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Tips for First Time Buyers

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Purchasing a property is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make and doing it for the first time can be daunting. Here at Johnson Astills, we are here to make the journey as smooth as possible.  The process can be time consuming and will involve several important decisions.

Here are some tips to consider:

1. Finances

The cost of purchasing a property involves various fees besides the property itself. When deciding to purchase a property it is important that you consider the following in your budget:

  • Deposit
  • Legal Fees
  • Search Fees (This will be based on the Local Council Fees)
  • Land Registration Fees
  • Mortgage arrangement fee
  • Broker/Financial Advisor fees
  • Removal fees
  • Survey costs
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (Currently for First Time Buyers - no SDLT up to £300,000, 5% SDLT on the portion from £300,001 to £500,000)

If you would like to obtain a quote for our legal fees, please follow the link


2. Freehold or Leasehold

If you are looking to purchase a house, it will most likely be freehold whereas flats are usually leasehold.

With freehold properties, you will own the property and the land it sits on, whereas with a Leasehold property you will own the property for fixed term and not the land it sits on.

Properties that are freehold with management companies are also becoming a popular option for first time buyers. This will mean that you pay a small service charge for the upkeep of areas surrounding the property. 

3. Property Viewings

It may seem obvious, but it is extremely important that your check the property and the surrounding area before purchasing a property. Inspect the pathways/accesses, drives, have a chat with the neighbours or local residents.  This is so any issues or concerns you may have can be raised with the seller as soon as possible.

4. Surveys/Valuations

Although your mortgage lender may do a valuation on of the property, please note that this is a basic valuation report and should not be relied upon solely when deciding to proceed with your property purchase. Lender’s valuation reports are for the benefit of the lender and may not reveal certain defects in the property as they are not detailed structural reports.

You may wish to instruct an independent surveyor to carry out a full structural survey on the property in order to obtain a detailed report of the property.

You should also have a final viewing of the property before exchange of contract.

5. Timescales

It is important to be realistic about the timescales when purchasing a property. Every property purchase is different; therefore, it is vital to remain flexible throughout the process. Timescales can be affected by parties in the chain, legal issues, mortgage applications or even personal circumstances.

Ensure that you make your solicitor aware of any potential factors that may cause delay in the transaction.

Our Property Team at Johnson Astills can assist you if you are looking to sell or purchase a property. Please call us on 0116 2554855.