Author Archives: Trevor Gillham

What is a flying freehold?


Even if you have a little bit of knowledge when it comes to property you could be forgiven for being slightly unfamiliar with the term ‘flying freehold’. Although it may sound like something mysterious a flying freehold is actually a part of a property that hangs over an area which belongs to another property.

When you have total ownership of a property and its land this is known as a freehold. Even though you may be able to claim that you completely own the property, if there is a flying freehold it is necessary to be clear on the details. It is true that in some cases the presence of a flying freehold has led to the breakdown of a property purchase because the prospective buyer was refused the money needed from their lender.

As a flying freehold is something of a grey area from a legal standpoint issues can arise when repairs are needed for example. Indemnity insurance can cover you and satisfy lenders in many cases. Most lenders are looking for the assurance that the flying freehold only affects part of the other property and that rights related to entry, support and shelter are enforceable.

Five reasons to build your own home

self build


On many occasions taking a bold step can lead to the kind of rewards you were hoping for and then some. Building your own home is a daring move to make but it can certainly prove worthwhile. Earlier this year, the first ever National Self Build Week was held and exploring this avenue has some clear potential advantages.

Get the exact layout you desire

Being able to have a house of your own built means that there is no need to settle for an aspect you are not satisfied with. It is your opportunity to have the specific layout and design you are looking for.

Save on bills over time

An important part of building your own home is making the kind of decisions that will serve you well for many years to come. It is possible to target an extremely environmentally-friendly property which will lessen the need to pay extortionate costs on energy bills in the future.

Live in your chosen area

Often when viewing properties you can like so much about the house but the area in which it is situated can deter you. This is another negative point that you can cross off the list when you decide to self-build.

Eliminate possible health issues

Unfortunately, some properties of a certain age may have been built with the kind of materials that can pose a threat to your well-being. As you have control over such issues when building your own home you can rest safely in the knowledge that it has been constructed in the best way possible.

Easier to afford than you may think

It is undoubtedly important to keep control over your self-build budget because it is easy to let it run away from you. The affordability of such a project does however tend to surprise people and with a new build there is no need to pay VAT. Additionally, the value of your property when it is finished is likely to be greater than the price it cost to construct.

How do you get on board with the Government Help to Buy scheme?

new home

Due to the well-known roadblocks that can come up when you are trying to get on the property ladder there are one or two possibilities that may cross your mind. One of these is the Help to Buy scheme, which can provide the financial assistance needed for people who cannot afford to buy their own home.

The scheme has four different types – Help to Buy equity loans, shared ownership, NewBuy, and Help to Buy mortgage guarantees which will come in from January 2014. Help to Buy agents in the area in which a buyer wishes to live can offer more information on shared ownership and the equity loans.

Buyers wishing to go down the route of Help to Buy equity loans have to contribute a deposit of a minimum of 5 per cent of the property price and they will receive a government loan of up to 20 per cent of the price. A mortgage of up to 75 per cent is needed to take care of the rest.

In order to be eligible for the NewBuy scheme, which allows the purchase of a newly built property with a deposit of 5 per cent, there are certain criteria your new home must meet. These include being under £500,000 and it is not possible to use the scheme for shared equity purchases or ownership. The NewBuy website provides information on how to apply and an approved mortgage lender will be required.

What is the best type of property for a first-time buyer?

1st home

Venturing into the property market can be seen as a bold step and there is no denying that it can bring up its share of difficulties for some people. However, as many will confirm, there are ways around any issues that may stand in the way of you finding the ideal living quarters. First-time buyers can take a lot of benefit from those with knowledge of the market and gaining information on which property to opt for is particularly helpful.

It is worth taking all the options into consideration and this includes an auctioned property as well as shared ownership. An article posted by The Independent cited statistics from LSL Property Services indicating that the average price of a first-time buyer’s property is now £146,726. Additionally, it was stated that the average age for those who make this first purchase is 30.

The most popular house for those buying for the first time is a property with at least three bedrooms. 44 per cent of first-time buyers go for this option while 31 per cent choose to look for a home with two bedrooms. Plenty of people consider a flat for a place to live although only a quarter of first-time buyers are going for this option over a house.

What is a commercial investment property?


The property sector in the United Kingdom is undoubtedly big business and it manages to attract huge investment each year from domestic parties as well as from abroad. Naturally, there are many who choose to direct their funds towards the residential area of the market but commercial property offers a lot of possibility too.

The purpose of making an investment is to reap the benefits for a number of years to come, but as everyone is more than aware this is not always how it transpires. Someone who invests in commercial property might choose to buy into retail stores or offices for example. When the value of the property rises they will benefit from this profit and the investment can be made via a trust or fund, or directly. The units that have been purchased can be rented out to various companies.

For an investor who chooses the option of a property fund it gives them the exposure to the property they are looking for but in a considerably cheaper way. It is advisable to approach property funds cautiously if they do not hold a significant number of properties. Experts say that the type of fund to seek is one that holds as many as 40 properties at least.

What are the property-buying differences between England and Scotland?


The property market in the UK has been talked about and analysed on many occasions, particularly in the last few years in light of the economic peril. England and Scotland naturally account for a huge amount of the UK sector but what are the differences between the two countries when it comes to making a purchase?

