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.

Huf Haus - Distant dreams to crystal clear reality

Prefab homes in the UK may have once had certain connotations of inexpensive and rushed construction but the concept of the Huf Haus has left this notion behind. It is 16 years since the first Huf Haus graced British land and now the German company is continuing to demonstrate how much creativity can be allowed to flow within economically friendly and energy efficient properties.
Every one of the ultramodern Huf Haus properties has triple glazing and uses renewable energy amongst its features but the emphasis is on bringing individual visions for the ideal home to reality. With one of these homes you are required to purchase the land and the house arrives before being constructed almost like a kit.

It is the kind of open plan home you’d envisage in your fantasies and besides having the opportunity to use it as a blank canvas for your living ideas it is also highly sustainable. There may be a certain exclusivity attached to the Huf Haus with just 170 of them in the UK in 2011, but this only seems to heighten its appeal.

Innovation should be welcomed and when the result is as impressive as this it should be completely embraced. Many want to gain access to this exclusive section of the property market because the Huf Haus is proving just how terrific something can be when you dare to dream a little different.

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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.

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


Making the first steps to owning your own home can certainly feel a little daunting and it is a unique situation when you decide to buy your first property as a couple. While it is most definitely possible to push through that feeling of having a mountain of responsibilities to handle it is also not a decision to make without plenty of careful consideration.

Moving into your very first place together is the kind of task that should be tackled with as much time to spare as possible so note down everything you have to do together and individually and each detail that comes into your head. Separate your possessions into those that will be making the move with you and those that you wish to sell or dispose of. It also makes a considerable difference if you know how much space you will have in your new place.

A removals company can help to ease the burden in a huge way but this is not something to leave to the last minute to arrange. From a financial standpoint, it is extremely sensible to protect yourselves against possible unforeseen circumstances. The costs can soon add up when you are planning a move as a couple so before you go ahead make sure that you have a substantial fund to dip into as well as some left over for emergencies.

Time to buy your own home and leave renting behind?

Once you leave home it can be quite daunting having to take care of your own living arrangements and finding a great place to stay is not always an immediately accessible option. It is certainly typical to begin by renting a property, whether it is an apartment or a house, and many people choose to live with friends. As time goes on, the moment may then arrive for you to look beyond your first flat, with the intention of having somewhere to truly call your own.

Getting on the property ladder is something that lots of people wish to do but they may find it difficult due in no small part to the finances they have available. There are however plenty of reasons to move away from renting and into your own home and this includes the rights that it gives you. You may have loved your apartment but the fact remains that it belonged to someone else. When you are the property owner you can make all kinds of changes to renovate it and add some significant value.

The idea of being a home owner is also extremely appealing because there is no longer a landlord to answer to. Another advantage of owning your home is building equity and you can also increase your line of credit. This provides benefits for loans you may wish to take out and with your credit card interest rate for example.

Pros and cons of choosing to renovate an old property over buying a new build

Old boarded up house

Nowadays new build houses are everywhere and it can be somewhat difficult to find a period property with its character still intact, however, it’s not impossible. Although new builds look great and are extremely practical with perfectly straight walls and floors they don’t generally have much of a presence. Obviously though, there are pros and cons to both types of homes and it’s important to consider them all before making any final decisions.

Pros of buying an old property & cons of buying a new build:

  1. If you buy an older property then you’ll generally get a lot more for your money because old houses are nowadays being over-looked for the in-demand new builds which means that you’ll get a lot more space for a fraction of the price that you’d pay for the same size new build.
  2. No two old homes are the same whereas new homes are all built to be exactly the same; if you walk into a new build home that’s exactly the same as yours then the only reason you’d be able to tell the difference is because of the contents of the house. Old houses however have individuality and personality on their side because the floors and walls aren’t even, the doors aren’t in the same place in every room and the ceilings are impractically high meaning that there’s no danger of confusing your own house with your neighbour’s.
  3. Some people love to really put their own stamp on a property and an old house gives you the opportunity to do this. Depending on the house that you choose you could be faced with a full scale renovation – which is exactly what some people are looking for – or you could choose a place that’s pretty much ready to move into, only requiring a few tweaks here and there and some work on the interior design. With a new property you don’t get this option as they’re all ready to move into with white and neutral colours throughout leaving you to alter only the colour of the walls.
  4. As well as being cheaper, older properties are generally much bigger with more, larger rooms too so they’re practical for large families as well as being a nice size for smaller households too.
  5. Many old homes have been built to last unlike new builds which are built to last only a few decades.
  6. New, estate built houses generally have small gardens, and although old town houses don’t have the huge amount of land that you can often find with an old property in the country, their gardens are still generally bigger than those that come with a new build.
  7. Because you generally save a lot of money on the price of an old house compared to the price you’d pay for a small one, it means that you have money spare to splash out on luxuries for your new home that you probably wouldn’t be able to afford if you’d spent more on a new build.
  8. Whatever you see in an old building is exactly what you get; a wooden floor for example is exactly that, wood, however, you can’t be so sure in a new house where a wooden floor could actually be all manner of materials.
  9. You’re really not limited on the type of style that you can bring to an old property; whether you prefer antique or reclaimed furniture or you have a modern style doesn’t matter because anything goes, in a new house however, period features generally look out of place in such perfect surroundings.

