News & Insights: Property

Helpful Considerations For First Time Buyers

31 March 2023

Buying a first property is exciting. However the conveyancing process is not quite as simple as ‘finding a property and collecting the keys’. Various legal considerations must be taken into account by your solicitor to ensure a property can be bought without complication or risk. Once you have found your dream home your Solicitor must ensure that the legal condition of the property is in order. What must be considered?

  1. Title Deeds
    The Title Deeds to the property are the legal instruments which enable a purchase to proceed. Title Deeds are comprised of various documents, including the Lease/Transfer Deed which tells you what you can and cannot do with the Property, and the Property Certificates and Searches which let you know of any external issues affecting the property and details of the services and previous works to the property. Without these being in order, a purchaser’s solicitor, (and your Lender), will not permit the purchase to progress to completion. It is the your solicitors duty to ensure the property is in legal order, allowing for a straightforward sale when you move again in the future. ‘The day you buy is the day you sell!’
  2. Management Company
    A Management Company owns and maintains the common areas in an apartment complex or a new build development where there are any open spaces. For their services, homeowners will be charged an annual ‘service charge’ The solicitor must ensure that all legal papers in relation to the Management Company are in place. Upon agreement of a house purchase, it is advisable that inquiries be made with the estate agent regarding the Management Company’s position and if the development is generally well managed with no ongoing issues.
  3. Your Mortgage
    Your Solicitor also acts for your Lender and has a dual obligation to both of you. It is your solicitor’s duty to ensure all legal documents are in satisfactory order to enable mortgage monies to be released for completion. A lender may request that certain additional special conditions be met prior to completion and will not release the mortgage monies until these are satisfied.

    When agreeing a mortgage offer in principle, you should consider such conditions contained in your offer to determine whether the conditions are agreeable should you proceed with the purchase.

  4. Completion date
    Agreeing a completion date can be the most stressful part of the conveyancing process for many purchasers especially if there is long chain involved. Completion dates must be agreed by all parties along the chain for completion to occur. It is key for all parties involved to have regular communication and be realistic around targeted completion dates from the beginning to avoid undue stress.
  5. Source of Deposit
    Purchasers must provide their solicitor with details regarding the source of their deposit. The Deposit can come from savings, gifts from a family member/friend, or a first time buyer ISA. If money is gifted, a lender will require the person making the gift to sign a Waiver before mortgage monies are released. If you have a first time buyer ISA, various forms will be required to draw down the monies from the ISA in good time for completion.

As you will note, there are number of considerations for First Time Buyers to be aware of before beginning the conveyancing process. If you are thinking of purchasing your first home we have a dedicated experienced team who can guide you through the process making it as stress free as possible.  Please contact the Conveyancing Team at O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors and we will be glad to assist with any queries

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