Buying a property
There are many things to consider when you are purchasing a property and whether you’re a first time buyer or investor, it can still seem daunting but with our guide you can rest assure that H. Thomas Lettings & Sales can help you through each step of the way.
It is essential that you need to work out your affordability, taking in to consideration all of your upfront costs and ongoing costs of running the property thereafter. To help you out we have put together a list of things that you need to consider when looking to buy a property. If you have not spoken to a financial advisor then we can recommend one for you; just contact us on 01782 777827.
What deposit do you have?
Generally the higher your deposit amount, the better mortgage deal you can get when purchasing a property. However, with the rising cost in property, there are many Help to Buy schemes available where you only need as little as 5% deposit. There is also a government Help to Buy ISA scheme where the government will top up your deposit by 25% (terms and conditions do apply, please click here for more information https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa/how-does-it-work/ )
What is Stamp Duty?
Stamp Duty is tax that has to be paid on all properties purchased over £125,000. You pay 0% for the first £125,000, 2% on the portion up to £250,000, 5% up to £925,000, 10% up to £1.5m and 12% on anything above that.
From the 1st April 2016, Stamp Duty will increase by 3% on top of current rates, purchase of additional residential properties, such as buy to let properties and second homes. For more information on Stamp Duty please see the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax/overview or https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-stamp-duty
Dependant upon what type of mortgage you have some lenders will charge for a valuation of the property. They will carry out their own assessment which will actuate how much they can lend; this cost can range between £150.00 to £1,500.
Once you have found a property that is perfect for you and an offer has been agreed, the next step is for a surveyor to assess the property. There are different types of surveys dependant upon the period and size of properties. H Thomas Property recommend that you use a surveyor whom is accredited by the RICS. The main surveys carried out by RICS are:
A Condition Report
This tends to be for newer properties, outlining the main risks which are associated with the property. A condition Report is the most affordable survey checks, rating each element using a traffic light system.
The Homebuyer Survey
This tends to be for properties that are less than 100years old; also outlining the main risks which are associated with the property, and rates each element in the same way as the condition report using a traffic light system. In addition to the above a homebuyer survey also includes advice on any defects that may affect the property, any repairs and any ongoing maintenance.
The Building Survey
This tends to be for larger, period properties. It provides much of the above and is compiled into an in depth inspection and report. This is usually the most expensive survey.
When purchasing a property you will need a solicitor to carry out all of the legal works for you. At H Thomas Property we can provide you with recommended solicitors, just contact us for more information on 01782 777827.
Please take into account if you need a removal firm to move your belongings once a sale is complete. At H Thomas Property we can also recommend removal teams. Just contact us for more information on 01782 777827.
All of the above are upfront costs. Once you have taken these into consideration you need to think about ongoing costs.
Ongoing costs are things to consider once you have moved. These include your Mortgage payments, Insurances, Council Tax and Utility Bills, Maintenance and Repairs. If you need more help with this, then please speak to one of our dedicated property experts on 01782 777827.
Once you have got a mortgage and you know how much you can afford it is time to start your search for your perfect home! It is always worth making a note of what you are looking for, for example: how many bedrooms? What area are you looking for? What type of house, semi-detached, bungalow, new build or period property with original features.
At H Thomas Property you can register with us your details for you perfect home and we can contact you as soon as something meeting your requirements becomes available.
Our Viewing Tips
At H Thomas Property we always recommend for you to drive past the property prior to viewings to get a feel for the property and the area.
Check walls for signs of damp. There are two different types of damp. The first looks like ‘wet’ patches on the walls which can be either rising damp or fault or repair needed to external structure. The other type of damp is black mould. This is caused by condensation usually found in bathrooms and kitchens where there tends to be a lot of moisture in the air and the property is not correctly ventilated. Damp due to condensation can be more easily rectified than that caused by rising damp.
During your viewing, take a walk around the external of the property. Look out for cracks within the structure, hairline cracks can be expected however take a closer look at bay windows, conservatories or extensions, where these join the main building they can start to come away or bow away from the property. A surveyor will confirm any structural concerns on their report.
Take a look at windows, are they wooden or double glazed? Are they in good condition? After time wooden windows can rot look out for flaking paint or bits coming away. If the windows are double glazed, is there condensation between the glass? If so, it may mean the seal has gone and the window will need to be replaced.
Things to consider yourself and/or ask the vendor
Is there enough storage space for you? Think about, if you lived in the property where would you store items like your ironing board and hoover? This is something that can be easily overlooked. Is there enough space for your furniture and appliances?
Ask the vendor what is included within the purchase of the property i.e. cooker/curtain poles/curtains/carpets.
How easy is it to access the loft area and has it been insulated or boarded out?
Have any works been carried out on the property i.e Electrical re-wiring, new roof, cavity wall insulation, or how old is the boiler?
We do advise that you take someone with you to viewings as they might see something or ask something that you perhaps may overlook. Most importantly, the main thing to consider is can you see yourself living in this property, do you feel you can make this your home?
Making an offer
After you have found your perfect property, the next step is to make an offer. If the property is for sale with H Thomas Property, contact us on 01782 777827 to make your offer. One of our friendly staff with liaise with the vendor on your behalf. If you would like to make an offer but don’t know how much, then you can speak to our property experts for advice.
After an offer has been accepted, you would need to instruct a solicitor who would begin all of the legal checks. For recommended solicitors, please contact us on 01782 777827.
On average it can take 8-10 weeks for a sale to complete. It is then time to arrange a move in date which you would then sign the relevant paperwork with your solicitor and on the day of completion we will contact you to collect the keys to your new home.
If you have any queries regarding purchasing a property from H Thomas Property, please do not hesitate to contact one of our dedicated property experts on