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Buyers Handbook Things you need to know

A new breed of estate agency


Contents Buying with Blue Sky 1

The buying process

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 Step 1) Working out what you can afford 3

Step 2) Arranging finance 5 Step 3) Starting your search 6 Step 4) Successful viewings 7 Step 5) Instructing a solicitor 8 Step 6) Making an offer 9 Step 7) Your offer is accepted 10 Step 8) Survey 11 Step 9) Progressing your purchase 12 Step 10) Preparing to move 14 Step 11) Completion 17

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Mortgages 18 Costs 22 FAQs 24 Estate agency terms explained 28


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trained and have, or are working towards, industry recognised qualifications.

What you can expect...

In order to meet your requirements we need to understand fully what you’re looking for – and the best way for us to do that is to listen. Whatever you want, just tell us and we’ll do our very best to deliver.

You need to be able to make informed decisions when buying a home. Our experience and expertise will help us to guide you through an ever-changing housing market, and we’ve packed our website and this guide full of handy tips and useful information to help you make the best decisions.

Professional standards We set our standards high, are full members of the Property Ombudsman scheme and NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents), and follow their Codes of Practice as well as our own. You want to know you’re in safe hands, which is why all our staff are fully

We’ll listen to you

We’ll listen to you. Our experienced sales team dedicate themselves to helping you find the perfect property that’s right for you. Register with us and we’ll keep you ahead of the crowd, on new properties coming to the market. Buy with us and our sales progressor will be on call to help you complete your purchase with minimal fuss.

out Starting 1Working what you can afford 3 your search

2 Arranging finance

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Step 1) Assessing the value of your property Step 2) Choosing the right level of service Step 3) Marketing your property Step 4) Choosing your estate agent Step 5) Presenting your property Step 6) Instructing a solicitor Step 7) Successful viewings Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers Step 9) Progressing your sale Instructing Your offer Step 10) Preparing to move Progressing a solicitor is accepted your purchase Step 11) Completing your sale

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Making 6 8 Survey Our services to you an offer

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Preparing to move

Financial & legal elements

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Estate agency terms explained 26 Buying a property, whilst exciting, can sometimes seem a little daunting, even if you’ve bought a property before. To make it easier for you to find your perfect home, we’ve prepared this handy guide. It will help you understand the fundamental process of buying a property so you’ll know what to expect, every step of the way. If you’re also selling a property, you may find our Sellers Handbook useful.

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buying process explained Step-by-Step The

When it comes to buying what may be your biggest asset, we understand you want to find the right property and purchase without a hiccup. This is why we’re taking a fresh approach to estate agency and setting our standards high.

Honest advice and up-to-date information

Selling with Blue Sky The selling process

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Buying with Blue Sky

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Buying a property is a long term financial commitment, so it’s important to make sure you don’t overstretch your budget, leaving yourself short and unable to enjoy the fun things in life! Think about how much you want to pay for your mortgage each month, taking into consideration your current savings, assets and income, as well as all your financial commitments and outgoings both present and future. For example, if you plan to have a child in the next couple of years, what impact will this have on your budget? We have provided a budget planner to help you consider all your potential costs and outgoings. This may seem obvious, but it helps at this stage to know what you can afford – not just what you can borrow on a mortgage. To avoid any unwelcome surprises, you will also need to budget for the one-off costs of purchasing a property. See ‘Costs associated with buying property’ on page 22 for a full breakdown. If you are buying for the first time and want further advice, just get in touch.

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Budget planner Budgeting can seem like a long and painful task, so use the handy budget planner on the next page to work out quickly and easily what you can safely afford to spend on a mortgage each month. It could save you a lot of time and heartache further down the line. We have divided the expenditure column into current and future expenditure so you can allow for any changes in expenditure in the future and any potential increase in bills when you move in to your new property. Income – You will need to identify all sources of income for all the people looking to purchase the property. This may just be your salary, or you may have income from tax credits, savings interest, and other investments. Outgoings – We have tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible, but if you have any outgoings not listed here just add them in the blank rows left for you. It’s important to consider any increase in outgoings or new outgoings you will incur when you’ve purchased a new property and account for this increase in the future expenditure column. When you’ve filled all these figures in as accurately as possible, take away from your total income the total of all your outgoings and see how much you can afford based on your remaining disposable income. For more help and advice on budgeting for the purchase of a new property, speak to our Independent Mortgage Adviser.

Budget Planner Your net income: £

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Your joint income: £

Selling with Blue Sky Outgoings continued... The selling process Pocket money

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Outgoings

Current Monthly Expenditure

Future Monthly Expenditure

Current Monthly Expenditure

Future Monthly Expenditure

Mortgage/rent

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Water

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Satellite/cable TV package

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Council Tax (single occupiers discount of 25% may apply)

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Buildings and contents insurance

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Other household related costs

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Credit card payments

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Loan repayments

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Hire purchase agreements

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Life premiums/insurance

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Health insurance

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Private pension payments

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Step 1) Assessing the value of your property Mobile phone £ Step 2) Choosing the right level of service Holidays/Birthdays/Christmas £ Step 3) Marketing your property Clothing your estate agent £ Step 4) Choosing Step 5) Presenting yourtreatments property Haircuts/beauty £ Step 6) Instructing a solicitor Food £ Step 7) Successful viewings Sundries (cigarettes/magazines) £ Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers Socialising inc.your eating out, Step 9) Progressing sale going out, other entertainment £ Step 10) Preparing to move and interests £ Step 11) Hobbies Completing your sale Charitable donations

Other shopping and leisure costs Our services to you

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Estate agency terms explained 26 = Current/future £ £ disposable income

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Working out what you can afford

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It is advisable to apply for a mortgage ‘in principle’ before you start viewing properties. After all, you’ll want a good idea of how much you’ll be able to borrow and the cost of any repayments, as this will influence your search. Finding the best mortgage deal can seem like a minefield and you may be bombarded with offers of advice from estate agents, banks, friends and family. As always, the only way to be sure you’re getting the best mortgage product is to shop around. However, there are a few key points to bear in mind: Banks may offer you the best deals by going direct but they will only offer their own products. Remember, there are lots of other lenders to choose from. Searching online will give you a good idea of what products are available, but unless you have experience with mortgage lending terms and a good head for figures you may not pinpoint the very best deal. Mortgage advisers come with varying levels of qualification, and will have access to different lenders and products. Some will look at the whole market and some are tied to a select panel of lenders. Experienced advisers will be able to offer expert advice and do most of the leg work for you, monitoring the market to ensure you get the best deal. All mortgage advisers should be registered with the FSA (Financial Services Authority), which monitors the quality of the advice given to you and ensures that Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) follow strict codes of conduct.