Scotland is actually different from the whole of the rest of the UK in certain aspects of property buying. Out of all the property that changes ownership in Scotland, the majority of it is sold by estate agents who work for firms of solicitors. Scottish properties are separated into three categories in the way they are sold. With those that are marketed as ‘offers over’, the seller understandably looks for more than the price stipulated. ‘Fixed price’ properties are sold to the first one to match the value, whereas ‘price guide’ listings are rough figures relating to what the seller wants.

In England you get ‘sealed bids’ but in Scotland it is a ‘closing date’. This is a deadline for those who are interested to go ahead and give their best offer. In Scotland, a solicitor has to submit your offer and it is a written legal one signed on your behalf by them. This then goes to the seller’s solicitor and amendments are made in writing by both sides until an agreement is reached.

When a property sale is made in Scotland it has to be registered in the Land Register for Scotland, which is much like the Land Registry in England.

Can I back out while in the process of selling my house?


Selling a house is a huge happening for many people but personal circumstances can of course change so quickly. With such a significant deal in the offing it can be incredibly inconvenient when a detail, however big or small, threatens to scupper the agreement. There are however many reasons why you may want to back out of selling your house. Often there are a number of people who are involved and valuations can naturally differ from one individual to another.

As either the seller or the buyer you could be locked in a scenario in which a sale you are trying to make impacts massively on the property you are trying to purchase. When there is a chain like this it leaves much more margin for error and it is understandable for the seller to want to complete a deal with whoever makes the highest offer.

The exchange of contracts is the crucial phase and the legal settlement. You have the right to back out of the sale at any point prior to this but not after the contracts have been signed. If you make an attempt to cancel after the sale then you can be sued by the buyer and it is likely to be a costly process for you.

Five of the best seaside property hotspots

The chance to get away to picturesque surroundings on holiday is an opportunity many relish. There are some who have their own holiday home to enjoy and then there are others who get to reside in such settings permanently. Seaside locations are immensely popular for property buyers and the UK can boast a number of attractive areas by the coast.

Lynmouth, Devon

The prospect of living on Devon’s North Coast in the South West of the country is understandably appealing and the village of Lynmouth offers much. At the top of a gorge above Lynmouth is the small town of Lynton and the area has many historical and beautiful sites, not to mention some breathtaking views.

Aldeburgh, Suffolk

The location of Aldeburgh on the Suffolk Heritage Coast includes terrific arts, cuisine, sailing and family activity. This seaside area is a hotspot for fishing and it has a shingle beach, as well as hosting the well-known Aldeburgh Festival in June each year.

Whitby, North Yorkshire

Situated north of Bridlington and Scarborough, Whitby has a reputation as one of the UK’s most favoured places to holiday in. For those thinking of purchasing a home in the area the points of interest include Captain Cook Memorial Museum and Whitby Pavilion, Lighthouse and Beach.

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

If it is a place in South Wales you are on the lookout for then Tenby could well be making an appearance at the top of your list. This harbour town has cobbled streets, restaurants, cafes, shops and of course a number of beautiful beaches to savour.

St Ives, Cornwall

The beaches in St Ives are particularly stunning and they help to make it a firm favourite with adults and children alike. You can go on a trip through the arts and crafts of the area or you can sample the local Cornwall cuisine and take in the sea air around you.

Can I sell a house with a sitting tenant?

selling a home


Certain tenants can be a disruption when you try to sell a property and the misinformation that exists around this issue makes it an area of uncertainty for some people. It is certainly a tough process if you approach it in the wrong way so you firstly have to check over the tenancy agreement that you have in place.

Sitting tenants are those who are renting without a tenancy agreement and it is worth noting that it is difficult to avoid losing money on the sale of your property if it has tenants. The least problematic way to go about it is to give them notice of at least a month and to keep them informed throughout the process, even offering them first option on buying the place from you.

You may however be required to issue them with a Section 21 notice if you have any trouble in getting them to vacate the property. If you can avoid needing to evict them in this way then it is worth it but two months after issuing the notice you will be eligible to apply for a court order to remove them.

The upsides and downsides to shared ownership

shared ownership

Clambering to get a grip on the property ladder is known for being a tricky proposition and for many people it can prove an unattainable possibility for quite some time. One of the methods that can be tried in order to get around this is to enter into a shared ownership scheme. This route has undoubtedly grown in popularity over time and those who are considering pursuing this option will naturally wonder whether the good points outweigh the potential difficulties.

Prospective property buyers from all kinds of background continue to show their interest in shared ownership and it has been a tremendous help for couples with a lower income and especially those with a family to support. Many have found that the difference in cost between paying rent each month and making payments on a shared ownership property is minimal, and this is a big advantage.

A perceived downside is not being the outright owner of the property but shared owners have commented that you still get to experience the plus points as if you were. Experts have cautioned that this kind of scheme will not be the instant springboard to full ownership many are looking for and costs have been known to rise. It has also been noted that obtaining a mortgage for shared ownership can be tough and it is not recommended as the best way to go for those who are not looking for a long-term commitment.