In the governments most recent budget the chancellor announced plans for a new Lifetime ISA which will become available by April 2017. The lifetime ISA is not for everyone, there are some very clear caveats, only being able to be used to buy your first home or saving for retirement.
The London property market isn’t just the busiest in the UK, recent research shows it’s the most ruthless too. People buying a property in London are three times as likely to lose out on a sale after they’ve invested money into the process, than buyers in the rest of the UK.
Renting can be a great option for so many reasons. It can provide you with more freedom, there’s no need to pay for maintenance costs and you don’t need building insurance. It could also enable you to live in a better place than you could ever afford if you bought a property yourself.
Halifax data shows that despite still rising house prices, the number of first-time buyers in the UK is at a 12-year high. However, there are sure to be many would-be first timers who are wondering how exactly how that can be.
While having an adequate deposit is, of course, a key detail for those hoping to grab the first rung on the UK’s property ladder, there are other tips and ways to secure your first home and enjoy the security of owning your own property.
Buying your first home is an incredibly exciting time, but it can also be hugely expensive.
Many first-time buyers struggle to save up a deposit, and even once they do manage to put some savings away, properties are often so expensive that first-time buyers are priced out of the market.
The 'Bank of Mum and Dad' has long been relied upon by young homebuyers unable to get on the property ladder because they cannot save up a large deposit.
Saving up for a deposit on a home is hard to do, and it can be a real struggle. According to research from Aviva, people planning to buy a home in the UK save for an average of four years to afford the deposit – and 27% believe that they will never be able to save enough for a deposit.
When it comes to encouraging property owners to pay their fair share of tax, a hike in stamp duty is often put forward as an option for doing this. And, research shows that after the changes to stamp duty rules in April 2017, that’s exactly what happened. The Government’s income from stamp duty payments rose £1.3 billion from 2016 – an increase that was largely due to the 3% additional stamp duty tax charge on BTL investors and buyers of second homes.
You will come in contact with a variety of professionals when buying or selling your property, so make sure you are clued up as to who does what.
Stamp duty can add a large amount to the price of your new home – or it might not cost you anything at all. It all depends on the price of the property and whether it is your first property or not.
Here is a guide to what stamp duty is and how much you have to pay – including details of some recent changes in stamp duty that were brought in during 2017.
The latest official data on house prices, as calculated by the Office for National Statistics, (ONS) shows the pace of house price growth accelerated in December, pushing the average house price higher, yet again.
The ONS house price index reported the average house price in December 2017, was 5.2% higher than the same period in 2016. That increase was faster than the 5% annual rise reported in November.
When it comes to selling your home there are a lot of elements that can cause you stress and delay the process, sometimes unexpectedly. Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home you can start looking for and instructing a suitable solicitor or conveyancer.
If you’re a first-time buyer, or it’s been a very long time since you last moved house then you’ll want to choose carefully. It’s important to try and secure a professional who has good communication skills and will do their job as efficiently as possible.
Of course, sometimes things do come up in surveys or further down the chain to disrupt a seemingly straight-forward transaction. When this happens, even the most knowledgeable and efficient of solicitors or conveyancers will struggle to keep the process on a strict schedule, which means you also need to be calm and understanding as well as doing your best to help drive the process forward.
With that in mind, we’ve provided this short guide highlighting the importance of choosing the right firm to conduct the legal paperwork to sell your home and how to stay calm when things go off plan.
When it comes to selecting your legal representation for selling your home, you have the choice of a solicitor or conveyancer.
A solicitor is a fully qualified legal professional who can handle property conveyancing and also any legal issues that may arise. Solicitors must be registered with the Law Society. Some solicitors are property specialists while others are generalists who also handle conveyancing.
Conveyancers are property specialists but not qualified legal professionals. Conveyancers must be members of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. While conveyancers would need to seek a solicitor’s advice if a legal issue or complex problem crops up during the sale of your property, they are also experienced specialists so should be able to explain the process to you clearly and handle all the details easily – of a straight forward sale.
Solicitors are almost always more expensive than conveyancers because of their legal training which can come in handy, but isn’t always necessary. Thanks to the growth in online conveyancing firms, the cost of conveyancers has fallen significantly in recent years and ranges between £250 - £1,500.
However, even if you are on a tight budget, it’s worth doing your homework and asking around for recommendations and quotes to ensure you get the most capable and communicative conveyancer you can afford. If you don’t, it could end up costing more than you expect down the line.
Whether you select a solicitor or conveyancer they will have a number of important tasks to complete for you as a seller:
If you are also buying a property they will:
As a seller you need to appoint your solicitor or conveyancer as soon as you make the decision to sell your property. As mentioned previously, it pays to do your homework prior to instructing your property professional.
Ask your lender if they have any recommendations, ask trusted friends and family and you can also ask your estate agent. Try and get a few quotes too, around three, with some details on what that cost should cover.
If you’re happy that the sale of your property should be pretty plain sailing, then there’s nothing to stop you from instructing the conveyancer of your choice, keeping costs lower and making sure you’ve got a good line of communication with them.
There are some instances that will likely require some more in-depth legal knowledge, making it more prudent to opt for a solicitor. These can include:
Problems that Can Occur During a House Sale
Even when a property sale looks as though it should be straightforward and take no longer than a 6-8-week timeframe, things can crop up to delay and frustrate the process. The more common ones are:
Few of these problems are your solicitor/conveyancer’s fault and you can rest assured that experienced and reliable ones will do their best to keep the sale on track and also to keep you informed.
This is when you’ll need to do your best to stay calm with your professional while also making polite but regular contact with your estate agent who should be in touch with your buyer’s representatives. It also doesn’t hurt to get in touch with your buyers as, quite often, they are in the dark about certain things that occur and can also help smooth any potential problems that arise during the process.
Selling a property can be stressful, however, if you take you time to find the right representation and do your best to stay in the loop as to where things are and how they’re going, then you should be able to complete the process within two months and move on to whatever you have planned!
Getting onto the property ladder is an exciting time but is not without its stresses including gazumping, sales falling through and, of course, the dreaded property chain. Chances are that, unless you’re buying a brand new property, you will find yourself a link in a property chain but, what exactly does that mean?
Starting the search for your first home is exciting, but don’t jump straight in. There are a few things that you need to do first. Here are five things you will need to consider before you begin your search to make the process go smoothly.
Canterbury in Kent, is one of the loveliest cities in Britain. Officially. According to The Times, Canterbury ranks in the top fifty best urban places to live. We’re not so sure about the use of the ‘urban’ adjective however. This little city is surrounded by some serious countryside.
If you are currently renting a property but you have your heart set on buying a home, this is quite a big transition to make.
Are you ready for it?
There are lots of steps you can take to plan your move from being a renter to being a buyer, so here are a few of the most important to keep in mind.
It’s fair to say the past few months have not been kind to the UK property market. While sales figures at the beginning of 2020 were beginning to look promising, the arrival of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown restrictions were a body blow to the sector, and April property sales hit their lowest point since records began in their current form in the early noughties. There also seems to have been a drop in prices, and while the tiny number of property sales has made it hard to gauge the true scale of this, it looks to have been similar to the fall we experienced after the 2009 British banking crash.
While growth in the number of private renters in the UK continues to outpace social renters, one thing that resolutely remains as a British characteristic, is home-ownership aspiration. The latest Government English Housing Survey (EHS) for 2015-16, highlights this detail, among others.
With the cost of buying a property ever-increasing, the government have set about a new way of helping first time buyers onto the property ladder.
Saving up for a deposit on your first home can be tough. However, you might be able to get a helping hand by using the Lifetime ISA (or LISA).