We would always recommend speaking to a mortgage adviser. A good independent mortgage adviser will ensure you find the best product for your requirements. They can offer support and guidance during the house-buying process and do a lot of the hard work for you. Their experience and expertise could save you a lot of time and money, but it’s important to choose the right IFA.

Agreement in Principle Many sellers will be reluctant to allow you to view their property unless you’ve taken steps to ensure you can afford to buy it. If you require a mortgage it’s a good idea to get an Agreement In Principle (AIP). This is a formal agreement issued by a mortgage lender confirming the level of lending they are prepared to offer you (subject to you meeting certain criteria). In order to provide an AIP a lender will credit check you and this will be recorded on your credit history. If too many credit checks are recorded in a short space of time this could affect your credit rating. If you’re anxious about this, please call our Blue Sky office to discuss your requirements further or make a free appointment with an experienced independent mortgage financial adviser.

Your Chosen Mortgage Deal Broker fee:

We know the area well and often know when properties Contents are becoming available even before they are marketed, so we’ll be able to keep you a step ahead of the crowd.

Selling with Blue Skyto sourcing suitable 1 We take a proactive approach will alert you to new properties coming on The properties sellingandprocess 2

Now that you have a budget in mind you can start searching for your new home. You may already have to the market via text, email, phone or post – whichever Step 1) you Assessing 3 a good idea of the type and style of property you prefer. the value of your property Step 2) Choosing the right level of service 4 are looking for, but try to keep an open mind when Marketing your property 5 considering potential properties. Sometimes the perfectStep 3) You can also... Step 4) Choosing your estate agent 6 home pops up where you’d least expect it. There are many Find all our properties on our website at 7 ways to find properties, but this is what we recommend:Step 5) Presenting your property www.freshBlueSky.co.uk – it includes lots of pictures, floor Step 6) Instructing a solicitor 8 plans, Google Earth links, directions and maps to help you Register your interest Step 7) Successful viewings 9 visualise the property before viewing. By registering on Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers 10 Why not let us do the leg work for you? We live and the site you can save properties of interest as you browse, Step 9) Progressing your sale 11 breathe property, so the best way to find a suitable home allowing you to compare them. Your saved properties Step 10) Preparing to move 13 is to contact us, register your details, and discuss your will be updated when prices change and properties have Step 11) Completing your sale 16 requirements. Give us as much information as possible sold, and you’ll be emailed and texted details of all new about the type of property you are looking for and your properties coming on to the market, so you’ll always be main requirements. This will help us to find you your ideal up to date. home, without wasting your time by sending you to view To make things even easier you’ll find all our properties unsuitable properties. on major property websites, including Rightmove and Zoopla, and in the local press. Finding the right home Your property requirements: couldn’t be easier. Type of property: If you’re looking for a property to buy and let out, we can Areas: help. We specialise in helping landlords find properties which offer great returns on investment. Number of bedrooms:

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Outside space required:

Contact: Lender:

Parking or garage requirements:

Contact:

Near public transport:

Mortgage amount: £

No. of years:

Mortgage details (fixed/variable, repayment/interest only): Mortgage fees: £

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Broker :

Notes:

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Starting your search

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School catchment areas: Other important requirements:

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Arranging finance

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Once you have selected the properties you’d like to view, we will arrange viewings at a time that suits you. We have extended our opening hours to include late evening and weekend viewings, and will do our best to meet your viewing requirements, subject to property availability. It’s best to make sure anyone who will be buying the property comes to the viewings, to ensure you don’t waste your valuable time or miss out on the best deals. Our agents have mobile access to our full database even when they’re out of the office, so they can show you all our latest properties whilst on the move, and will always be able to answer any questions you may have. If you are considering making an offer on a property through Blue Sky we will provide you with a Property Information Sheet which the seller has completed, which will confirm many basic details about the property. (See Property Information in FAQs)

Tips to successful viewings It’s best not to view too many properties in one day. They will all start to merge into one another and if you are rushing from one appointment to the next you won’t be able to take everything in. Arriving at a viewing early will give you time not only to find the right property, but to have a look at the immediate surroundings. Have a walk around, explore

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the neighbourhood and generally take in the feel of the place. If after viewing the property you are considering making an offer it’s a good idea to drive around the area and see it at different times of day. You should always make a diary note of viewings. Be sure to allow enough time to get from one viewing to the next, to avoid the stress of missing appointments and getting lost. Before you set off, work out how to get to the next property, whether you use satellite navigation or a street map. All our property particulars will include directions and a map to help you find the property easily. If you are unsure or get lost, just call us and we will be happy to direct you to the right place. Your agent should re-confirm your appointment the day before the viewing, especially if it was originally booked more than five days previously. If you haven’t heard from your agent, please call them to re-confirm the appointment. Some people find it useful to make notes on viewings and it’s a good idea to check the property off against your requirements. Making notes at the property or afterwards will help you to remember what features you liked and compare it to other suitable properties during your search. If you know anyone who lives in the immediate area ask them what it’s like to live there. If you see any local residents on your visit, stop and ask them how they enjoy living in the street/neighbourhood. Find out about the local area. What services and amenities does it offer? What public transport serves the area? How good are the local schools? Where are the nearest parks or sports facilities? If you have a particularly large piece of furniture that you will be bringing with you into your new home, measure it and bring a tape measure on viewings to measure spaces where it might fit. If you like a particular property, take time to work out how you would use each room, and confirm that there is enough space for your belongings.

