Somerset Health

First Time Home Buying FAQs Answered

Moving homes can be quite a challenge as buying a property in itself is a big financial commitment to be it. But with proper guidance and questions aptly answered, one cannot go horribly wrong in the process. You may feel frustrated at times but do your homework and get as much help and the rest will be stress-free.

What you need to keep in mind when buying a home for the first time is to look around for the things you need: an ideal property, mortgage to help you afford the purchase, surveyor, conveyancer, and other services you may need along the way.

To further help you through this, here are the answers to a few First Time Home Buying Frequently Asked Questions.

How much money is required for the deposit?

Deposits, on the average, are set at 10% of the agreed selling price. As a buyer, if you feel you can afford more, you can offer up t0 30%, which will eventually reduce the debt you're likely to be in when you get a mortgage. However, the government has affordability schemes in place at present where you may put in a deposit as low as 5% of the property's price.

What is Stamp Duty and when should it be settled?

Your conveyancer generally includes settling the Stamp Duty Land Tax in their disbursements. It's a duty imposed on property transactions and the amount varies depending on the price you paid for the property. As soon as you have exchanged contracts and completed the transaction with the seller, you have 30 days to pay Stamp Duty.

Is an Energy Performance Certificate required?

If you want to reduce your energy bills, you may request the seller to provide you with an Energy Performance Certificate. It won't just help with reducing the bills, but will also let you know how energy usage within the house affects the environment.

What happens when the seller accepts my offer?

Ask the seller to take the property off the market to avoid being gazumped. Some sellers. Some of them are quite dodgy they would still entertain offers even if they have already agreed to sell with you, and you're at risk of being put out of the picture at the last minute if they agree to a higher offer. And since you've not signed anything yet or paid the deposit, it's going to be quite upsetting you can't sue them for it.

If your offer is accepted, the conveyancing process will begin. Contracts will be drafted by the solicitor, searches will be conducted, and the paperwork will begin rolling. A Notification of Sale is generally sent to both you and the seller once conveyancing starts.

What will my conveyancer do for me?

They will make sure that the ownership of the property will be legally transferred to you in accordance with the recent regulations on compliance and quality. Most people will forgo hiring a conveyancer and go through the process on their own. Although possible, DIY-conveyancing is not encouraged. You're better off hiring an experienced and diligent conveyancer, especially that your mortgage lender is likely to require an accredited solicitor to carry out some tasks for them regarding valuation of the property.

How long do these processes take before I get the keys to my home?

It's generally 6-12 weeks barring complex issues around the transaction. But there's really no definite timeline to complete. Some transactions can take months to even an entire year, especially if there are chains of transactions involved in the process. This is why you should be properly informed by your conveyancer of what has been happening.

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