This can indicate whether the works done to the property were undertaken in accordance with statutory regulation.

A Water & Drainage Search shows whether the property is connected to proper drainage and a water supply.

Environmental Reports indicate whether the property is at risk of contamination, flooding, subsidence and other environmental factors.

A Mining Search may be required depending on the property’s location. You may need to have a coal, tin or some other kind of mining report undertaken to check that the property has not been adversely affected by past mining activities.

Surveys

A Survey must be carried out by a surveyor.  It is not generally a legal requirement but is very much recommended.  A surveyor can check that the property is structurally sound, whether there are any defects and even give your Conveyancer some hints as to whether they need to look into a legal matter further. A surveyor will visit the property and see it physically, in person. Remember although a Survey is not a legal requirement, because of the Buyer Beware rule if you find something wrong with the property after completion, you’re stuck with fixing it yourself.

At Fidler & Pepper Solicitors we have our own search company so we can run the searches quickly alongside our conveyancing which makes the process much easier.

Get in touch – we can help or provide you with a quote

Take a look at our website if you would like a conveyancing quote, need more information or want to see our  frequently asked questions. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced team please call 01623 45 11 11.

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Beginners Guides, Buy to let, Change conveyancer, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Deposit, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, Property, Property Market, property owner, Property Report, property searches, Quicker conveyancing, Stamp duty    No Comments

hollow-out-alphabet-colored

We know that moving house can be a stressful time and there is a lot of information to take in and understand. Our experienced conveyancers have pulled together a quick A-Z reference guide of the most common conveyancing terms to help you through the process.

A-AGREEMENT

The legal document you sign to agree to sell or buy the house. But do not worry nothing is set in stone until Exchange of Contracts. See below.

B-BREACH OF CONTRACT

Is if either party pulls out once Contracts have been exchanged.

C-COMPLETION DATE

The day you move out of your old home and get the keys to your new one!

D-DEPOSIT

This is usually 10% of the purchase price, which we require to be paid to us to Exchange Contracts.

E-EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS

This is the day you DO NOT look back as you are legally tied into the deal!

F-FIXTURES AND FITTINGS FORMS

A list of things the seller has agreed to leave you.

G-GAZUMPING

Where another buyer puts a higher offer in than yours.

H-HOME BUYERS REPORT

A Survey that we would strongly advise you have carried out on the property. BUYER BEWARE!

I-INDEX MAP SEARCH

This is a search carried out to see if a property is registered at the Land Registry.

J-JOINT TENANTS

Means your share in the Property if you passed away would automatically pass to the surviving owner.

K-KNOW HOW

This is the trust you can put in us to know how to do the job.

L-LAND REGISTRY OFFICE COPIES

These are your deeds showing your ownership of the property and are held electronically by HM Land Registry.

M-MORTGAGE DEED

The document you sign to confirm you will pay your mortgage payments to the mortgage company during the term of your mortgage.

N-NEGATIVE EQUITY

When the amount you owe on your mortgage exceeds the value of the Property.

O-OCCUPIERS CONSENT

The signing of a Deed by a person living in the property who is not the owner confirming that they will move out on completion of a sale or if the mortgage company takes possession of the property.

 P-PROPERTY INFORMATION FORM

The document the seller fills in which asks lots of questions about the property, such as boundaries, alterations to the property, legal rights, utilities details.

Q-QUASI EASEMENT

Is a general legal right over land, it could be something which is used for the benefit of the property, such as right of way, drainage etc.

R-REDEMPTION FIGURE

The amount owed on your existing mortgage.

S-STAMP DUTY

Tax which has to be paid to the Inland Revenue on the purchase of a property.

T-TRANSFER DEED

The document which is sent to the Land Registry on completion and registers the property in your names.

U-UNILATERAL NOTICE

Where someone else has registered an interest on the title deeds to your property.

V-VENDOR

Another term used for the seller.

W-WAYLEAVE AGREEMENT

A deed entered into by Service Providers to install piping or cabling over or under the property for your use of electricity, water etc,

X-MARKS THE SPOT

We always mark where we require you to sign deeds and documents with an X.

Y-YOU

As our client YOU are important to us and we will ensure we do our very best.

Z-ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Sleep easy while we make Conveyancing a stress free experience for you!

If you would like a conveyancing quote please call 01623 45 11 11 or visit our website for more information. Have a look at our frequently asked conveyancing questions or to see a guide to how the conveyancing process works.

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First Time Buyers    No Comments

Buying a house or flat for the first time is a pretty daunting experience. It’s ranked as one of the top three in terms of stress (the other two being death and divorce), and this stress is only made worse if you don’t know what is happening.

