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Sep 27, 2022 Stamp duty reforms 2022. What’s changed?

Howards has welcomed the Government's ‘mini-budget’, which will bring significant benefits to the housing market. On the 23rd September 2022, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced cuts to stamp duty in the government’s mini-budget, by increasing the amount at which buyers in England and Northern Ireland will begin paying duty from £125,000 to £250,000. For first-time buyers, this threshold is now £425,000 and discounted stamp duty will apply up to £625,000. What is stamp duty? When you purchase a property or land, you are required to pay a form of tax called ‘Stamp Duty Land Tax’ (SDLT). The amount you pay can depend on the price of the property, the location of the property, whether you’re a first-time buyer or if you’re a UK resident. Sign up today to be among the first to know about property for sale in your area. Stamp duty for first time buyers People buying their first property can often be put off by having to pay stamp duty on top of their deposit, as well other property purchase related fees like conveyancers, property searches, etc. To help first-time buyers, the government has raised the amount they can spend on a property without having to pay stamp duty. First time buyers will now not have to pay stamp duty if their first home costs less than £425,000, which is an increase of £125,000 on the previous level. However, if a first-time buyer does purchase a property that costs more that £425,000, they will be entitled to relief. This means first time buyers purchasing property above the new threshold will pay 5% stamp duty land tax on properties up to £625,000, which is an increase of £125,000 from the previous limit. What are the new stamp duty rates for first time buyers? If you’re buying your first property in England or Northern Ireland from 23rd September 2022, you’ll have to pay the following rates for stamp duty: Property Value  SDLT Rate £0 - £425,000 0% £425,001 - £625,000 5% £625,001 - £925,000 8% £925,001 - £1,500,000 10% £1,500,001+ 12% How does the 2022 stamp duty reform help? The new measures taken by the government will reduce the amount of stamp duty for all property purchases by up to £2,500, with first time buyers also now able to access up to £11,250 in relief. This reformed policy will be a welcome tax-cut for the majority of people purchasing a new (or first) property as they will be able to keep more of their money for additional house renovations or other expenses. This new tax cut will also help increase household purchases and in turn boost confidence in economic growth. What are the new stamp duty rates for non-first time buyers? If you’re not a first time buyer in England or Northern Ireland, from 23rd September 2022 you’ll have to pay the following rates of stamp duty: Property Value SDLT Rate £0 - £250,000 0% £250,001 - £925,000 5% £925,001 - £1,500,000 10% £1,500,001+ 12% Our Senior Team’s View Paul Smith, CEO Commenting on the mini-budget, CEO Paul Smith said: “I’m delighted that Liz Truss is following in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher and understands the economy is fuelled by a healthy property market. “Thatcher once said that she wanted a capital-earning democracy, which housing was the start of, and if you’re a man or woman of property, you’ve got something.  “I absolutely agree, and clearly the new Prime Minister does, too. “This mini-budget from Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is revolutionary on stamp duty - cutting it permanently, and not just introducing a holiday with a spurious deadline, is a massive boost for the market. “This will give a massive confidence boost for those now wishing to sell. “I am also pleased to see that our hard-working colleagues will benefit from a cut in the basic rate of income tax to help them with the cost-of-living crisis – Howards is nothing without our brilliant people.” Antony Lark, Senior Managing Director Group Managing Director, Antony Lark welcomed the stamp duty changes. “This is an extremely positive move and will assist so many people in getting on the housing ladder,” he said. “The fact that this is a permanent change will help ensure we avoid the cliff edge type environment we have recently lived through. “Owning your own home is such an important aspiration for so many and it’s so positive to see the government look to support this to help grow the economy.” Tim Wardley, Managing Director of Land and New Homes Managing Director of Land and New Homes, Tim Wardley added that the 38 investment zones mooted in the so-called ‘Kwasi Budget’ will generate significant growth, thanks to business tax cuts and a fast track on planning applications. He said: “This is great news for our industry right across a board at a time the market has slowed. “The planning system is completely clogged up and anything which can get more houses built is a winner for everyone - buyers, people selling land and developers alike. “The stamp duty cut is also a game changer which begins now and carries on indefinitely, meaning no waiting for start dates or need to hit deadlines. “It’s now time for us to grab this opportunity and make the most of it.” Contact your local Howards branch If the latest stamp duty cuts have prompted you to take the next steps in your property journey, get in touch with your local Howards branch today and we’ll get the ball rolling. We can help you get on the property ladder, find your next home, or if you have a property to sell too, we can offer free no-obligation valuation.