Cons of buying an old property & pros of buying a new build:

  1. Older properties generally need some kind of work doing to them which takes time, effort and money; new builds on the other hand are ready to move into as soon as they’ve been built so once you’ve paid for the house you shouldn’t have any unexpected extra expenses other than simple aesthetic changes.
  2. Older properties tend to need more maintenance than a new home because all of the materials are so much older; with a new house you can be assured that everything is brand new so in the case that something does go wrong it will usually be under warranty anyway.
  3. Old homes were built for old fashioned living so when it comes to modernising an old property with things like electricity, internet and phone lines it can sometimes be a little difficult.
  4. There’s no such thing as standard in an old property as everything was made to fit that particular house. If you live in a new build you have the luxury of being able to visit any shop and being almost certain that a ‘standard size’ will fit your home if you buy it; you do not get this same guarantee with an old house.
  5. If you’re taking on a major renovation then a small mistake could jeopardise the entire project as it could essentially condemn the house’s structure. With a new house, none of this renovation would be necessary as everything is brand new when you move in; the most you might want to do it to knock a wall down to give you a larger space to enjoy and that’s highly unlikely to affect the entire structure.

Essentially there are some great reasons for buying both styles of home and it’s consequently down to personal choice. There are some great old houses out there and you really can do a lot with them but be aware of the few that really aren’t worth the time and money it would take to renovate them.

Mark loves modernising old properties and furnishes them with an eclectic mix of reclaimed wooden furniture from Nottingham based, Eat Sleep Live.

Foreign investment in London property leading UK boost

The news for the UK’s housing market has been increasingly bright recently and investment from overseas buyers in London property is at the forefront of this upturn. According to The Daily Mail, the prices of UK houses were up to a new high in May, overtaking the previous record set before the recession and all its implications for the nation’s economy. Property prices have fallen in only one of the last 18 months and the average cost of a home in England and Wales is now £233,061.

Experts say that the rise has been driven by the improved fortunes for the London property sector and the weakened state of the pound has been cited as a key reason for foreign investors’ interest. Buyers from abroad have been attracted to properties in the more privileged areas of the capital and this has heightened the overall outlook for the country as a result.

This time last year, the price of the average home in the UK was £226,936, over £6,000 less than it is at present. This is undoubtedly extremely welcome news for the housing sector and David Newnes, LSL Property Services director, said: “Even taking inflation into account, the record high price is symbolic of the significant improvement in the housing market over the past year.”

Newnes also pointed to the greater level of mortgage availability as a principle factor in a boost for the industry that has taken the average cost of a UK home above the February 2008 high of £231,709.

Private funding option explored by UK housing associations


Significant changes could be afoot in the UK property industry as housing associations have been looking at the possibility of becoming privately-funded companies. The option has been explored as a way to protect the industry against the possible end to funding from the government.

In an article on the Financial Times website it was reported that the leading social housing associations have been in discussions already with advisory firms such as KPMG and BDO. The aim of these talks has been to weigh up how viable the option of private funding would be as opposed to relying on government help, something that has always previously been used.

The option of alternative means of funding has already been delved into by the UK’s housing associations as £4billion was generated in the bond markets in 2012. This was a highly significant occurrence as the amount raised for the year was nearly four times as much as the previous record.

Housing associations are said to be considering a number of other alternative funding methods including raising social housing rents, building a greater amount of private rented homes, and turning to equity investors. Places for People is among the biggest property management companies in the UK and the association’s finance director Simran Soin said: “We are working off the assumption that there will be little or no grant funding at all after 2015.”