J R JONES SOLICITORS
0121 777 7864
JR Jones Solicitors Birmingham
solicitors Birmingham

First Time Buyers Advice

At J R Jones we deal with many transactions for first time buyers.

We understand that buying your first home is a big conveyancing quotestep and we are happy to take the time to ensure that you understand what is happening throughout the process.

We will try to keep the legal jargon to a minimum (see out conveyancing jargon buster for help.)

If you have already found the property you wish to buy, please contact us for a conveyancing quote and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Here are some helpful tips when buying a property.

Your Mortgage

Most people require a mortgage when buying their first property. It is always a good idea to apply for a mortgage before you look for a property. In this way you can find out if you are eligible to borrow the funds that you require. It can be very upsetting to fall in love with a property only to find that no bank will lend you the money.

You can apply for a mortgage decision in principle without having found a property. The bank or building society will assess you and tell you if they are willing to lend you the money based on your income and credit rating, and they will put this in writing for you.

Having a mortgage decision in principle will put you in a strong position when making an offer on a property.

Budgeting for related property and moving expenses

There are a number of possible expenses related to buying a property which it is important to allow for:

  • Property survey costs (see below)
  • Mortgage application fees - these can often be added to the loan so you do not have to pay them upfront.
  • Insurance costs - you will require building and contents insurance for your new property.
  • Removals costs.
  • Solicitor’s fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax – this is a tax payable to the Government on properties over a certain value.

Property Surveys

A property survey is carried out on a property both for the purposes of securing lending against it a

d to uncover any existing problems with the fabric of the property.

There are a variety of surveys available and they vary in what they offer. The type of survey you will choose will depend on a number of factors such as the age and state of the property, the cost of the survey and your attitude to risk.

The surveys available include:

Lenders Mortgage Valuation

Your mortgage lender will carry one of these out and they will be either free or low cost. contact us

This type of survey is usually very basic and is only aimed at ensuring that the property is suitable to have lending secured against it, and it could therefore miss significant structural problems which may exist. The aim of this type of survey is to protect the bank’s assets and it will generally not be very thorough.

Homebuyer’s Survey

A Homebuyer’s Survey is a more detailed inspection aims to uncovering any existing structural problems with the property or any other areas which may need attention now or in the future.

Building Survey

A Building Survey is the most thorough type of survey and goes into far greater detail in assessing the property. They are sometimes known as a ‘full structural survey’. This type of survey is often carried out on old properties or those which obviously need a lot of work.

The more detailed the survey, the greater the cost will be. The cost of the survey does however need to be weighed up against the fact that a more thorough survey may show up a major or minor problem. If the problem is major it may stop you from wanting to buy the property. If a problem is more minor then it may enable you to renegotiate the purchase price down to account for the additional expense of putting right the problem, or making the seller correct the problem before the sale is completed.

Even if a detailed survey does not uncover any problems it may be worth it to you in increased peace of mind.

Unmarried but buying together?

Due to the increased cost of properties and higher deposits required by lenders, it is becoming more common for family members to help out with deposits.

In cases where one party is putting in a larger deposit than the other it is possible to safeguard that deposit in case of a separation by ring-fencing the funds.

A legal document known as a ‘Declaration of Trust’ or a ‘Trust Deed’ can be drawn up by a solicitor which states who has contributed what amount to the deposit and how that money will be divided up in the event of the sale of the property.

These documents are tailor made to suit the people involved. It may state a fixed sum to be taken out before the rest of the money is divided, or it may indicate a larger share of ownership in the property so that the person putting in the larger deposit can benefit by any increase in the value of the property.

Please contact us for more information or for a quotation.