5 common mistakes people make when buying a property

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Purchasing a property whether you’re a first-time buyer or have bought and sold a number of properties can be a stressful process, so it is important to ensure that you don’t fall into the trap of making mistakes that could cost you down the line.

1. Affordability

Before beginning to view properties, it’s a good idea to get a decision in principle from your lender first. This gives you an indication of how much your lender is likely to let you borrow and is usually valid for up to 90 days. This can prevent you from falling in love with a property that you can’t afford and can also make you stand out from other buyers as it shows that you are serious and are in a good position to buy.
The Mortgage Advice Bureau can help you obtain a decision in principle and ensure you are making an offer on a property that you can afford.

2. Knowing the difference between a freehold and a leasehold property

When purchasing a property there are two types of ownership; freehold and leasehold, and it is important to know the difference between the two.
Freehold
When you purchase a freehold property, you own the property and the land outright forever. This means that you are responsible for the maintenance of the property and can make changes to the property. You would not have ground rent to pay as you are the owner of the property.
Leasehold
Upon purchasing a leasehold property, you have the right to live in the property for a specified number of years but you don’t own the land it is built on. You would need to get permission from the freeholder before any alterations can be made to the property. There are also additional charges that come with being a leaseholder, you could have an annual ground rent charge to pay to the landlord along with any service charges.
If you are purchasing a leasehold property, understand your responsibilities for maintenance of the property, these should be outlined in the lease.

3. Not instructing a Surveyor

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is not instructing a surveyor as they can point out problems with the property in the early stages of the transaction which could save you a lot of money later on. Even small problems can soon mount up.
If there are issues that come to light during the survey, these can be dealt with and negotiated with the seller before it’s too late.

4. Underestimating extra costs

There are a lot of extra costs that come with purchasing a property that you may not have factored into your budget and therefore may come as a surprise as they quickly mount up. A list of the fees you may not have considered is listed below.
• Removal fees
• Search fees
• Surveyors fees
• Legal fees
• Mortgage fees including admin fees
• Stamp Duty Land Tax

5. Instructing the wrong Solicitor

The process of purchasing a property can be a stressful and confusing process, that is why it is important to instruct a Solicitor/Conveyancer who can guide you through the process.
If you are purchasing with a mortgage, it is important to check with your lender whether the Firm is on their panel as your Solicitor will also need to act for your lender.
Choosing a Conveyancer who is a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme will also ensure that exceptional staff training is adhered to.

Contact our team for a Conveyancing Quote and make sure you don’t make those mistakes when buying a property on 01228 522215 (Carlisle Office) or 016973 42121 (Wigton Office).

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