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Conveyancing Blog

What is a declaration or deed of trust?

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If you are involved in the process of jointly buying, selling, transferring or remortgaging a property, then you may be wondering what a Deed of Trust is and whether you need one. If you are planning to or already jointly own a property with someone else, a...

What are disbursements in conveyancing?

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If you are involved in the process of buying, selling, transferring or remortgaging property, then you may be wondering what additional costs could come up during conveyancing. Whether you choose to pay to instruct a conveyancer or solicitor or manage the...

FCA Mortgage Data 2023 Analysis: Trends in Lending from the Past 5 Years Explored

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Bird & Co examines the latest mortgage data from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), covering lending and administration trends up to Q4 2023. This analysis spans the past five years. Since 2007, roughly 340 regulated mortgage lenders and...

The UK Conveyancing Process Flowchart

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If you are looking to buy, sell, transfer or remortgage a property, you may be looking for more information about the conveyancing process. In this blog, we will look at the UK conveyancing process for both freehold and leasehold properties, to give you...

What are protocol forms in conveyancing?

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Protocol forms are a set of standardised forms created by the law society and used by solicitors during the buying and selling of residential property in England and Wales. The forms help to streamline the conveyancing process and ensure that solicitors...

How Does Conveyancing Differ When Buying a New Build Home?

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Purchasing a new build home is an exciting prospect, promising modern amenities and a fresh start. However, the process of conveyancing for new build properties can be very different from existing homes. In this blog, we will discuss the nuances of...

9 Haunted Locations in England You Can Buy a House Now

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As Halloween looms, Bird & Co beckons the brave home seekers to explore haunted realms across the UK, where properties await their fearless potential owners... To celebrate Halloween this year, our team have explored what are known as some of the most...

The Most Popular Property Types in UK by City

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Researchers at Bird & Co wanted to investigate the types of properties people in the UK were most interested in, to get a better sense of the market over the past year. To find out, they looked at the Google search volumes for various property key...

What Is Indemnity Insurance?

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In the conveyancing process, indemnity insurance is a protective policy that safeguards against potential legal issues arising from property transactions. It covers a variety of concerns, such as missing documentation, boundary disputes, or planning...

Conveyancing Timeline

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If you are purchasing a property, or selling one, the likelihood is that you’ll want to move through the process as quickly as possible. Conveyancing processes are not always straight forward, however, working with an expert conveyancing solicitor...

What are enquiries?

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Conveyancing enquiries are questions asked to learn more about a property during a sale. Also known as pre-contract enquiries, they refer to a series of questions raised by the buyer's solicitor and to the seller's solicitor. Enquiries are an...

The Easiest Cities for Singles and Couples in England to Buy a Home in 2023

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Bird & Co’s new first time buyer home deposit calculator shows the cities where singles and couples have the most hope of buying a home. Our new mortgage deposit calculator was put to the test, uncovering what the picture looks like for first...

What is a conveyancing solicitor?

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If you are dealing with property, for example, buying, selling, transferring ownership or remortgaging, you will need a conveyancing solicitor to act for you. Here, we take a look at the role of a conveyancing solicitor in detail and how they can help you...

What is conveyancing?

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Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property ownership. It involves several stages including property searches, drafting and exchanging contracts and registering the transfer with the Land Registry. Conveyancers, typically solicitors or...

How much deposit do I need for a mortgage?

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One of the most significant financial commitments that a person can make in their lifetime is to purchase a home. For the majority of people, this purchase is only made possible with the assistance of a mortgage. However, before receiving a mortgage, the...

National Conveyancing Week: Your Most Searched Legal Queries Answered

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In light of National Conveyancing Week, conveyancing solicitors, Bird & Co, have carried out search engine research to answer the UK’s most common conveyancing queries. Launched to boost the profile of conveyancing across the property sector, ...

We Analysed ChatGPT's Responses to the Most Popular First Time Buyer Queries: This is What we Learned...