Aug 2, 2022 A Complete Guide to the costs of Buying a Property

Purchasing a new property can quickly become more expensive than originally expected. There are some costs which can be overlooked, which can add to the total costs and skew your budget. Former renters are often surprised at how much more it costs to buy a property and without the correct preparation, you might find it a difficult process. But that’s where Howards can help. This guide will take you through all the costs that come with buying property and help you to get your budget in perfect order. Sign up today to be among the first to know about property for sale in your area. Deposit This is the first thing you will save up for. It’s the amount of money that you will put towards the cost of the property and it averages from 5% to 20% of its price. For example, you might pay as little as £10k or as much as £40k on a £200k property. Getting this money together is you first step to being ready to find and purchase your home. Mortgage broker fees A mortgage broker is a financial adviser that specialises in mortgages. They will show you the best products (mortgages) available to you and they work for you, not the lender. This makes them a knowledgeable and trustworthy source of information. Some mortgage brokers don’t charge a fee, while others charge between a few hundred pounds or up to 1% of your mortgage. Looking for expert mortgage advice, speak to one of our Just Mortgages advisers to see what mortgage deals you could be eligible for. Conveyancing This is the name given to the legal procedure of buying a property. Conveyancing fees include search fees and joining the Land Registry. The Land Registry is a government department that keeps records of all registered properties in England and Wales. You can either hire a property solicitor or licensed conveyancer. The cost will depend on the value of the property you’re purchasing and what searches you’ve completed. Its costs can range from £800 - £1500 and are more for leasehold homes. Valuation fees Your mortgage lender will conduct a valuation survey. This doesn’t look at the condition of the property but is produced for the lender who wants to know the property is worth at least what they are lending you. Some lenders don’t charge a mortgage valuation fee but if they do, they are usually around £200. Surveys/valuations These can add up quickly, ranging from a couple hundred pounds to over £1,000, depending on the value of the property. Stamp duty This is the tax that is levied on legal documents and can add as much as 7% extra to the total cost of buying a property. First time buyers do not have to pay Stamp Duty on properties that are valued under £425,000 in England and Northern Ireland. This is slightly different in Scotland and Wales. For a full breakdown of Stamp Duty, visit gov.uk. Buildings Insurance This is an insurance policy that pays the cost of repair or rebuild in the event of your property being destroyed or damaged from things such as: subsidence falling trees fire, smoke, explosions car and lorry collisions water damage from leaking pipes This needs to be purchased before completion of your new property. The average cost of a policy (as of 2018) is £111 a year. Mortgage fees On top of your standard mortgage, there are other up-front mortgage fees that need to be considered: Arrangement fees: these are often charged by mortgage companies and range from just a few hundred pounds to 1% of the mortgage value. Some lenders prefer it being paid up front, others may add it to the mortgage. Be sure to check Indemnity fees: usually if you had a high loan-to-value ratio, the lender might charge a fee that covers the insurance they take out in case you can’t pay back your loan. Fortunately, many lenders won’t charge these fees even for those borrowing a hefty amount of the purchase price, even up to 90%. Transfer fees There is a fee for transferring the mortgage deposit from your lender (mortgage provider) to your solicitor. However, it’s usually no more than £50. Removals If you don’t have much furniture and have some generous friends, this can be done at little cost. If you do have a lot of furniture, hiring a removals firm is your best bet. It can be costly, but with the right research you can select a company that best meets your needs and budget. Check out our blog on selecting a removals firm for more advice on this. After the move Once you’re moved in to your new home, there are some ongoing costs to consider too: Insurance – to protect the contents of your home Council tax – an ongoing monthly payment that is determined by the location of your property Maintenance and repairs – Any work done will need to be budgeted for Utilities – these are your bills for energy, water etc. shop around for the best deals Leaseholder costs – if you purchase a leasehold property you may have to pay additional fees to maintain the grounds or external building. Not sure of the difference between leasehold and freehold property? Try Howard's jargon buster.These are some extra fees that might creep up on you: Mail redirection Starting at £33.99 for three months Child or pet care on moving day Around £50 Cleaning costs for previous property. This depends on the depth of the clean and size of the property, but can range from £120 - £250 Looking for your family’s next home? Howards invests in the people and technology to get you moved smarter and faster (and with more cash in your pocket when you have). Find your new home here. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Howards introduce to Just Mortgages Direct Limited which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Just Mortgages Direct Limited Registered Office: Colwyn House, Sheepen Place, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3LD. Registered in England No. 2412345