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Instructing a solicitor

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We will be happy to refer you to a number of local Contents solicitors who act on a no exchange no fee basis. We deal with numerous solicitors on a daily basis and make our

recommendations based on past experience and clients1 Selling with Blue Sky The speed and success of your purchase can be greatly recommendations. We always supply three separate The quotes selling process 2 enhanced by choosing an efficient and experienced so you’re guaranteed a competitive price. Check Assessing thequotes value of your property solicitor who knows the area you are moving into and Step 1) and compare carefully to make sure you are Choosing the level of service specialises in conveyancing. We recommend selecting aStep 2) comparing likeright with like. solicitor at this stage to avoid delays further down the Step 3) Marketing your property Choosing agent line; this will also give you time to shop around for the Step 4) Details ofyour yourestate chosen solicitor Presenting your property best deal. Don’t be led by price alone – carry out a littleStep 5) Name of firm/partnership: Step 6) Instructing a solicitor research, ask for recommendations and compare quotes. of solicitor acting for you: Step 7) Name Successful viewings Key points to think about are: Receiving and accepting offers number: Does the solicitor handling your case specialise Step 8) Telephone Step 9) Progressing your sale in conveyancing? Address: Step 10) Preparing to move Where is the solicitor based, can you travel to their Step 11) Completing your sale Email: office easily? Fax: Will you be dealing directly with the solicitor or with Pass this information to your estate agent as soon as a call centre or ‘team’? an offer is accepted. What size is the firm, if your solicitor is taken ill or goes on holiday who will deal with their work while they are away?

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Does your solicitor work full-time or part-time? If they are part-time, who will deal with your case on the days they are not in the office?

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Are the fees they have quoted fixed? I.e. are you sure they won’t escalate if more work is involved than they originally anticipated? If the sale falls through, will they still charge you for work carried out, or will they waive their fees (often referred to as ‘no sale no fee’)? Are they familiar with the local area where you’re hoping to buy your new home? Have they been recommended to you? Ask around – do they have a good reputation?

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When you have found the right property, you’ll want to secure it. You can make an offer verbally through the agent marketing the property and tell them about any terms or conditions you wish to make. The agent must confirm any offer you make in writing with any terms you attached to your offer, even if it has not been accepted by the seller. Things to consider when making an offer are: Y  our position – Buyers with no property to sell, pre-arranged finance and solicitors in place have a head start on other buyers. If you are in a favourable position, make the agent and seller aware of this as it will help your negotiations.  Your budget – Keep your maximum limit in mind. If the seller is not prepared to accept it, think carefully before raising your offer. Is the property worth the extra monthly expenditure? T  he seller’s position – Are they looking to move quickly? Has the house been on the market for a long time? If the seller isn’t in a hurry they are unlikely to accept a low offer. T  he property – While it’s worth considering the prices that other similar properties in the area have sold for in the past, they may not reflect current values. What other properties are now available in the area? Is the asking price being asked fair compared with those other properties? Is demand for that style of property high or low?

Your offer will be more appealing to the seller if you can provide confirmation of your ability to purchase in the form of an AIP (Agreement in Principle) or bank statements showing available funds. The more information you can provide, the more likely your offer is to be accepted. Giving the agent your solicitor’s details will show that you are serious about proceeding quickly with the purchase. If your purchase is reliant on selling your existing home, you will need to provide details of your own buyer and their ability to proceed with the purchase of your property. The length of any chain will be a consideration for the seller when considering your offer, so give as much detail as you can. Be aware that the property you want to buy will remain on the market while you are negotiating an offer. The estate agent may ask you for proof of your ability to proceed with the purchase. Be aware that you do not have to use the estate agent’s mortgage broker in order for your offer to be considered by a seller. An estate agency may use their mortgage broker to check details, but no appointment is necessary unless you wish to receive further financial advice. You may find it useful at the outset to write down two figures and refer back to them when making any offers: What price would I ideally like to pay for a property? £

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Make a note of the details of your accepted purchase Your offer is acceptedContents price and the terms agreed with the seller below:

Once your offer has been accepted, this is what will happen:

Estate agent’s name:

Selling with Blue Sky Telephone number: The selling process

Sellers name: Step 1) Assessing the value of your property accepted: £ level of service Step 2) Offer Choosing the right Step 3) Date Marketing your property offer accepted: You will also have to provide your estate agent withStep 4) Choosing your estate agent of sale: proof of your identity, as they need this to comply Step 5) Terms Presenting your property with money laundering regulations. At Blue Sky we Step 6) Instructing a solicitor Fixtures and fittings included in sale: ask for one form of photographic ID and one proofStep 7) Successful viewings of your address which should be no more than three Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers months old. You will need to provide this proof of ID Step 9) Progressing your sale for each person who will be buying the property (e.g. Step 10) Preparing to move you and your partner). Step 11) Completing your sale Proposed date of completion: The estate agent will then prepare a memorandum Your estate agent will ask for full details of your chosen solicitor and mortgage broker.

A proposed date for completion will be agreed.

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person progressing my sale will be: Our The services to you

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of sale and send it to everyone involved in your purchase, plus their solicitors, confirming the purchase price agreed and any conditions of the sale.

A copy of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate will be sent to you and your solicitor.

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With the seller’s permission, the agent will stop marketing the property and its status will be changed to Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC). If a seller opts to leave the property on the market the agent should confirm this to you at the time of accepting your offer and follow this up in writing.

