38% of respondents don’t know what solicitors actually do…
Moving home is an exciting time. However, it can also feel overwhelming, navigating all the different stepping stones on the road to buying. Not only is there confusion over what a conveyancer or solicitors role is during the moving process (38% of respondents) but also finding a house that ticks all of our boxes (45% include a driveway on their list).
We carried out a survey with 1,500 home buyers in the UK to discover which elements of buying a house they found most confusing. From how to find the best mortgage to what stamp duty is, our survey showed there were a lot of worries home buyers are faced with today.
Luckily, we’re experts in these head scratchers, so we’re here to help you.
What does a solicitor/conveyancer do, and what are all the searches and surveys?
“In summary, we take care of all of the legal work to transfer the title of the property. We make sure you understand all the legal obligations which will impact you, and protect your rights during the transaction. If you’re taking a mortgage, we’ll also work with your lender to make sure that the property is suitable for them to lend against, that you fulfil any special terms or legal obligations your lender imposes and to ensure the funds are correctly dealt with.
Part of the process includes requesting searches on the property and local area to be sure that there is nothing that could have a negative impact on the property in future – existing and historical planning permissions, risks from coal mining, environmental pollution and flooding are all considered. You can also choose to take out an additional survey through a RICS qualified surveyor on the property to make sure everything is structurally sound, and to give you an idea of what, if any, urgent works are required on the property itself.”
(Ed Percival, Director at My Home Move Conveyancing)
How do I find the right mortgage for me?
They key is to work out what you can afford in the short and long term. Factor in living costs and expenses, alongside monthly repayments, to get a clearer picture of the cost. This way you’ll know if you can keep up with repayments should circumstances change. Understanding mortgage interest rates can also help you pick one that not only works for now, but that you can afford in the following years.
A mortgage broker can help you narrow the search a little. They often come with a fee but can be an essential guide in a very busy and quite confusing marketplace. You can also do a bit of research and comparison yourself, even speaking to banks directly as they may have direct-only deals that brokers won’t have access to.
What is Stamp Duty?
Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax you may have to pay when you purchase a residential property, including freehold, leasehold or through a shared ownership scheme. Currently due to a stamp duty holiday, if you’re buying a home in England or Northern Ireland you will pay a reduced rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) until 31 March 2021. You are not required to pay any Stamp Duty if the value of your main home is under £500,000 during this time. First time buyers are also exempt from Stamp Duty if the house is under a certain value.
Why do moving dates change?
There are a variety of reasons why moving dates can change but most of these owe largely to being part of a property chain. This means buyers and sellers are linked together because their purchase or sale is dependent on another transaction. This therefore means that completion dates may be moved to accommodate these other sales and circumstances – it’s important to let everyone know if you have a specific ‘deadline’ for completion (for example for school placements), but similarly it’s important to try to be as flexible as possible – it’s very difficult at times to find a date which is perfect for everyone involved.
How do I find my perfect home?
When it comes to what makes the perfect home, that’s something only you can answer. But we asked our 1,500 home buyers what they looked for.
Different regions had different priorities (unsurprisingly, commuting Londoners value good transport links, while buyers in Leeds hanker after a bigger garden) but the results of this survey will hopefully give you a better idea of some of the main factors to look into when looking for a home.
Handy tips for sellers
Lockdown has had an interesting effect on what home seekers across the board are looking for…
Zoopla reported that Four and five-bedroom houses across the UK are selling 33% faster than last year reflecting the desire for more spacious homes. But don’t worry if you’re a seller with a less than palatial property, here are some tips to appeal to UK buyers…
Create a friendly and warm vibe – 36% of people said they value a good friendly feeling and 42% are seeking a house that has been well looked after. Proving that by just taking care and creating a welcoming vibe in your home (get the baked goods in and the candles or good lighting on) can drastically improve the value of your home.
Focus on the storage – Ample storage space is a huge selling point with 46% of UK home buyers saying they would require it in a new home. It’s often a key feature that people miss off when listing their home either for someone to buy or rent, so make sure to highlight this.
Utility Rooms are game changers – Consider building or transforming a space into a utility room if you’re looking to add value to your home as 33% of people value this highly on their list.
Feng Shui – While the size of a room is still important, layout is no less, with 32% citing this as significant. Rethinking the flow of the room and the spacing of furniture to create optimal space can really help a buyer imagine the possibilities.