Aug 2, 2022 Dos and Don’ts when going on a Property Viewing

Viewing a property is the key opportunity to gather valuable information before buying a home. Our Howards house viewing checklist gives you tips on what to look for when viewing a house, some do’s and don’ts, and to make the most of your time when property viewing. What to look for when viewing a property for the first time Viewing a property in the flesh is very different to online viewings. First impressions count, but you have a limited amount of time to see beyond and get some key details from your viewing. It will help if you prepare a property viewing checklist beforehand and know what you are looking for before viewing a property. What should I include in my property viewing checklist? You will need to prioritise certain aspects. For example, is the property in good condition? Is the local area noisy or quiet? Does the house have a modern boiler? Is there ample parking available, or are permits needed? Are there obvious signs of damp or structural issues? The local area You should do some research on the local area beforehand, finding out about schools, transport links etc., but on the viewing itself you want to look out for the following: How busy is the street – is there much traffic noise? This will be affected by the times of the day of your viewing, and will perhaps be better judged in late afternoon/early evening, so go back at those times Is there enough car parking? If it is a property without off-street parking, check if there are enough spaces to park, or ask the vendors if permits are needed Are there shops or amenities within walking distance? Around the property Is there enough space between the property and those next to it? Is there a wall or fence dividing the property from others? If there is a front garden, does it give enough privacy? Stand on the opposite side of the road and get a better view of the house, looking out for obvious imperfections. The exterior of the property It’s easy to get caught up with what’s inside the property, but don’t forget to spend some time outside of the property to look for any potential structural problems. Are there any obvious issues relating to the guttering, wiring or pipework, for example? Cracks in the brickwork or exterior walls or loose tiles on the roof? A professional property survey should always be carried out to make sure it’s suitable to live in. In the garden Walk right down to the bottom of the garden, checking for the following: Is the garden south or north facing? South facing gardens get more sun during summertime, and generally filter more light into the house. Do the fences give enough privacy, and how secure are they? Which house has responsibility for each fence? If there is a shed or outbuildings, look inside Sign up today to be among the first to know about property for sale in your area. Inside the property As you walk around the house, keep a close eye out for obvious defects, such as signs of damp. Is there mould, bubbling paint or peeling wallpaper? Don’t be afraid of moving furniture to check if it hides anything. Is there enough storage space? If there is a loft or attic, ask if you can get access to it. If the central heating is on, check how warm the radiators are. The bathroom Do the bathroom units need updating? This could be a significant bargaining position. Is there mould around the bath or windows? Run the taps to check on water pressure and heat Is there enough ventilation? The kitchen As with the bathroom, are the kitchen fixtures modern enough? If a new kitchen is needed, this can be used in your price negotiations What is included in the sale? Are the white goods part of the sale, or not? Questions to ask during your viewing There are many important questions you can ask the vendor while viewing a property. They include: How long has the property been on the market? Are curtains and light fittings included in the sale? What are the neighbours and the local area like? Have they done any major renovations? How long have they lived there? House viewing etiquette What is or isn’t acceptable during a viewing? We have covered plenty of the ‘Do’s above, but we can also add: Do – Test switches, open windows and cupboards Take pictures. The odd snap may help you remember an aspect of the property Don’t – Offer a negative opinion on the property during the viewing Eat or drink while viewing a property Be late to the viewing Try not to view by yourself. If you are buying a home on your own it will help having a friend or family member to accompany you so they can give a second opinion Bring children to the viewing, if possible Second viewings If you are interested in buying a property, second viewings are a good thing to consider. There may be things on your house viewing checklist that you forgot on your first viewing, or you need more information on a certain aspect of the house. This is the chance to take some measurements, if you need to be sure that your furniture will fit the rooms. Don’t be afraid to book a second viewing, and perhaps choose a different time of day. Online and virtual viewings If in these current times you are not comfortable with viewing a property in person, our online resources give the home buyer a great opportunity to find out more about the house in which you are interested. We can also arrange virtual viewings and accompanied viewings. A virtual viewing includes a Howards Quick Sneak Peak video and full walkaround of the property. During an accompanied viewing, your estate agent hosts a video call between the buyer and seller. The buyer can ask questions during this call as they would do at a traditional property viewing. We can help you get more viewings If you are selling your property, we can help you get more viewings.

Apr 5, 2022 Howard's jargon buster

Think moving house is stressful? Then all of the added jargon that goes with the house buying and selling process can make it quite daunting. Our handy guide details some common terms and what they mean. Acceptance - If you wish to accept a lender’s mortgage offer, this document will need to be signed and returned to the lender. Amortisation - The gradual elimination of a liability, for example, a mortgage through regular payments over a set time period or the amount paid by way of capital or principle repayments on a loan annually. Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) - A notional rate that is often quoted on interest paid on savings and investments. It aims to demonstrate what your interest return would be if the interest was compounded and paid annually instead of monthly (or any other period). Annual Percentage Rate (APR) - The APR is a figure that is used to compare different mortgages. Defined by law, it includes repayments on the loan plus any fees such as booking, arrangement or redemption fees. The APR shows the true cost of borrowing, and should appear on all mortgage illustrations and quotes. Applicant - The name given to a potential purchaser, often used by estate agents/auctioneers. Appraisal Value – Property value as estimated by a surveyor. Appreciation – Increase in property value as a result of market condition changes. Arrangement Fee - This is a charge levied by the lender to cover the costs of administering and reserving the funds for certain types of mortgage. May be paid separately or added to the loan amount. Assured shorthold tenancy (ASTs) - This is the most common form of tenancy.  A tenancy can only be an AST if you are a private landlord or housing association, the tenancy started on or after 15th Jan 1999, the property is the tenants' main accommodation and you do not live in the property.  All of these must apply. Auction - A means of selling a property whereby it is listed at an auction and if the property does not reach the reserve price then it is not sold. If it does, then when the auctioneer's hammer falls that represents an exchange of contracts and the successful bidder is legally obliged to pay a 10% deposit and sign a memorandum of sale before leaving the auction. Completion usually takes places 28 days later and the buyer is not in a position to re-negotiate any of the stipulated terms and buys the property "as seen". Structural surveys and searches would have to be made in advance by a bidder. Base Rate - The lowest rate of interest a bank will charge when it lends money, used as a benchmark to set interest rates for borrowers. This rate is set by the Bank of England and is reviewed several times a year. Lenders will charge borrowers a margin above the base rate. Bridging Loan – A loan that is used to cover the overlap between the purchase of a new property and the sale of an old one. This will be a short-term loan. Building Survey – Full inspection of the property, carried out by a chartered surveyor. A detailed report will follow highlighting the condition of the property and any issues/defects. Buildings Insurance – An insurance policy that pays the cost of repair or rebuild in the event of your property being destroyed or damaged. This needs to be purchased before completion of your new property. Buy-to-let Mortgage – A type of mortgage specifically for those purchasing a property with the intention of letting the property out. Capital – Amount of money either put into buying a property or the deposit placed on a property. Capital Appreciation – Growth in the value of a property over time. Capital Gains Tax – A tax on profits above a fixed level made from the sale of financial assets such as property or shares. Capped-rate mortgage – A mortgage that sets a maximum rate on interest that a lender can charge for a specified period. Chain – Where a buyer is reliant on the completion of sale of their current property before they can complete on a purchase of a new property. Commission – An estate agent’s fee for selling the property. Comparative Search – The search that looks at sale values for similar properties in the same area as your property. Completion Date – The date of which the money is transferred from the buyer’s to the seller’s solicitor. The buyer will also become the legal owner of their new property on this date. Conditions of Sale – Details that set out the rights and duties of the seller and buyer. Contents Insurance – Insurance that covers the contents of your home such as your furniture, carpets, equipment like laptops and televisions. Conveyancing – The legal process surrounding the transfer of ownership of a property from a seller to a buyer. Covenants – The rules and regulations governing a property – these are contained in its Title Deeds or Lease. Deeds – The legal documents that prove ownership of a property. Deposit – Initial funds used as a payment upfront to a bank/financial institution in the purchase of property. Also known as mortgage deposit. Detached – A property that stands alone, and therefore not attached to another property. Disbursements - Fees paid by the solicitors on the behalf of a buyer. Examples include land registry and search fees and stamp duty. Also known as Legal Fees. Discharge Fee – Paid to some lenders for releasing their hold over a property once you have paid off you loan. This often occurs if you pay