What is the highest price I’m able to pay for the right property? £ Estate agents have a legal obligation to put forward all offers to a seller, even if they have agreed an offer with you and taken the property off the market. The seller is free to accept an offer from another buyer up until the point of exchange at which time both you and the seller are legally bound to complete the transaction.

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 The market – What is happening in the housing market on a national and local level? The better the market the higher the offer you will have to make to secure the property. In a slower market you may be able to negotiate a better deal.

Making an offer

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We recommend all prospective buyers carry out a survey. If you are purchasing with a mortgage your lender will usually insist that a basic survey is carried out. However, you may want to have a more detailed account of the property’s condition. There are three main types of survey:  Basic Mortgage Valuation – This survey will assess whether the property represents a suitable security against the amount of the mortgage requested. Generally it will only provide you with a limited overview of the property’s condition. H  omebuyer’s Survey and Valuation (HSV) – This survey will provide a snapshot of the overall condition of the property and identify which areas (if any) need more specific investigation.  Building Survey – This survey is much more detailed and provides a comprehensive report on the current condition of the property. This kind of survey is recommended if the property is very old or you intend to carry out large renovations that will affect the structure of the property.

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You can also request a Structural Engineer’s Report. This is not a survey; it is simply a specific report on a particular defect that may have been highlighted in one of the above surveys. Working with your mortgage broker, we can help you choose the most appropriate survey for the property you are purchasing, although it is ultimately your decision. We are pleased to be able to refer reputable local surveyors and structural engineers.

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Contents Progressing your purchase Selling with Blue Sky The selling process

Once you’ve agreed a purchase the conveyancing process will begin. This can take on average between 6 and 14 weeks. As there is no legal obligation on any Step 1) Assessing the value of your property party to purchase or sell the property until contracts areStep 2) Choosing the right level of service Step 3) Marketing your property exchanged, it is important to move swiftly. We will monitor Step 4) Choosing your estate agent the progress of your purchase and give you any assistance Step 5) Presenting your property you need, keeping you updated at all times. If you are purchasing with a mortgage, you will need toStep 6) Instructing a solicitor submit your mortgage application to the lender straightStep 7) Successful viewings Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers away, as they will need to approve funding. This can take Step 9) Progressing your sale time; exactly how long it takes will depend on your lender, but your mortgage adviser should be able to give you Step 10) Preparing to move Step 11) Completing your sale some idea of time scales. Use the checklist on the next page to monitor the progress of your purchase. Your first point of contact should be your solicitor, as they are carrying out your conveyancing.

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Survey

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Notes

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Formally instruct your solicitor in writing and provide them with all the information and funds they may request. Give your solicitor copies of all the identification they need to comply with money laundering regulations. Your solicitor receives draft contracts from the seller’s solicitor. You receive a copy of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate. Your solicitor requests all necessary searches. Your solicitor raises preliminary enquiries (questions) with the seller’s solicitor. You submit your mortgage application. Arrange a survey(s) (if required). The results of the survey are OK and any remedial works required have been dealt with/negotiated. You receive a mortgage offer (a copy of which should be with your solicitor). The results of all searches are satisfactory. All answers to enquiries raised are satisfactory. Agree contract terms and sign contract ready for exchange. On receipt of a completion statement, place your solicitor ‘in funds’ (provide them with money for the purchase/deposit, stamp duty, fees etc). Agree a date for completion with all parties involved in the sale (usually at least one week from the date of exchange to allow time to prepare for the moving day). Contracts are exchanged.

Once you and the seller have exchanged contracts, your solicitor will transfer the required deposit to the seller’s solicitor, who will hold it until completion (the day you move). Your solicitor will draw down the remaining funds from your mortgage lender ready for completion. You will start to accrue interest on the mortgage loan from the date of draw down. Once contracts have been exchanged, you and the seller are legally bound to the transaction, and can look forward to moving.

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Three weeks Preparing to moveContents

Four weeks

If necessary, order furniture for your new home but make sure you delay the delivery date until after you have moved in, not the day you move in.

Selling with Blue Sky 1 The selling 2 Check outprocess the best-value utility contracts for your new

If you need a removal firm to help you move, book home, as will beofone less thing to think about when3 Step 1) Assessing theit value your property them now. We are happy to supply details of local, you’ve moved in. Step 2) Choosing the right level of service 4 recommended companies. A professional firm can Step 3) Marketing your property 5  Start packing and labelling boxes clearly. make all the difference on the day, and should be Step 4) Choosing your estate agent 6 able to provide advice on how best to move large Start taking down any fitted items that are coming with Step 5) Presenting your property 7 or fragile objects. you (e.g. shelving). You will need to make good any Step 6) Instructing a solicitor 8 holes left in the walls. Start collecting plenty of boxes (if your removal company Step 7) Successful viewings 9 doesn’t provide them) to transport your belongings. Step 8) Receiving Start using any frozen foods. and up accepting offers 10 Step 9) Progressing your sale for your pets to be looked after 11on Make special arrangements for any particularly Make arrangements to move 13 large, heavy or delicate items such as pianos, garden Step 10) Preparing moving day. Step 11) Completing your sale 16 ornaments, garage machinery etc. Let your neighbours know in advance so they can Tell service providers about your change of address, expect the removal van, they may even offer to including utility companies, TV Licensing, banks, move their cars to make space. If there are parking catalogue subscriptions, and so on. Use the key people restrictions or if you have difficulty parking outside your to contact list on page 16. property make arrangements to keep a space clear at the front of the property on moving day so the removal Make arrangements to transfer your telephone and company can park right outside. internet connections. Sort through your belongings. Sell or give away unwanted items, and don’t forget the loft, shed and garage.