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Conveyancing solicitors, Bird & Co, put ChatGPT to the test to see if it can answer the most common first-time buyer queries accurately, in place of a conveyancing solicitor. Looks like the AI chatbot has far to go to rival property solicitors in the...

Home Buying Statistics 2022: Percentage of First Time Buyers Decrease

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We took a look at our internal client data throughout 2022 to see how home buying patterns changed during the year after recovering from the impacts of Covid-19. Key Home Buying Statistics 2022 68% of Bird & Co’s clients were first time...

Can You Renegotiate the Sale Price on a Property During the Conveyancing Process?

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Once an offer is made and accepted on a property, you may think the price agreed is a done deal. However, there remains room for manoeuvre on both sides of the deal, meaning the buyer can reduce their offer or the seller can ask for more, as long as they do...

How Long Does It Take to Move House in the UK?

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Before beginning the moving process, many people are keen to learn how long it takes to move house. The answer will vary slightly according to the circumstances. However, it’s useful to understand the average time frames for each part of the process,...

How Much Can I Borrow Against My House?

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Homeowners have huge sums of money tied up in their houses, and it is possible to release a portion of this equity by accessing a loan that is secured against the property. If you own a property and you need to borrow a lump sum, you may be eligible to...

Home Ownership Statistics 2022: Midlands Has the Highest Home Ownership Rate in England

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Bird and Co explore the recent ONS statistics, breaking down the percentage of home ownership in each region in England. Who’s on top? The UK housing market is currently under unwavering pressure, with house prices and rent charges continuing to rise....

2021 Home Buyer Statistics: Stamp Duty Holiday Benefited Landlords Most

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The Bird and Co team explore their 2021 client statistics to assess home buyer habits during this year of transition. In 2020, we took our first deep dive into our client transactions, and saw how the pandemic affected home buyer habits. We saw how first-...

What Will the Property Market Look like for Sellers in 2022?

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2021 has truly been a spectacular year for the property market, having been the busiest year since 2007. Despite the Bank of England warning that property prices had the potential to fall 16% due to the pandemic, the average UK house price rose...

Foreign Ownership of Homes in England and Wales Trebles since 2010

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The number of homes in England and Wales owned by foreign buyers has almost tripled since 2010, with close to 250,000 residential properties being registered to individuals based overseas - amounting to 1% of all registered titles. According to the Centre...

Japanese Knotweed Cases up by 28% in Five Years in the UK

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Japanese knotweed cases have increased by 28% in the last five years, according to a study by Horticulture.co.uk, analysing data from 49 environmental organisations. South Yorkshire has seen the biggest increase of 77.19%, with a total of 1,111 confirmed...

Buyers Spend Just 25 Seconds Deciding Whether a Home Is Right for Them

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Making a great first impression is essential when selling your home. A recent survey by Purplebricks revealed that when searching for a new home online, homebuyers spend an average of just 25 seconds deciding whether a home is right for them. According to...

Man's House 'stolen' in Conveyancing Fraud (Tips for Protecting Yourself)

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Reverend Mike Hall was recently shocked to be alerted by neighbours that someone was living in his Luton house. He returned home straight away to discover the locks changed, his belongings gone and a stranger telling him that they’d bought the house....

Renovations vs moving house - what should you do?

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If your home is no longer working for you, you need to decide whether it’s time to sell up or whether some extra investment in your current home might do the trick. Lack of space, a tired kitchen or bathroom, or just plain old boredom with the home...

85% of new build homes now have highest energy performance ratings

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In the past year 251,000 Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were lodged for new build homes – an increase of 16%. These new figures, released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government , mean that 85% of new homes in England...

Will house prices fall after the Stamp Duty holiday ends?

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The first Stamp Duty holiday deadline on 30 June 2021 has been and gone. Any conveyancing transactions must have completed by 30 June to receive a full tax break on properties worth up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland. Until 30 September...