off your mortgage early before the standard term has run out. However, this is not always the case. Down Valuation – Where a lender restricts the amount you can borrow as a result of a surveyors valuation report indicates the property is not worth the sum sought. Draft Contract – A preliminary version of the contract drawn up when the sale is first agreed. This is uncorroborated version that will need to be confirmed by the seller’s solicitor and set out the conditions. Draft Transfer – A legal document issued by the purchaser’s solicitors setting out the terms and conditions of sale. Early Repayment Charge – A charge issued by the lender as a penalty if a mortgage is paid off within a specific period. Endowment Mortgage – Interest-only repayments combined with monthly premiums into an endowment policy. This is designed to pay off the loan at the end of the term. Energy Performance Certificate – This certificate measures the energy efficiency of a property using a scale of A to G. It is now a legal requirement to have a valid EPC before a property can be marketed. Equity – The amount of money either put into buying a property or the deposit placed on a property which exceeds the amount of any money borrowed against the property. Exchange of Contracts – The point at which confirmed and signed (by both purchasers and sellers) are physically exchanged. Both the buyer and the seller are now legal bound to the sale and purchase of the property at the agreed price. Fixed Rate Mortgage – A mortgage in which the interest rate is fixed/set for an agreed term or period of time. Fixtures and Fittings – These are the non-structural items included in the purchase of a property. These can include (but not limited to) light fitments, central heating boilers and radiators, bathroom suites, kitchen units, TV aerials and satellite dishes. Flexible Mortgage – An arrangement whereby you can increase or decrease your mortgage payments. Freehold – Where the owner of a property also owns the land that it is built on. Gazumping – This occurs when a seller accepts a higher offer on a property when they have already agreed on an offer from someone, prior to the exchange of contracts. Gazundering – This occurs when a buyer reduced their agreed offer prior to exchanging contracts. An example could be that the buyer has discovered some issues with the property following a survey report that was carried out, and therefore reduces the offer agreed accordingly. Ground Rent – A charge from the freeholder to the leaseholder. Guarantor – Someone who promises and signs to agree to pay the borrower’s debt or rent is the borrower or tenant defaults. Higher Lending Charge – An upfront, one-off charge to a lender to protect them against the borrower defaulting on the loan. This usually occurs on mortgages that are over 75% of the property value. Houses in Multiple Occupancy – A building of three floors or more that is occupied by three of more people. These people live as more than one household but share the use of facilities such as bathrooms and cooking facilities. Individual Savings Account Mortgage (ISA) - Interest-only mortgage linked to an ISA fund, which is designed to pay off the loan at the end of the period. Inflation - The rise in prices over time. Interest Charges – The charges that banks make on a loan, calculated as a percentage of the borrowed amount. Interest-only Mortgage – Now only offered with very strict lending criteria and aren’t available to everyone. A type of mortgage where the borrower only repays the interest on the loan for the duration of its term and repays the full loan amount at the end of the mortgage period. Joint Tenants – A form of ownership of land or property where there are two parties. If one of them passes away, their share of the property will transfer automatically to the remaining party which then gives them full ownership. Land Certificate – This document is issued by the Land Registry to the owner of the registered land as proof of ownership. This land document will include a copy of the register and the plan showing the extent of the land. Land Registry Fee – To be paid by a solicitor on behalf of the buyer to register ownership of property with the Land Registry (if freehold). Therefore once you purchase the property, you are the legal owner of the land. Land Search – This is where a formal application of an inspection of the Land Registry register. A certificate will be issued to show the current situation of the land in question. Lease – The legal document by which the Freehold or Leasehold owner of a property lets the premises or a part of it to another party for a specified length of time. Once this expires, the ownership reverts to the Freeholder. Leasehold – Where a person(s) owns a property but only for a set number of years. When the lease expires, the property returns to the freeholder. This is most common with flats; however, houses can also be built on leasehold land. Legal Fees - Fees paid by the solicitors on the behalf of a buyer. Examples include Land Registry and search fees and Stamp Duty. Also known as ‘Disbursements’. Listed Building – A building which has special architectural or historic interest which is officially listed so that it cannot be demolished or altered without prior local government approval. Maintenance Charge – Also known as service charges. These charges are the cost of repairing and maintaining external or internal communal parts of a building. These costs are charged to the tenant or leaseholder. Maisonette – An apartment, usually over one or two floors, which is self-contained and in a larger house. It will have its own entrance from the outside. Mortgage – An amount of money advanced by a lender (usually a bank or building society) on the security of a property. This is repayable over a long period of time. Mortgage Payment Protection – Insurance designed to pay your monthly mortgage for a limited period if you are unable to work due to illness, redundancy or disability. This is usually for a year. NHBC Scheme – A building guarantee that is available on some new build homes. Under this guarantee, any defects that occur within a specified time after construction are remedied. Negative Equity – When a property has decreased in value to below the level for which a loan was secured on it. Offer – The sum of money a buyer offers to pay for a property. Offer of a Loan – A formal document approving the mortgage you have requested and detailing the Terms and Conditions that apply. Office Copy Entry – The official document from the Land Registry which confirms the ownership of and borrowings against a property. Open House Event – A day or period of time of a day where a property for sale is open to a number of applicants to view at the same time. Open Market Value – The price a property should be able to achieve where there is a willing buyer and seller. Re-Mortgage – This is the refinancing of a property either by switching a mortgage from one lender to another or by taking out a second mortgage to take advantage of any equity gained by the rise in value of the property. Redemption – When a mortgage is fully repaid. Repayment Mortgage – A mortgage where the monthly payments are used to repay the interest and reduce the outstanding capital.  This means that each month you’re paying off a small part of your mortgage. Repossession – This occurs when a mortgage lender takes possession of a property due to non-payment of the mortgage the property is secured against. Retention – Where a lender has the ability to hold back part of a mortgage until certain conditions are met. Searches – A request or enquiry for information about the property held by a local authority or by the Land Registry. Semi-Detached – A property which is joined to one other property – this will be a house or bungalow. Service Charge – These charges are paid by the owner to cover the cost of providing various services which include (but not limited to) maintenance or repair of the building, communal areas, heating, lighting or security. Share of Freehold – Where a limited company owns the freehold on which a property stands and the shareholders of that limited company are the owners of the property. Short-term Tenancy – Occupancy of a rental property that starts at one day and can last for a few weeks or a couple of months. Sitting Tenant – This refers to a tenant who occupies a rental property when there is a change of landlord or the landlord decides to sell. Sole Agent – When the seller has agreed to sell their property through one estate agent only. Stamp Duty – A government paid tax to be paid by the buyer on a property. Usually expressed as a percentage of the purchase price and will vary depending on the value of the property. Standard Variable Rate – Mortgage lenders standard rate of interest. This can go up or down in line with market rates such as the Bank of England base rate Surveys – Inspection of a property and reports that comments of the structural conditions and more depending of the survey of survey you commission. Studio Flat – A flat which consists of one room that contains the cooking, living and sleeping areas with a separate bathroom or shower room. Tenancy Agreement – A contract between a tenant and landlord. The tenancy agreement will outline the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. Tenure – Conditions on which a property is held, for example leasehold or freehold. Terraced House – A property that forms part of a connected row of houses. Title Deeds – The legal title documents that prove ownership of a property. These are transferred to the new owner on the sale of a property and a copy is held by the mortgage lender. Title Insurance – The insurance policy which a buyer can take out to allow a sale to complete where there is a potential problem with the documentation in proving legal ownership of some part of the land they are buying. Title Search – An investigation carried out by a conveyancer or solicitor into the history of ownership of a property. This search will check for liens, unpaid claims, restrictions and any other problems that may affect ownership. Tracker Mortgage – A mortgage where the interest charged by a lender is linked to a rate such as the Bank Of England base rate.  This means your payments can go up or down. Under Offer – A status of a property that is for sale and the sellers have accepted an offer from a buyer. This is the status given before the exchange of contracts. Valuation – A basic survey of a property which estimates the value of the property for mortgage purposes. Mortgage lenders will need to see this before lending. Variable Base Rate – The basic rate of interest charged on a mortgage. Vendor – The seller of a property. Yield – The income from a property that is calculated as a percentage of its value.