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Arrange buildings and contents insurance for your new home, to start from the day you exchange contracts. Our Financial Advisor can help you identify competitive policies. If your children are moving school, you may need to inform the Head teachers in writing of specific dates. Give one month’s notice to cancel any contracts that you do not intend to carry forward to your new property. If you have pets, notify your veterinary practice of your intended move. If the move involves travelling a long distance, ask their advice on the best way to transport your pets. You could also phone ahead and register with a veterinary practice near your new home.

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Milestones

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Cancel newspapers, milk, window cleaning contracts etc. Return any borrowed items such as library books or tools from neighbours. Make sure that any plants you are taking with you are ready to be transported. Set up a postal redirection to ensure it is in place from the day you move out. This is important to protect yourself from identity theft.

It’s always a good idea to pack a box of personal items that will be needed immediately at your new home (e.g. toiletries, kettle, tea bags, teaspoons etc). It’s also worth keeping all the items you will need for the first night separately so they’re easily accessible after a hard day moving house.

Start to dismantle as much furniture as you can so there is less to do on moving day. Keep all screws and small parts in a secure and labelled bag/box (perhaps taped to the item they belong to) so you can easily re-assemble furniture in your new home. If necessary, defrost and clean the fridge and freezer so it is ready for the move.

Key people to contact with your Contents new address Whowith Blue Contact Who Contact details / Notes Done Selling Sky details / Notes Cable/satellite Banks/building The selling process provider society

Contact your removal company to confirm their arrival time and notify them of any last minute details.

Credit card companies

Collect any spare sets of keys you’ve left with neighbours or relatives.

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Moving day

One week

Organise and set aside any items that you are keeping with you so that they don’t get loaded on to the van by mistake. Make sure any items being left behind are clearly marked to avoid confusion, and ensure they don’t get packed by accident. Disconnect everything from your old property, write down your meter readings and inform your utility companies. Before leaving, double-check every room and outbuilding to make sure you haven’t left anything behind. Don’t forget the loft! Clean the property throughout once all your belongings have been removed. Check all windows are closed, doors are locked and hand the keys to the agent if required. Collect the keys for your new property and move in!

Hire purchase agreements Pensions and investments Store cards Car insurance Contents and buildings insurance

Step 1) Assessing the value of your property TV Licensing Step 2) Choosing the right level of service Royal Mail – Step 3) Marketing your property redirection Step 4) Choosing your estate agent Breakdownyour services Step 5) Presenting property Step 6) Instructing Doctors a solicitor Step 7) Successful viewings Dentists Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers Opticians your sale Step 9) Progressing Step 10) Donor Preparing card to move Step 11) Medical Completing your sale consultants Vet

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Life insurance

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Medical/health insurance

Financial &and legal elements Magazine

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Benefit providers

FAQ’ssubscriptions

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Employers Council Tax office (new and old) DVLA car registration and driving licence

nurseries

newspaper

Clubs and societies e.g. National Trust

Estate agency terms explained 26 Friends and family

Electoral registration officer at the local council (new and old) Gas supplier Electricity supplier Water board Phone/mobile phone company

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Internet service provider

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Two weeks

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On the day of completion your solicitor will transfer the remaining funds for the purchase of the property to the seller’s solicitor. When the seller’s solicitor receives these cleared funds, he/she will contact the estate agent and give them permission to release the keys. The transaction is then complete and ownership of the property transfers to you. This transfer can happen at any point during the day, and we ask sellers to vacate the property as early as possible. Do be patient if the sellers of the property you are purchasing are still in the process of moving out if completion happens before mid-day! We will contact you to arrange the handover of keys on the day.

Congratulations you’ve purchased a New Home!

Mortgages

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Contents

Selling with Blue Sky The selling General facts and information to getprocess you started

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Step 1) Assessing the value of your property 3 Step 2) Choosing the right level of service 4 A mortgage is a loan secured against a property. You will The interest rate will have a large bearing on your monthly Step 3) Marketing your property 5 not be able to sell the property without paying off the repayment. An extra 1% interest on a £100,000 mortgage Step 4) Choosing your estate agent 6 mortgage and if you do not keep up repayments on the will cost an extra £83 per month in interest alone. Step 5) Presenting your property 7 mortgage the lender can repossess the property. of interest rate– You will need to choose which 8 Step 6) Types Instructing a solicitor of interest rate you want to pay. The different types Step 7) type Successful viewings 9 Deposit Step 8) available Receivingare: and accepting offers 10 You will be required to pay a percentage of the purchase Step 9) Fixed Progressing yourrate saleis fixed for a certain period of time 11 rate – This price from your own money as mortgage lenders are noStep 10)(the Preparing to move fixed term). No matter how interest rates change 13 longer offering 100% mortgage deals. The bigger the Step 11)during Completing your sale 16 that time, your repayments will remain the same deposit you can put down the less you will have to borrow. every month. The fixed rate term will usually be for 1, 2, Most lenders will require you to deposit a minimum of 5% 3 or 5 years and you will often incur charges if you make to 10% of the property’s value. changes to your mortgage during this period. At the end

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Interest rates

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of the fixed term you will switch to the lender’s standard

Financial & legal elements variable rate.

As with any loan, you will be required to pay interest on your mortgage. In general, the best mortgage deals are available to buyers with a deposit of at least 15%, so the loan covers 85% or less of the property’s value. The rates available will vary from lender to lender, but to give you a rough idea of the likely annual interest rate, if you are borrowing 85% or less of the property’s value you should add 1.85% to the Bank of England base rate.

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Standard variable rate – This rate will be a certain

FAQ’s 24 percentage above the Bank of England base rate and is set by the lender. This means that as interest rates fall

Estate termswillexplained 26 your agency mortgage repayments fall, but likewise if interest

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rates go up so will your repayments. Although there are many predictions about the level of future interest rates there is never a guarantee.

