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Buying My Perfect Home – Chapter One

19th June 2017

By Licenced Conveyancing & Property Lawyer Sarah Ryan

Is this Really Happening?

The Property

Mine is an idyllic house perched on the side of a mountain in North Wales. I stumbled on the property when speaking to a local hotelier. His neighbour was selling a property with land, it had been for sale for quite some time. The neighbour wanted a quick sale and recently decided to put the property on at auction in 4 weeks’ time.

The hotelier explained where the property was located and my partner and I decided to take a look. It was a lovely sunny day and we thought a drive to the property would be a good idea. I wasn’t expecting much; after all, the property was empty and had been on the market for over a year. We both had properties to sell before we could potentially proceed in any event.

We followed the directions and drove through the countryside, up a narrow lane and eventually came to a driveway. The property was beautiful and it took our breath away. The property was being sold in three lots – the first lot was the house and the remaining two lots were grazing land.

We decided to revisit the hotelier that afternoon. We asked if he could put us in contact with the woman selling the property and her Solicitors.

Finances

We both owned additional properties and whilst the new property would be our main residence, if we exchanged and completed before we sold our current homes, we would need to pay the increased Stamp Duty and claim back the difference. This meant we needed to find additional funds upfront.

We discussed our concerns around Stamp Duty with our Lawyer and also the possibility of negotiating an ‘option to purchase’ on the final lot after we had sold our properties. Their technical expertise put my mind at rest that if everything else fell into place, this property could potentially be ours.

To raise funds our options were to sell our houses, remortgage or get bridging finance. It was important that we considered all of our options to release equity as quickly as possible without making any decisions that would financially restrict us in the future. We could fund the deposit from savings, however we required the balance of funds on completion. The seller had advised she required 3 to 4 months between exchange and completion. On completion we would also need to fund the legal fees and the increased Stamp Duty. It was important that we budgeted effectively, and that we understood exactly what we needed to pay and when.

We decided the best option for us was to consider a Bridging Finance until our properties had been sold. Bridging Finance would enable us to release equity in our existing homes and secure on the new home until we sold our properties. This could be risky and expensive if we could not sell. We decided to investigate whether this was an option for us.

Our Offer

We became completely consumed with the property and the process. We wanted to make an offer but also wanted to protect ourselves as much as possible from potential Gazumping.

We didn’t want the property to go to auction as this would bring uncertainty and we would be competing with other potential buyers which could result in an increased price.

Once we were happy with our finances we put in an offer and started counting the hours until we heard back if our offer was accepted or not. The offer was based on an exchange in two weeks, the property being withdrawn from auction and no further offers being accepted.

Our offer was also made subject to contract. This meant our offer was conditional on receiving satisfactory survey and search results, and all contractual documentation being in order.

You can find out whether Sarah’s offer was accepted in next week’s article, chapter two.

In the meantime, if you’re moving soon it’s best to get several Conveyancing quotes so you can compare them side-by-side to see exactly what is included, and what is not. Many online Conveyancing quotes may offer a low fee initially but then add additional fees later.

At Co-op Legal Services we offer fixed fee Conveyancing with a No Sale No Fee guarantee. Once you have been provided with a written quote for the agreed work, that price will not change.

For a free, fixed fee Conveyancing quote please click here.

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