Expert advice on buying a home

Low interest rates mean there has never been a better time for first time buyers to take the initial step on to the property ladder.

Jason Van Der Helstraete is one of the experienced team of solicitors who deal with property matters at Eldridges, which has offices in Newport and Freshwater. He said: “Although there has been some concern in the media about Brexit, nothing has happened yet, so now is as good a time as any to purchase your first home.

“Buying a home is a long and costly experience, so it is important to get it right first time — and this is where your solicitor can provide so much help and advice. 

“It’s a good idea to think about what you really want in a property — as well as what you would compromise on — as few properties will tick all the boxes and still be within your budget.”

Once you have found your ideal property and engaged a solicitor, they will ask for proof of address and identification, as well as how you will fund the purchase. The solicitor will be able to advise you of fees for surveys, Land Registry and other vital searches, as well as stamp duty fees.

Stamp duty is charged on properties priced at more than £125,000 — but if you have an interest in another property, you may be liable for enhanced stamp duty fees. Jason explained: “If a parent has transferred part of their property to you and your name is on their deeds, you would be deemed to have an interest in another property.”

The searches may highlight boundary issues and solicitors offer invaluable advice in this area. Surveys may throw up problems with the property — such as wall ties needing renewal or damp problems — and if the buyer makes a deal with the seller for money off the agreed price, or for the work to be done before completion, the solicitor will ensure this is reflected in the contract.

Solicitors can also advise couples who are not married, as they need to consider making a Declaration of Trust. Similarly, if mum and dad are helping to fund the new house, the solicitor can advise on the best ways to achieve this. In the case of flats and leaseholds, the solicitor will check for any restrictions.

 

Jason concluded: “One of the great things about using experienced local solicitors such as Eldridges is we know the area well and can advise on any potential problems.”

Summary: 

Low interest rates mean there has never been a better time for first time buyers to take the initial step on to the property ladder.