A Brief Property Law Guide for Buyers in Maidstone and the Surrounding Area

  • By Stephen Taylor
  • 11 Jan, 2018
Terraced houses

Whether you are just about to make an offer on your very first house or it has been so long since you last bought a property that you cannot remember exactly what is involved from a legal aspect, we hope this brief guide will come in handy. In it, we outline the basic legal process of buying a property in Kent and offer a few pointers for those who wish to make the experience as easy as possible.

 

What Property Conveyancing Means to You

 

In simple terms, conveyancing normally covers the legal transfer of a property deed when you buy a home, as well as the transfer of money between you and the seller: the settlement. These are the two main components of a property transaction as far as the law is concerned and can most easily be managed with the help of experienced property lawyers such as ourselves. The law applies to all properties in the same way so whether you are buying a large detached residence in Bearsted, a semi-detached house in Kings Hill or a small flat in Maidstone, the same paperwork will need to be completed:

 

 

·        Searches – Your conveyancing team will carry out the necessary searches to establish whether there are any potential issues with the legal ownership of the property you wish to buy or any planning constraints that may affect what you can do with it in the future.

 

·        Property Survey – Your lender will insist on a survey, to make sure that the property you are buying is in good condition and has no serious faults. You can either find your own surveyor or, if you prefer, your conveyancers can do so on your behalf. There are three main types of survey from which to choose, with the cost rising as more details are included.

 

·        Contract of Sale – This will outline all conditions attached to the sale and should be worded in such a way as to avoid any disputes after the sale has been completed. It is the responsibility of the seller to provide the contract of sale but you should engage the services of a team of property solicitors to look it over and make sure it is equitable before you sign. When you sign the contract, you will need to pay the deposit on the property so you need to be absolutely sure that you are happy with the terms that it contains.

 

·        Completion – This is the point at which the deeds are transferred into your name, the keys to the property are handed over and you pay the balance of the agreed sale price. You will also need to pay stamp duty and settle your solicitor’s bill at this point.

 

If you would like to discuss any particular of property law with a member of our team or you would like to engage our services to complete a property transaction in the area on your behalf, please feel free to make an appointment to visit our offices, which can be found at 37 High Street, Maidstone ME14 1JH.

By Stephen Taylor 11 Jan, 2018

Whether you are just about to make an offer on your very first house or it has been so long since you last bought a property that you cannot remember exactly what is involved from a legal aspect, we hope this brief guide will come in handy. In it, we outline the basic legal process of buying a property in Kent and offer a few pointers for those who wish to make the experience as easy as possible.

 

What Property Conveyancing Means to You

 

In simple terms, conveyancing normally covers the legal transfer of a property deed when you buy a home, as well as the transfer of money between you and the seller: the settlement. These are the two main components of a property transaction as far as the law is concerned and can most easily be managed with the help of experienced property lawyers such as ourselves. The law applies to all properties in the same way so whether you are buying a large detached residence in Bearsted, a semi-detached house in Kings Hill or a small flat in Maidstone, the same paperwork will need to be completed:

 

 

·        Searches – Your conveyancing team will carry out the necessary searches to establish whether there are any potential issues with the legal ownership of the property you wish to buy or any planning constraints that may affect what you can do with it in the future.

 

·        Property Survey – Your lender will insist on a survey, to make sure that the property you are buying is in good condition and has no serious faults. You can either find your own surveyor or, if you prefer, your conveyancers can do so on your behalf. There are three main types of survey from which to choose, with the cost rising as more details are included.

 

·        Contract of Sale – This will outline all conditions attached to the sale and should be worded in such a way as to avoid any disputes after the sale has been completed. It is the responsibility of the seller to provide the contract of sale but you should engage the services of a team of property solicitors to look it over and make sure it is equitable before you sign. When you sign the contract, you will need to pay the deposit on the property so you need to be absolutely sure that you are happy with the terms that it contains.

 

·        Completion – This is the point at which the deeds are transferred into your name, the keys to the property are handed over and you pay the balance of the agreed sale price. You will also need to pay stamp duty and settle your solicitor’s bill at this point.

 

If you would like to discuss any particular of property law with a member of our team or you would like to engage our services to complete a property transaction in the area on your behalf, please feel free to make an appointment to visit our offices, which can be found at 37 High Street, Maidstone ME14 1JH.

