First Time Buyers

When purchasing your first home or property, we will guide and assist you through the transaction and below are just a few of the aspects you need to consider.

There are two key dates in the transaction, exchange of Contracts when you make a legally binding commitment to purchase the property and; completion - the date on which the property belongs to you and you can move in.  A completion date is fixed when contracts are exchanged.

If you require a specific timescale for completion of your purchase ensure that you have advised all parties, including estate agents and solicitors, at the outset of the transaction.

A deposit will be paid across by a buyer (via their solicitors) on exchange of Contracts - the maximum deposit paid will be 10% of the purchase price - lesser amounts must be agreed with a seller via the solicitors.

On exchange of Contracts, the Contract will usually provide that the "risk" of the property passes to you as buyers and you will need to ensure that buildings insurance cover is in place as from exchange of Contracts.

If you are in rented accommodation we always advise that you do not serve notice to vacate until Contracts are exchanged.  Until this point, you have no binding timescale to move or agreement to purchase the property.

The responsibility for checking the condition of the building and its structure will rest with you as the buyers.

The valuation report prepared on behalf of a mortgage lender will be very basic - if you have any doubts as to the condition of the property instruct your own surveyor to carry out a Homebuyers Report.

Ensure that you have budgeted for all maintenance and repairs to the property including obtaining specialist reports and estimates for any works required to the property.

The basic searches made by your solicitor will always be personal to the property - if you require any further details regarding the surrounding area or neighbourhood you should advise your solicitor at an early stage.

If you are buying jointly, consider instructing the solicitor to prepare a Declaration of Trust - particularly where one or both of you are investing sums of money into the property. This document will define how the property is held between you.

With a valuable asset such as property in your possession, you should also be looking to make a Will.

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