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Capped rate – This rate works in the same way as the standard variable rate, so if interest rates fall your repayment will reduce, and if they rise your repayments will increase accordingly. However, your lender will also set an upper limit so that if interest rates increase above a certain amount your interest rate will not increase. Instead, it is capped at the agreed upper limit. This offers more peace of mind than a variable rate but the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is often higher. Tracker – This is where your interest rate is directly linked to (tracks) the Bank of England base rate, it will usually be around 1-2% above the base rate, although rates vary. This has all the benefits and disadvantages of a standard variable rate.

Types of mortgage

Repayment methods

Flexible mortgages – allow you to over or underpay without incurring extra charges. You may also be able to:

There are two types of mortgage repayment:

Take a ‘payment holiday’ from your mortgage if your finances become a little stretched. Pay a lump sum off your mortgage if you have come into some money and wish to reduce the size of your mortgage. Make regular monthly overpayments to pay off your mortgage more quickly. Borrow more money against the value of your home without having to seek approval from your lender – this is called a ‘draw down’ facility. The lender will usually attach a maximum loan amount that you will have to stay within. Offset – are linked to your current account and/or a savings account with the mortgage lender. Each month the amount you owe on a mortgage will be offset against the money you have in your accounts before working out the interest due. Current account mortgages – are similar to offset mortgages except that your mortgage and current account are the same account, and your mortgage acts like a big overdraft.

Choosing the right mortgage Contents Once you have considered all the mortgages on offer

Mortgage term

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FAQ’s

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The mortgage term is the length of time the mortgage loan is spread over. Most mortgages have a term of 25-30 years. The longer the term, the lower your monthly repayment will be, but you’ll pay more interest. If you shorten the term your repayments will increase, but you will pay less interest overall. If you are nearing retirement age, lenders may only offer you a shorter term in line with the date of your expected retirement.

Estate agency terms explained 26

Joint mortgages If you are buying with another person or even two, the lender will take both/all your available income and credit histories into consideration when deciding whether or not to offer you a mortgage. Think carefully when buying with others, because you will be ‘jointly and severally liable’ for the full mortgage loan. This means that if one person is unable to make payment on the mortgage the other individuals will need to make payment on their behalf.

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you’ll need to pick the right one for you. Make sure you Repayment mortgage – where the monthly compare like for like. Compare not only the monthly repayments cover both the interest charged by the repayments but charges, terms, and the APR. Think lender and the original loan. This means that the which options are right for your current and future original loan decreases each month so at the end ofStep 1) about Assessing the value of your property 3 circumstances. If this is your first mortgage it may be best the mortgage term your loan is repaid in full. Step 2) Choosing the right level of service 4 to consult an expert. The right mortgage adviser will be Marketing your property 5  Interest-only mortgage – where your repayments Step 3) able to help you find the best deal for your needs, both Step 4) Choosing your estate agent 6 only cover the interest on the loan for the duration of now and in the future. Get in touch to arrange a free Step 5) Presenting your property 7 the mortgage term, so at the end of the term the full appointment today! 8 loan will still be outstanding. If you choose this typeStep of 6) Instructing a solicitor Step 7) Successful viewings 9 mortgage you will need to ensure that you have made Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers 10 arrangements to clear the final balance. This is usually 11 achieved by paying into a savings or investment Step 9) Progressing your sale 13 plan which will provide enough capital to settle anyStep 10) Preparing to move Step 11) Completing your sale 16 outstanding loan amount.

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Endowment-linked mortgages – only repay the interest on the mortgage. They then take the money you would have spent on repaying the loan and invest it. The principle is that the investment will make more money than the interest you pay on the outstanding mortgage balance, allowing you to pay your mortgage off earlier than if you’d repaid it on a monthly basis. There are risks associated with this type of mortgage.

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Discounted rate – This rate is similar to the standard variable rate but your lender will discount their standard variable rate for a fixed period. This rate is still prone to the same fluctuation as the standard variable rate, so your monthly repayments may increase or decrease accordingly. At the end of the discounted rate term you will switch to the lender’s standard variable rate.

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Costs

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Contents Land Registry fees

Associated with buying a property

These are payable to the Land Registry to register the

Selling with SkyThe cost depends on the 1 property’s titleBlue in your name. price of the property. The purchase selling process 2

Step 1) Assessing the value of your property 3 Property purchase price Land Registry fee 4 As well as the price of the property itself, there are a Step 2) Choosing the right level of service Up to £100,000 £100 Step 3) Marketing your property 5 number of upfront costs involved in buying a property Over £100,000 up to £200,000 £150 Step 4) Choosing your estate agent 6 which you will need to budget for. These include: Step 5) Presenting yourup property 7 Over £200,000 to £500,000 £220 Step 6) Instructing a solicitor 8 Stamp duty Over £500,000 up to £1m £420 Step 7) Successful viewings 9 When you buy land or property you have to pay stamp Over £1mand accepting offers £700 Step 8) Receiving 10 duty land tax if the value of the transaction is over a Step 9) Progressing your sale 11 certain amount. authority searches Step 10)Local Preparing to move 13 Stamp duty – % of purchase price Step 11)These Completing your sale are charged separately from conveyancing costs16 (rates correct at time of print)

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FAQ’s

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Rate paid on that part of the property price within the tax band

0 - 125,000

0%

125,001 - 250,000

2%

250,001 - 925,000

5%

925,001 - 1,500,000

10%

1,500,001 and over

12%

Leasehold charges Estate agency terms explained 26

Legal fees

Ground rent If the property you are purchasing has a ground rent attached to it, you may be required to pay the balance to the year end upfront.

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Conveyancing fees will depend on the solicitor you choose and whether you are selling a property as well as buying. Call us for a quote.

If you are buying a leasehold property, your solicitors’ fees may be higher to cover the extra work involved checking the lease.

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Purchase price of property (£)

by your solicitor and will depend on which searches you want your solicitor to carry out (your solicitor will advise you which ones you need). You should budget for about £200-£300 for searches. Your solicitor will often ask for funds on account to cover such searches and then refund any balance of unspent funds once you’ve exchanged contracts on your new home.


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Removal costs These will vary depending on how much you need to move and whether you opt to use a professional firm.

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Q. How much can I borrow on a mortgage?

Estate agency terms explained 26 Q. What is an AIP?

A. Your mortgage broker will be able to give you a definitive figure but lenders will take into consideration the size of your deposit, your credit history, and your current earnings. For a rough guide use the mortgage calculator on our website at www.freshBlueSky.co.uk To find out exactly what lending is available call our office and speak to our Independent Mortgage Advisor free of charge.

A. An ‘Agreement in Principle’ is a formal agreement from a mortgage lender that in principle they will lend you a specified sum of money for the purchase of a property. This lending will be subject to both you and the property meeting certain criteria set by the lender. You can use an AIP to demonstrate to sellers and their agents that you are in a position to purchase a property.

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A mortgage is a large financial commitment and you need to consider what would happen if you were unable to make your payments due to unemployment, ill health or death. Certain insurances, such as life and critical illness insurance, can pay out a lump sum to clear the mortgage if anything happens to you. Income protection insurance can also pay your mortgage if your income ceases through no fault of your own.

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A. You will be able to collect the keys for your new home on the day of completion. The agent must wait for confirmation from the seller’s solicitor that they have received all the money for the purchase of the property before they can give you the keys. This transfer of funds can happen at any point during the day.

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Mortgage lenders often require a valuation report on the property you want to buy before they will agree to offer you a mortgage. This is carried out by a surveyor and will confirm whether or not the price being paid is a fair market price and the property is sufficient security for their mortgage loan. Most lenders will charge the buyer for this valuation report but some lenders will refund the cost of the survey on completion of the purchase, or provide it at no charge. These surveys cost about £250 to £500 and you will often be

When do I get the keys? Our Q. services to you

A. Proof of ID is usually a driving licence or passport and proof of your address is usually a utility bill or bank statement no more than three months old. If you have any queries about what documents you can provide please speak to a member of our staff, who will be happy to help.

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Other optional insurance

Valuation and survey fees

Q. What can I use to prove my identity?

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It is often cheaper to include your contents insurance under the same policy as your buildings insurance. The cost of such insurance will depend on the rebuild cost of the property and the value of any contents insured. It is advisable to arrange insurance well in advance to ensure it’s in place from the day you exchange contracts as this is the point at which you are legally bound to purchase the property.

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Some mortgage advisers and other intermediaries will charge a fee for their advice, or for arranging the mortgage on your behalf. Often a charge will only be applied if they do not receive any commission from the lender or if your mortgage is complex and hard to place. These fees vary and can be up to 1% of the mortgage value. Check with your adviser at the outset whether they intend to charge a fee.

Step 1) Assessing thelength valueof oftime your(the property 3 specified lease term) but not Step 2) Choosing the right level of service 4 the land. Step 3) Marketing your property 5 A. An EPC assesses the energy performance of a How do I make offer on a property? Step 4) Q. Choosing your estatean agent 6 property, from A, which represents the most Step 5) A.  Presenting your property Once you have found the right property, you should7 energy-efficient properties, to G, which represents Step 6) Instructing a solicitor make your offer verbally to the agent acting in the 8 the least energy-efficient properties. It will also show Step 7) Successful viewings sale. He/she will then relay your offer to the vendor,9 a building’s environmental impact by indicating its Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers 10 and confirm this in writing to both parties. All offers carbon dioxide emissions. Sellers are required by law Step 9) Progressing sale must by law be communicated to 11 made to your an agent to make the document available free of charge to Step 10) Preparing to move the seller and confirmed to both parties in writing 13 up prospective buyers on request. Step 11) Completing yourof sale 16 until the point exchange.

Q. What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

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Mortgage adviser fees

Selling with isBlue Sky A. Freehold when you own the property and the land1 it is built on outright, whereas if you purchase a process 2 Frequently asked questionsThe selling Leasehold property you own the property for a

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Your mortgage lender will require you to have buildings insurance in place before they release the mortgage funds for your purchase. Many lenders will offer you a quote for insurance from a partner insurance company. If you are buying a freehold property through a mortgage lender and don’t use their insurance, they may charge an administration fee of around £30 to make sure the policy you have selected meets their requirements.

Mortgage lenders will often charge an arrangement fee for new lending, and administration fees for moving or decreasing your mortgage. These fees can often be added to the loan but this has long-term cost implications. Fees vary; often the lower the interest rate the higher the arrangement fee, but allow for £500 to £1,000.

and Leasehold?

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Mortgage arrangement fees

Buildings insurance

FAQs

Contents Q. What is the difference between Freehold

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You may choose to have a further survey carried out to give you an overview of the property’s condition, or if the property is very old or showing signs of structural defect you may wish to carry out a full buildings survey. Costs can range from £300 to £1,000.

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If you are buying a property that is maintained by a thirdparty management company, you may be asked to pay a sum to cover your share of the charge from the day of completion to the next payment date. This is usually every six months, although many maintenance companies now allow you to pay monthly via direct debit.

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Q. Is shared ownership an option?

Estate agency terms explained 26 A. If you are struggling to afford a property of your own,

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it makes sense to consider shared ownership. Housing Associations offer a part-buy, part-rent way to own property. You pay a mortgage on the part of the property you own, and pay a nominal rent for the rest. This scheme allows you to buy a bigger share of the property as and when you can afford to do so.

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A. It’s worth trying to gather as much information about a property as possible before making an offer, as it will save time and unpleasant surprises during the conveyancing process. With the removal of HIPs there is no legal requirement for certain information to be made available, but sellers and their estate agents should do all they can to answer any questions you may have. If you are considering making an offer on a property through Blue Sky we will provide you with a Property Information Sheet which the seller has completed, which will confirm many basic details about the property.