By Stephen Taylor 11 Jan, 2018

Buying your first home can be a daunting process given that it’s probably the biggest financial investment of your life so far. While an expert conveyancer in Kent can help guide you through the purchasing process, there are a number of things you can do to make the transition from tenant to homeowner a painless one.

 

Not sure where to start? With more than 20 years of experience as specialist property lawyers, we know the ins and outs of buying a home in Kent. Here are four mistakes every first home buyer should avoid making:

 

1. Inaccurate Budgeting

 

No matter the size or style of your home, it’s likely that you have a large amount of money riding on the purchase of your property. With this in mind, it’s vital that you take the time to calculate your income and expenses and work out what size mortgage you can realistically afford. This is particularly important due to the fact that the Bank of England recently raised interest rates by 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent, which may put additional financial stress on borrowers throughout England. If you’re not sure whether you’re getting a good deal on your mortgage, the team at Andrew Lee & Co Property Lawyers can help you decipher your loan contract.

 

2. Skipping the Property Survey

 

Your prospective home might look beautiful on the surface, but do you really know what’s going on beneath its exterior? While it might seem like an unnecessary cost, a professional property survey is critical for assessing the true condition of your home and can reveal any potential issues that may require expensive repairs farther down the track. Get a full survey for the ultimate peace of mind or, at the very least, a HomeBuyer Report.

 

3. Not Planning for the Future

 

Okay, so you’re probably not going to stay in your first home for the rest of your life. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to be mindful of your current circumstances and how they might change in the years ahead. For example, if you’re considering having kids in the near future, it makes financial sense to invest in a home large enough to accommodate a bigger family. External factors can also influence your plans. For instance, major construction works, infrastructure developments and zoning law amendments can all have a big impact on the value of your home, which may affect your decision to sign on the dotted line.

 

4. Misunderstandings in the transaction process

 

Purchasing a home can be a confusing process. From financial documents to transaction agreements and everything in between, there’s no denying that the legal nuances of the homebuying process can be tricky to navigate. Enlisting the services of a property lawyer is an excellent way to reduce the risks involved and provide you with greater clarity during this exciting phase of your life.

 

Contact the team at Andrew Lee & Co Property Lawyers today to find out how we can help you buy your first home in Kent.

By Stephen Taylor 11 Jan, 2018

According to banks, it's not only house prices that are on the rise. In the past year alone, the cost of moving for residents of the South East has increased 6%, and much of this is linked to the higher costs of properties attracting higher fees when it's time to move. However, there are ways to reduce the costs when you buy a home in Maidstone, without breaking the law, and it's often a case of doing some research before you pay.

 

1. Stamp duty

 

Stamp duty is becoming a bigger expense because it's linked to the cost of homes, so higher prices mean higher rates. It's one of those fees that can't be avoided, so should be budgeted for accordingly. However, by using property solicitors , you can be sure that you are paying the correct rate. Also, some people have been caught out with the extra second home duty, as they've moved but are still trying to sell their old home. In these cases, they can be entitled to a refund if they claim quickly, and a property legal professional will be able to explain these rules.

 

Many new developments are being built and are planned for Maidstone, so look out for house builders offering deals such as paying your stamp duty. This is often in the form of a refund after completing the sale, and should be discussed with your conveyancer.

 

2. Conveyancing

 

Buying a home can be a tricky process, which is why one of the best things you can do is use property conveyancing experts to guide you through the process. There are a lot of 'cheap' conveyancers online, but they'll often charge hidden fees if there are complications, which means you could pay more than if you'd used a local firm. Get a quote from a reputable firm that's fixed, so there are no unpleasant surprises.

 

3. Mortgage fees

 

When working out how much you can borrow, it's important that mortgage fees be taken into account. With property prices in Maidstone on the rise, people will want to borrow more, so will be looking at ways to reduce their mortgage fees.

 

Some of the fees associated with mortgages include:

 

  • A booking/application fee
  • Arrangement fee to the lender
  • Valuation fees – this is sometimes free
  • Higher lending charges – for those with a smaller deposit

 

When you decide to take out a mortgage, it's best to get advice to help you get the best deal. By using a property lawyer who specialises in mortgages, you can get a bigger choice of mortgages, and they'll often have access to deals that can't be found on the high street.

 

If you are moving and need advice on saving money, then call Andrew Lee & Co Property Lawyers on 01622 750 101. Based at 93-95 High Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1SA, they're local property experts, so whether you're buying a modern home in Allington or a rustic country home in Penenden Heath, they can help.

Share by: