Our property solicitors can help with your house purchase

Whether you’re buying a house for the first time, moving home or adding to your property portfolio, First4Lawyers can help with the legal aspects.

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The help you need to buy a house

When it comes to buying a house and the conveyancing necessary, it can often feel like there is an almost endless list of things to do. There is always a form to complete, new documents to provide or something to arrange.

Buying a new property can be stressful and time-consuming. But with the right help, you can get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

When the UK house price average stands at £253,374, it’s important that you have the right people helping you buy your first or next home.

How to buy a house

The process of buying a house can be straightforward and simple or it can be lengthy and complicated. And the biggest reason for a smooth purchase is your conveyancer. This makes choosing the right property professional one of the most important decisions you can make.

The first thing to do when looking to buy a house is to arrange a mortgage in principle. You could use a mortgage broker or do the research yourself to find the best deal available to you. Your agreement in principle will usually be valid for up to 90 days.

You can then start to look for the best property to buy. Make sure you know the areas you prefer, what your maximum budget is and what you need in a home – as well as what you’re willing to compromise on – before you start looking. This will make your search more efficient.

When you find the right place for you and you have an offer accepted by the seller, that’s when the conveyancing process begins.

What to look for during a house purchase

Finding what you think is the right house can mean you may not be as focused on what might need attention as you should.

But it’s vital to ensure you’re looking at what you might need to do to the property once you take ownership.

Ensure you’ve scouted out the area. Knowing where the public transport stops, schools and pubs are located is important, particularly if you’re looking for somewhere quiet. You can also examine police crime-mapping sites to get a sense of how much criminal activity takes place there.

Look at whether there’s flaking plaster or paint and a mouldy smell. This could mean that the house has a damp problem, which could be expensive to fix.

You should also look past the staging. Sellers can hang mirrors, light rooms strategically and bake bread to give the illusion of a cosy home. You’ll need to be aware of the tricks they employ to ensure you see the property for what it really is. If you can take someone who has already been through the process of buying a house with you, that can help.

Legal work of buying a house

You should make sure you’ve chosen your conveyancer or solicitor early in the process of buying your new home. This will avoid any delays when it’s time to begin the work of purchasing the house.

There are necessary processes and procedures to be carried out before a property’s ownership can be transferred to you. These include checks and searches, which make sure the house you’re about to buy is in a satisfactory condition and there are no environmental threats.

Your conveyancer will also review the contracts detailing the purchase. They will be responsible for raising any queries to ensure the process moves along as smoothly as possible.

They will also be responsible for the process of exchanging contracts. It’s at this point when you are no longer able to pull out of your house purchase. If you decide not to proceed after exchanging contracts, you will likely lose your deposit and still have to pay legal fees.

How long does it take to buy a house?

Every house purchase is different. This means that your timeline could be shorter or longer than someone else’s even if the property is similar or it’s in the same area.

The average amount of time it takes for a house purchase to complete is around 12 weeks. But this can very much depend on your individual circumstances. If you’re selling your home at the same time, for example, this will potentially impact how long it takes to buy a new one.

How long it takes to buy a house can be affected by a lot of things, including:

  • Your mortgage offer timeline
  • The number and type of searches necessary for your property
  • How long the chain you’re involved in is
  • Whether it’s a leasehold or new build property
  • If you’re purchasing a buy to let property

To ensure you’re reducing the chance of delays during your conveyancing process, work with your lawyer. Make sure you respond promptly to their queries and requests and have all your documentation ready at the beginning of the process.

If you have any questions about the house-buying process, just get in touch.

How much will buying a house cost?

Buying a house is likely going to the biggest investment you ever make. But, aside from the house price itself, there are other costs associated with a house purchase. For example, your conveyancer or solicitor will charge you for their work.

Most home-buying conveyancing fees come to between £800-£2,000. But this can depend on a number of factors. The figure they charge can depend on where you are buying, the property type and how complex the purchase is going to be.

You will also have to pay for the searches, transfers and checks needed to transfer the ownership to you and Stamp Duty Land Tax, if applicable. You’ll also have to factor in costs like removals companies or van hire, furniture and any home modifications you plan to make.

Our conveyancing calculator can offer you an instant conveyancing quote so you have an idea of how much your move will cost. You can also give us a call to talk directly to us about how much you can expect to pay for your conveyancing needs.

New build houses: What to consider

When you’re buying a new build house, there are extra things to think about – especially if the property you’re considering is still being built. It’s not as straightforward as buying a pre-existing home, but your conveyancer will help to simplify things.

There may be extra costs associated with buying a new build house. This will likely include a reservation fee, which is usually deducted from the final purchase price and is typically non-refundable if you decide to pull out of the purchase.

New build houses may also require more checks and searches than others. Your conveyancer will have to check that the necessary planning permissions are in place, that the house has the proper drainage and utilities and, if the home is a leasehold property, what the terms of the lease are.

It may also be more difficult to get a mortgage for a new build house. So make sure you take this into account when looking for a property.

What do I need to do when buying a house?

It’s not just your conveyancer or lawyer who will have a list of things to do during the purchasing process. You’ll be responsible for several duties, including:

  • Securing your mortgage
  • Researching your chosen area
  • Making your offer
  • Negotiating with the property seller
  • Organising your house survey
  • Arranging home insurance
  • Getting any necessary repairs
  • Organise the moving in process
  • Inform your utilities, water and broadband providers of your move

For help with home buying, give us call. Our friendly advisors can put you in touch with top rated conveyancers, who will ensure the process goes as efficiently as possible.

How can First4Lawyers help?

We understand how daunting the process of buying a house can be – especially if you’re a first-time buyer. We also know that the right help can mean an easier journey to getting the keys.

First4Lawyers can help you find a conveyancer to take care of all the legal work. We work with some of the country’s top conveyancers, who are experienced in all types of house purchases.

To talk to our advisors about what you need, just give us a call, request a call back or make an enquiry online and we’ll take it from there.

Do you have a legal question?

  • Get it answered within 60 minutes when you call during normal office hours.
  • Free initial advice from our trained legal advisors.

Holly was amazing, her attentiveness, understanding and her general customer care was outstanding. Made me feel very comfortable speaking to her. I could not recommend a better company to speak to and with such amazing staff.

Miss Emma J

I was dealt with the most kind and caring manner by Rebeka. Also very efficient by explaining everything I had to know and connecting me to a solicitors who would deal with my claim. Thank you!

Mrs A Hill

Nice staff, very helpful and very easy to deal with. The initial part only took a few minutes. Staff also very knowledgeable and know what they are talking about.

Mr Richardson

Spoke with a lovely advisor called Chelsea who was great. She listened to everything that I said and gave brilliant advice. Her customer service was brilliant, she was very polite and gave me all the information about what are the next steps.

Mr N Dean

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