Category Archives: Buying a Property

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.

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.

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.

How can a solicitor help you when purchasing a property?

There is much to take on board when you buy a property and the role of a solicitor in the process consists of numerous significant contributions. The sale firstly has to be agreed upon and during this stage the solicitor, known as a conveyancer in this particular field, is responsible for liaising with the local authority with regard to issues that may affect your property. They will then present the necessary contract to you and ask for the deposit before handling the mortgage details and offer.

The solicitor plays a very big part in the paperwork in the deal for the property you are buying. They will connect with the solicitor of the person you are buying your place from and put together a statement for the sale to be finalised, which you will then ratify. You will also be required to sign the deeds for the transfer of funds and the mortgage, and your solicitor will make a final check for any debts.

In the final stage of the process it is up to your solicitor to make the arrangements for the application to be sent to HM Land Registry. The purpose of this is for you to become the registered owner of your new property and if it is mortgaged there will be deeds sent to the lender.

Securing a mortgage for a home bought at an auction

Buying a house is certainly not a step that should be taken lightly so there may be some people who are surprised that property purchases can happen at an auction. One of the questions that people tend to have with regard to this scenario is how they can go about getting a mortgage for the house. You have to pay a deposit on a holiday so it is understandable that you would be required to do so for something like a home, and just as you should be prepared with the cash for this you should have a mortgage arranged in advance too.

It is easy to appreciate why someone would want to buy their property at an auction. All that endless searching around and suchlike is eliminated but this does not mean you cannot go along and view the place and make other plans before the bidding starts. It is typical for there to be some kind of deadline for you to have the mortgage arranged after you buy the place and this could be around three to four weeks for example. You should certainly avoid entering that winning bid and then asking questions later.

If you have the searches and the survey taken care of you can go to the auction safe in the knowledge that you can finalise everything so long as you win the bid. Going ahead and committing to the property if you do not have your mortgage arranged leaves you open to all kinds of potential difficulties and you could ultimately lose that deposit you paid.

House hunting in Cornwall? Tips for finding your home by the coast

Admittedly there can be any number of reasons behind moving house but when it comes to seeking out your ideal home it is undoubtedly very exciting, if stressful at times. In the UK there are a number of areas that carry a certain level of appeal and the tourist hotspot of Cornwall is most definitely one of the prime examples.

If you are looking for a property in this part of the South West then it helps to be aware of the average value of the homes. A detached house will set you back around £314,992, a semi £211,354, and a terraced house £196,006. The average price of a home overall in Cornwall is £235,362 while flats are £180,317.

The market town of St Austell is one of the most popular places in Cornwall thanks in no small part to its close proximity to beaches and the surrounding villages. Even though the British summer can be somewhat fleeting it is a useful tip to set about purchasing your property during the winter to allow plenty of time for the formalities to be sorted without the furore that Cornwall experiences in the sunnier months.

Moving into your first home as a couple (Part Two)


When you move into your first home as a couple it is necessary to go through all the usual moving procedures but with some added extras because you are together. You will have a number of vital documents that you will both need so it is imperative that you put these together in a clearly marked box. All your personal documents and those concerning the move should be easy to get to and your bed linen for the new home should be accessible too.

If you have chosen to enlist the help of a removal company then stay around to oversee everything and let them know if you have any particular instructions regarding certain items. Having a property of your own with your partner should be looked upon as exciting but a long-term commitment, so a budget for you both to work within is fundamental.

Something that you cannot afford to leave out is a list of all your possessions ahead of the move so you can come back to this and check if everything made it to your new home safely. It can take a long time to get the design you want for your property so try to adapt to your new surroundings before implementing any big changes. Once you get a proper feel for your home together you can start to move towards creating the perfect space that you both dream of.