Elsewhere I’ve done but that’s quite long – probably 2 cups of tea worth. For now I thought I’d throw down 10 things that first time buyers should know

  1. What is a mortgage
    A mortgage is simply a loan. The difference is firstly that the loan is attached to the title deeds of a house or flat – so that the property can’t be sold without having to pay the mortgage off. Secondly it’s a loan spread over a much longer period than most other loans – usually over 20-30 years.
  2. What is a 90% mortgage?
    When people talk about percentages in relation to mortgages they are talking out the percentage of the money being borrowed against the value of the house (or “Loan to Value”). So for example if a mortgage company say the maximum loan to value they will lend is 90% then that means if you’re looking to buy a house for £100,000 the maximum that mortgage company will lend on that house is £90,000.
  3. What is a deposit
    In relation to buying a house the deposit is usually referred to as the amount you’re putting down. So in the example given in 2 above the deposit you’re putting down is £10,000.
  4. What is ‘Equity’
    This is the amount of money you have ‘in the house’ – i.e. if the house was sold and the mortgage paid off then it’s the amount that you would get. When you first buy a house the equity will be the same as the deposit – the amount you’ve put down. However, as house prices rise (and they do normally) so does your equity. So if your £100,000 house is worth £120,000 when you sell it then your equity will have increased by £20,000.
  5. How do I look around a house?
    This will usually be clear in the advert for the house (either online or in an Estate agent). You’d normally go through the Estate agent to arrange a viewing. Sometimes you’ll go round with the sellers, and sometimes it will be with someone from the estate agents. It’s a good idea to take someone else with you when you are looking round – partly for personal safety reasons but mainly so you can discuss it afterwards.
  6. When and how do I make an offer?
    When you’ve found a property you are interested in you can make an offer. What you offer will depend on the property market in your particular area at that moment, how this property is priced, and the attitude of the seller. For example if it’s a sellers market then anything less than the full asking price will be rejected. If it’s a buyers market then sellers may well entertain an offer below the asking price. It’s worth doing a bit of homework first – maybe finding out if the seller is open to offers, and how long the property has been on the market – if it’s been on for ages with no offers then they may be more open to negotiating. Also ‘sellers market’ and ‘buyers market’ are just general terms – what happens depends on this particular property – great properties in great areas will always sell strongly – no matter what the rest of the housing market is doing.
  7. How do I know what I can afford?
    What you can afford will be a combination of how much the mortgage company will lend to you based on your income, the percentage they are prepared to lend (see point  2 above), and the amount of depsit you have saved up (see point 3 above). You can check the amount the mortgage company will lend against your income online. When doing this you’ll see  phrases such as ‘4 + 1’ and ‘3.75 x joint’. What “4 + 1” means is that if you have two incomes they will work out how much to lend you by taking 4 times the higher annual salary plus 1 times the lower salary. So if one of you earned £20,000 a year and the other earned £10,000, they will lend you a maximum of 4X£20,00 plus 1x£10,000 which equals £90,000. “3.75 x joint” means they’d add the two salaries together and multiply them by 3.75. So in the 20/10 example they would lend 3.75x £30,000 (£20,000 plus £10,000) which equals £112,500.
  8. How much is it all going to cost?
    It’s worth working this all out before you start. We can give you an instant conveyancing quote online. You will also have to factor in other costs – mortgage companies often charge an arrangement fee (basically a fee for saying ‘yes’), and will always charge a valuation fee (the amount will be specified when you check out the offers). You also need to think of the cost of moving – will you be using a removal company, hiring a van, or making lots of trips in a car.
  9. How long will everything take?
    With regard to finding a property you like it depends what’s out there and how fussy you are. Once you’ve find the one you want then it will generally take 2-3 months for the conveyancing process to be completed and you move into your house. I’ve done a separate blog on “what is conveyancing” – but basically it’s the legal process of putting the house into your name  after we’ve checked it’s OK to buy
  10. What if I’ve changed my mind?
    Even though you’ve made an offer and it’s been accepted, under the law inEngland &Wales (Scotland is different) you aren’t committed to buying it until you have “Exchanged Contracts”. Up until that point either party can pull out with no comeback. Once contracts have been exchanged then it’s legally binding and any party pulling out after that will potentially face a legal claim running into many thousands of pounds
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First Time Buyers    No Comments

The stamp duty holiday for first time buyers has not been extended past next March 2012 so if you are a first time buyer you will need to act quickly if you have been putting off purchasing your first home. Please take a look at our website for more information regarding the house buying process.

There does however still seem to be a problem with first-time buyers getting on the ladder so what other options are available to them?

The government has started the right to buy scheme again. Under this scheme families will be offered discounts up to 50% below market value with the money released being used to build new affordable homes.

It has also planning on underwriting mortgages for 100,000 young families looking to buy newly built homes and launching a fund of £400, to promote housbuilders to construct thousands of homes.

Whether the schemes are sufficient replacements for the stamp duty holiday remains to be seen.

If you are thinking of purchasing in the near future in light of the deadline above, or are interested in more information regarding the schemes mentioned above please drop me a line on wjames@fidler.co.uk or contact us on 01623 451111.

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