Feb 25, 2022 Tips for Buyers

Here's our Top Tips for you to ponder in your quest for your next perfect home

If you already have a home and plan on selling it in order to buy another, we know that it may be a long time since you last went down this route and it’s possible that you may have forgotten some of the tasks ahead of you to ensure smooth plain sailing. So we’ve put together some points for you to ponder in your quest for your next perfect home: Let your solicitor know that you want to move We deal with conveyancers all the time and they tell us their frustration with clients who make an offer on a whim and create hold ups in the chain because they take a while to provide their solicitor with the relevant information to put together a ‘seller’s pack’ in preparation for the sale. If you are ready to hand over your sellers pack to the vendor’s solicitor from word go you can remove a whole layer of stress in what could be a long chain, which will put you on a good footing with them and ensure you remain an attractive buyer to them. Find out the remaining balance on your current mortgage It may sound obvious, but if you have had your mortgage for some while you may owe less than you think. You need to know the remaining debt to help you find out what you can afford in your next move. Scrutinise your finances Be sure you know what you can afford. You don’t want to get up the hopes of a vendor and incur any costs before you discover that, actually, you didn’t do your homework and you can’t afford to move. It is always a good idea to know your budget range and to hold on to your emotion when you are negotiating a price. You might have fallen in love with that property, but if the reality means you will be eating baked beans and buying from charity shops once you move in you might live to regret it. List your expenses  When it comes to talking to a new mortgage provider, especially if you want to increase your mortgage debt, ensure you have compiled your list of expenses as your lender will want to know how much you spend on groceries a week, utility bills and many other expenses. It is a good exercise to do this before you make any offer so that you can be sure that you can afford to move into and run your new property. Find out what the seller is leaving The vendor’s solicitor will have provided them with a “fixtures and fittings” document that they should complete. This document sets out to you, the new buyer, what the home comes with and what they intend to take with them. So if they plan on leaving that integrally fitted new fridge freezer that will save you the expense of upgrading your current one. Ensure the seller passes over the guarantees If the vendor has made home improvements to the property you are buying they will need to dig out the guarantees that come with replacement windows or damp proofing as they should be transferred into your possession. Establish what it will cost to move Your new mortgage and running costs won’t be the only expenses involved in this move. You need to factor in moving costs including any estate agency fees involved if you are selling your current property plus factor in the legal costs, removals costs and survey fees. Watch out for Stamp Duty If the property you are buying is valued at between £250,001 and above, you will need to pay Stamp Duty, so be sure to know what your legal obligation is here. Shop around for a mortgage  We strongly advise you to shop around for your mortgage if you are not tied into a deal with your current lender. haart has a nationwide network of advisors through its Just Mortgages sister company and there has never been a better time to take one out as interest rates are at an historic low. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Our typical fee for arranging a mortgage is £495.  The actual amount payable will depend on your circumstances. Choose the right estate agent There are hundreds of estate agents on the market but cheap doesn’t necessarily mean you will get good service. So if you are buying a property but need to sell your current home, we can market your property across a range of platforms. If you have a property to sell ensure your estate agent will expose your property to the maximum number of potential buyers. Howards customers have access to the latest online marketing tools, including the new property portal OnTheMarket.com, plus social media traditional print advertising and ‘open house events’ to boost buyer interest. Sign up today to be among the first to know about property for sale in your area. So here’s a quick summary: Let your solicitor know Find out the remaining balance on your current mortgage Scrutinise your finances List your expenses Find out why the seller is leaving Ensure the seller passes on home-improvement guarantees Establish what it will cost you to move Watch out for Stamp Duty costs Shop around for a mortgage Choose the right estate agent YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Howards introduce to Just Mortgages Direct Limited which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 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