6 top tips for eco-conscious home buyers

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The effects of climate change are becoming a significant concern for eco-conscious consumers. Many people have recycled for years, they switch off lights when they leave rooms and reduce the amount of meat they eat. But what about the environmental cost of...

First time buyers could get up to 50% off the cost of a new build home

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The government has announced a new scheme called the First Homes Initiative which could give first time buyers in England discounts of at least 30% and up to 50% on their first home. With the average UK house price now exceeding £250,000 , the new...

Do you need to use a local conveyancing firm?

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The short answer to that is no. While it used to be normal to use a local solicitor for your conveyancing, it’s now increasingly common to carry out the process of buying or selling a house over the phone and online. This means there is no longer any...

Is buy-to-let property still a good investment?

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It has been a difficult year for buy-to-let investors and renters alike. The Covid-19 pandemic meant that many people lost their jobs or were put on furlough leave, and as a result, many fell behind on their rent. In normal times, a tenant could be evicted...

7 Top Tips for Selling Your Home

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Selling your home can be a daunting prospect. You will no doubt be aware of the various steps you need to take to ensure your transaction runs smoothly and without disruptive delays. That’s not to mention having to balance selling your current home...

Quick ways to spruce up your garden to attract potential buyers

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With so many people forced to stay at home over the past year, it is understandable that home buyers are considering making major changes to their living circumstances. Flats and homes with no outdoor space are falling out of fashion; rural homes with...

Is Now a Good Time to Sell your Home?

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Spring is usually a popular time to put your home on the market. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, is now a good time to sell your home? This time last year in April 2020, national lockdown meant the housing market was firmly closed. People could not sell...

Stamp Duty Surcharge Increases Property Tax Bill for Non-UK Buyers

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From 1 April 2021, people buying residential property in England and Northern Ireland who are not resident in the UK will be required to pay a Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge. Here we outline how this surcharge will work and how it may affect you if you want...

Staycation Boom - Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Holiday Let?

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Everyone is looking forward to 21 June when (if all goes well) most, if not all, coronavirus restrictions will be lifted, as per the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. But with continued questions surrounding foreign travel, many people are...

2020 Home Buyer Statistics: 72% of Bird and Co Clients First-Time Buyers

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We took a look at our internal client data throughout 2020 to see how home buying patterns changed during the year of Covid-19. As we all know, the coronavirus pandemic had a drastic impact on the property sector from the get-go. During the first lockdown,...

Stamp Duty holiday extended to 30 June with tapered extension to 30 September 2021

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Over 100,000 property transactions could be saved by the Stamp Duty holiday extension, announced on 3 March 2021 as part of the Spring Budget and efforts to support the housing market during the Covid-19 pandemic. Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has listened to...

New mortgage guarantee scheme to bring back 95% mortgages

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The government has announced that it will start backing 95% mortgages, allowing home buyers to purchase their home with just a 5% deposit. Announced on 3 March 2021 in the Spring Budget, the new mortgage guarantee scheme aims to bring back low-deposit...

How to Protect Yourself Against Conveyancing Fraud

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Conveyancing fraud is on the rise. Cyber criminals have become increasingly more sophisticated over the years, and the uncertain situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has given them a fresh opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. ...

How Will Capital Gains Tax Changes Affect Homeowners and Landlords?

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The Government is considering major changes to Capital Gains Tax that could increase tax for many homeowners and potentially transform the property market. On 13 July 2020, the Chancellor wrote to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) asking it to conduct a...

How to Make the Right Offer on a House

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Putting an offer on a house is the first step towards securing your ideal home and it can be quite daunting, particularly for first time buyers who are new to the housing market. When so much money is at stake, you want to be sure that you get the best...

Getting a Remortgage While Furloughed

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At the start of lockdown, startling research showed that lenders had limited their remortgaging options for furloughed homeowners, leaving them at risk of paying higher rates. However, as we have adapted to life with the Coronavirus/Covid-19, it has become...

When is the Busiest Time of the Year to Move House?

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Summer has been the busiest time of year to move house for many years. Figures suggest that between 2007-2018, around 12.8% of all owner-occupier home movers moved house in August alone. This is a significant proportion when compared with winter move...

Getting a Mortgage While Furloughed

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Nearly 10 million employees have been placed on furlough leave since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or Furlough Scheme) started in March 2020. Under the Scheme, furloughed employees have had their salaries reduced by up to 80% (up to a maximum of...

Stamp Duty Holiday on Homes up to £500,000 to start immediately

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Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a holiday on Stamp Duty Land Tax. Between 8 July 2020 and 31 March 2021, home movers and first time buyers purchasing homes up to £500,000 will pay no tax. Announced today as part of a package of legal and policy...

Moving House During Covid 19

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In the lt few days the Government has changed its advice on moving house during the Covid 19 outbreak to get the property market back up and running.  The property industry has issued some pan industry guidance including the following advice for...

What to do if your property chain collapses

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Property chains are delicate. If you are buying and selling property at the same time, then you will be in the middle of a chain, with people both above and below you. It’s also likely that there will be multiple transactions happening at once with...

Tips for Moving House with your Pets

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Moving house may be one of the most stressful and exciting life events a pet (as well as a person) can go through. Unexpected activity, noise, strange removal people, even stranger smells, and the sudden loss of territory can all make moving home...

Leasehold vs Freehold - Things to look out for

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If you purchase the freehold of a property, you are buying it outright, including the land the property stands on. If you purchase a leasehold, you are only buying the right to live in the property for the length of the lease. The land the property stands on...

A renter's guide to common tenancy jargon

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If you are currently renting, or are looking to rent, a property, then the jargon you’ll inevitably come across can appear confusing and overwhelming. Abbreviations, acronyms, you name it – there are plenty of terms you need to familiarise...

Removals Advice - How to Find a Removals Company

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Moving house is rarely an easy process. It may be tempting to save money and move all your belongings yourself. However, there are advantages to hiring a removals company instead. Provided you choose the right one, professional movers could take much of the...

What is equity release and how does it work?

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As we get older, it can often be useful to have access to some extra cash to help fund our retirement, pay for care costs or allow us to splash out on home improvements or other plans. With many of us having a large amount of capital tied up in our homes,...

Moving House Tips - A Guide to Moving House

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You’ve done all the legal stuff, got the all-clear from your surveyor, signed and exchanged contracts, and now it’s official – you’re moving house. There is still a lot to do in between exchange and completion but moving house...

When Should you Remortgage your Home?

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You may be able to save hundreds of pounds just by switching your mortgage to a better deal or a new provider at the right time. Most people think about remortgaging at some point and rightly so. Whether interest rates have changed, your home has risen in...

What are commercial property dilapidations?

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Most commercial leases will require the tenant to keep the property in a good condition and to carry out any repairs needed under the terms of the lease. Dilapidations refer to the damages or defects to the property as a result of the tenant breaching the...

What checks and searches are involved in conveyancing?

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What is conveyancing? Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from one person to another, which begins once an offer has been accepted on a property. This process can be conducted by a licensed conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor. ...

Can a site purchase be conditional on getting planning permission?

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When buying a site that lacks planning permission, whether to self-build or as a developer, your plans and the ultimate value of the site will be heavily dependent on whether you can secure planning permission. It is therefore understandable to want to...

What to know when buying a site to self-build

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Self-building can be an attractive way to get the home of your dreams, allowing you to create exactly what you need at a significantly lower cost compared to buying an existing property. However, there are various issues to consider so you can make sure...

What to do if you find a problem with your home after the sale is final

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When you buy a property in the UK, you do so under the general principle of “caveat emptor” also known as “buyer beware”. This means that it is your responsibility as the buyer to check the condition of the property you are buying. ...

What to know when buying property at auction

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Buying property at auction can allow you to get the right property at a lower price and is also usually faster than buying a property on the open market, allowing you to avoid the delays associated with property chains, the current owners needing to move out...

What to know when buying property off-plan

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Buying a new-build property before construction has started or while it is being built (known as buying ‘off-plan’) can allow you to get a pristine home or investment opportunity at a significant discount compared to buying a finished property....

Common conveyancing problems and what to do about them

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The conveyancing process is an essential part of buying or selling a property, covering key things such as preparing and exchanging the contracts of sale, having checks and searches carried out on the property for the buyer, the transfer of funds and...

What is digital conveyancing?

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Digital technology has revolutionised conveyancing in recent years, allowing the entire process to be handled remotely by email, over the phone and via video messaging. This makes things much faster and more convenient for homebuyers and homeowners, allowing...

Can you borrow against your house to buy another house?

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If you wish to a buy another house, either to rent out, as a second home, for your children to live in, or for any other reason, borrowing against your current home can be a good way to raise the necessary money. There are potentially 3 ways to do this: ...

Do you have to change your mortgage to rent out your property?

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If are planning to move and rent out your old home, a common concern is what to do about your mortgage. Many people do not realise that it is usually a condition of any residential mortgage that you need to let your lender know if you wish to rent your...

Can you get out of a tenancy agreement early?

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Whether you are a landlord or tenant, there are various circumstances where you may wish to end a tenancy agreement early. It might be that as a landlord you want to sell the property or as a tenant that you need to move for work or personal reasons. ...

How long does it take to buy a house?

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Exactly how long it takes to buy a house depends on various factors, including how quickly you can find the right place and how quickly you can find a buyer for your own home (unless you are a first time buyer). However, if you have found the right property...

Can you transfer ownership of a house with a mortgage?

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If you need to transfer the ownership of a property, such as when getting divorced or if you want to transfer the property to a family member, having a mortgage can make things more complicated. While it is perfectly possible to transfer ownership of a...

Can a freeholder refuse to extend a lease?

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When buying a leasehold property, its value will depend on how many years are left on the lease. The shorter the remaining time, the less the property will be worth. If you own or are considering buying a leasehold property, understanding your right to...

What is Shared Ownership Staircasing and How Does it Work?

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Shared ownership can be a good way for people to buy a home who otherwise couldn’t afford to as it allows you to buy a percentage of a property and pay rent on the remainder. This means you can get on the property ladder for less and pay a reduced rate...

What the government's ban on new build leasehold houses will mean for leaseholders

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The government has announced plans to tackle “unfair and abusive” practices within the leasehold system, including banning leaseholds for most new build houses. These plans will only affect houses and not leasehold flats. The new measures...

Things to know when considering equity release for your home

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Equity release can be an attractive way to fund your retirement, allowing you to unlock some of the value tied up in your home as a tax-free lump sum. Many people use this money to pay off debts, fund home improvements or other plans to make their...

3 things to consider when downsizing

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Downsizing is a popular choice for older people, especially those who are retiring or whose children have left home and therefore no longer need as much space. Moving to a smaller, cheaper home offers a number of advantages, including releasing capital,...

What to check when buying a listed property

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There are somewhere in the region of half a million listed buildings across England and Wales with the number increasingly all the time. While these buildings are often highly attractive places to live, full of history and character, there are a number of...

What does conveyancing involve?

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Conveyancing is the name for the legal process involved in buying or selling a property, as well as a variety of other property transactions, including remortgaging and lease extensions on leasehold property. The process is usually handled on your behalf by...

Do you need a survey when buying a home?

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When buying a new home, you take a big risk if you don’t properly investigate the property and any issues it might have. Failing to identify problems up front can mean you end up overpaying for a property, being left with unexpected expenses or being...

Is online conveyancing safe?

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For many people carrying out important business online is now second nature, so it’s not surprising that when it comes to buying a home, many people want the same convenience they are used to from the internet. A growing number of firms are now...

How buying a home with your children affects stamp duty

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An increasing number of people are relying on their parents for financial help when buying their first home, in large part due to the significant gap between average wages and average house prices in many parts of the UK. While it is common now for parents...

Things to know when buying a new build home

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Buying a newly built home offers a number of advantages, including the idea that you will be getting a pristine property with no wear and tear from previous owners. If you can buy off-plan, before the property is finished, you can also often get a...

SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) FAQs

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1. I have been registered as an owner of a residential property in the past but I did not live there. If I purchase a property to live in will I be a first time buyer? Answer:  Unfortunately not. To qualify as a first time buyer you need to have...

Useful advice on conveyancing fraud risks

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We take the security of our clients seriously, so when we are advised of risks by other responsible parties such as banks and mortgage lenders, we try to pass the advice on. The advice below has kindly been issued by Santander, but it applies equally across...

5 things to consider when buying a house as an unmarried couple

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A growing number of couples in the UK are choosing to buy property together without getting married or entering a civil partnership. This can be a good way to get onto then property ladder when house prices are unaffordable for many individuals, while also...

Stamp Duty to be cut for first time buyers

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Stamp duty land tax will be scrapped for first time buyers on properties worth £300,000 or less in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Additionally, those buying a first property worth up to £500,000 will only pay stamp duty of the value...

3 common delays when selling your home and how to avoid them

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When selling your home, you undoubtedly would prefer the sale to go ahead as smoothly and speedily as possible – especially if you need the funds unlocked by the sale to purchase your new home. Any delay in the sale can cost you money and stress, as...

5 things you need to know when buying your first home

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Buying your first home is normally the biggest financial investment you will have made up to that point. It is therefore understandable to be concerned about getting it right and not being caught out by unexpected issues that could end up costing you a lot...

Are leaseholds unfair? What to look out for when buying a leasehold property

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The majority of UK flats are offered on a leasehold basis, as are an increasing number of new build houses. Recently, there has been growing concern about a range of practices in the leasehold market, including over spiralling ground rents for new build...

How long does conveyancing take?

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Conveyancing is an essential process when buying or selling property in the United Kingdom. Conveyancing is a necessary step, as it involves the legal transfer of ownership of a property, which means many people are often curious about how long the process...

How to avoid conveyancing fraud

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Conveyancing fraud is now believed to be the most common type of cybercrime in the legal sector and can result in unwary homebuyers losing tens of thousands of pounds. It is a particular issue for first time buyers, because they are likely to be less...

What to know when buying land in the UK

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Buying land can be an attractive investment, especially where there is the possibility to develop property on the site or otherwise improve it to increase its value. However, to ensure a good return on your investment, there are a number of key issues you...

5 things to check when buying a flat

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The majority of flats in the UK are sold on a leasehold basis, meaning you are not buying the property, but rather the right to occupy it for a fixed period of time. The freeholder retains ownership of the building and their rights and responsibilities, as...

Why do you need conveyancing when remortgaging?

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When remortgaging a property you own, there are various checks and searches that need to be carried out, as well as other important legal and financial details that need to be handled correctly. This process is referred to as conveyancing, the same as the...

Who can do conveyancing in the UK?

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Conveyancing is the name for the legal process of buying and selling property, including leasehold property, as well as carrying out the necessary checks and transactions involved in remortgaging or extending a lease. Getting your conveyancing handled...

5 things to think about when selling a buy to let property

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Changes to tax relief for UK landlords being phased in between 2017 and 2020 mean that many buy to let rental properties may no longer be able to generate a reasonable profit for their owners. As a result, many buy to let landlords are likely to be...

Things to consider when buying a leasehold property

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Many flats in the UK are sold on a leasehold basis, as are a number of other properties. If you are thinking about buying a leasehold property, it is important to understand how this differs from buying a freehold property and the key things you need to...

How exchange of contracts works

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The exchange of contracts is one of the final stages of buying or selling a house and makes the transaction legally binding. Many people find this process stressful, as it is generally the last point at which a property transaction may go wrong. In this...