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A. If you are buying a property with the sole intention of letting it out to generate an income and invest in property, there are a number of things to think about.

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Q. What do I need to know if I want to Buy-to-let?

Financial & legal elements

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A. You will need to transfer your deposit funds to your solicitor before exchange of contracts (don’t forget to allow time for funds to clear). On the day you exchange your solicitor will then transfer these funds to the seller’s solicitor.

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Q. When do I pay the deposit?

Q. Where can I get property information?

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A. General practice is for the property’s status to be changed to Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) and for viewings to cease, unless the seller instructs the agent to leave the property available on the market. Some buyers will make it a condition of their offer they make that the property is taken off the market. However, even if the property is taken off the market the sale isn’t legally binding on either party until exchange of contracts. If another offer is made on the property before exchange of contracts the agent is legally bound to put this offer to the seller for their consideration. This is called gazumping and is not a practice we encourage. It is uncommon for sellers to accept offers from new buyers when they have already started the conveyancing process, and even more unlikely if they are close to exchanging contracts, so it’s important to act swiftly once your offer has been accepted.

A. If you are purchasing the property with a view to letting it, or want the option of being able to rent it out in the future if need arises, you will need to ensure your mortgage terms allow for this. Speak to your lender or mortgage adviser at the outset to ensure your chosen mortgage allows letting. You will also need to ensure your buildings insurance covers your property if it is rented to tenants. Also, if the property is Leasehold, the terms of the lease may require you to seek permission from the Freeholder before letting it. It is good practice to get all permissions confirmed in writing. Your mortgage adviser and solicitor can organise this on your behalf.

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Q. Once my offer has been accepted will the property be taken off the market?

Q. Can I let out the property?

the standard of work and design of the alteration Step 1) Assessing the valueguidelines of your property When searching for a buy-to-let property, don’t simply met regulatory at the time the work was 3 Step 2) Choosing the right level of service 4 base your choice on the kind of house you like. Escarried out. In some circumstances they will also have Step 3) Marketing your property 5 tablish which areas have a high demand for property needed planning permission for the alterations. Your Step 4) Choosing your estate agent 6 rentals, and find out which style of property is most solicitor will be able to advise you if these certificates your property are not available from the seller. 7 popular with tenants in those areas. Remember thatStep 5) Presenting and proof of planning Step 6) Instructing a solicitor 8 this is an investment, so you’ll want to make sure you There are some circumstances where these certificates Step 7) Successful viewings 9 get the maximum rental return for the money you are are not required. Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers 10 investing. It’s also important to look for areas that are Step 9) Q. Progressing your sale tenure? 11 likely to increase in popularity in the future, as this will What is property Step 10) Preparing to move 13 drive up house prices and thus increase the capital A. The tenure of a property defines the legal ownership Step 11) Completing your sale 16 return on your investment when you decide to sell. of the property and the land it sits on. Types of tenure Even though the rental income will cover your mortinclude Freehold, which is the most common tenure. gage payments it’s worth budgeting to allow for the This is where you own both the property and the land. property being empty for two months of every year, as Other forms of tenure include Leasehold, Commonwell as letting agency fees, safety checks and routine hold, Flying Freehold and so on. Your solicitor will maintenance issues and so on. This type of investment confirm a property’s tenure and the implications of can quickly turn into an expensive one if your budget such tenure. calculations are incorrect.

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2  . Accept your offer and cancel the sale to the original buyer. 3. Accept your offer and continue sales proceedings with both you and the original buyer. The seller will be able to exchange with the first approved buyer whose solicitor is ready and willing to do so. This is referred to as a ‘contracts race’.

A. An offer only becomes legally binding on either party once contracts have exchanged.

A. If the property you are looking to purchase has had

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Q. Is an offer legally binding?

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Sellingany with Blue Sky the current owner should1be structural alterations, able to supply building regulation certificates to prove The selling process 2

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1  . Decline your offer and continue with the sale to the original buyer.

A. Although there is no legal requirement to use a solicitor or conveyancer it is standard practice to use the services of a professional. Many sellers will not consider selling to a buyer with no legal representative. Your solicitor will act on your behalf to complete all the legal requirements of the transaction and protect your interests. A successful purchase can be dependent on choosing the right solicitor.

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For example, you’ll be able to find mortgages that are specifically designed for buy-to-let. They often involve paying a high deposit of around 25% of the property’s value, but rather than taking your own income into consideration the lender will base their lending on the potential rental income the property will generate.

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A. You are able and legally entitled to make an offer on a property that is Sold Subject to Contract. An agent must legally communicate all offers to the sellers in writing up until the day when they exchange contracts with a purchaser. It is then for the seller to decide if they wish to accept your offer even though they have already accepted an offer from somebody else. They have three options:

Q. Do I need a solicitor?

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Q. Can I make an offer on a property if it is already under offer?

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A. A listed building in the United Kingdom is a building which has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. A listed building may not be demolished, extended or altered without special permission from the local planning authority (who typically consult the relevant central government agency, particularly for significant alterations to the more notable listed buildings). Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain them and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do so or if they perform unauthorised alterations. When alterations are permitted, or when listed buildings are repaired or maintained, the owners are often compelled to use specific (and potentially expensive) materials or techniques. This, in turn, increases the cost of insuring the building. Listing can also limit the options available for significant expansion or improvement. For these reasons, the law allows owners of listed buildings to object to the listing. Even with these restrictions, listed buildings are often some of the most beautiful properties and are steeped in history.

Q. Are there any laws about buying in a conservation area?

A. It’s worth trying to gather as much information about a property as possible before making an offer, as it will save time and unpleasant surprises during the conveyancing process. With the removal of HIPs there is no legal requirement for certain information to be made available, but sellers and their estate agents should do all they can to answer any questions you may have.

Contents Estate agency terms Selling with Blue Sky The selling process explained – Glossary

Step 1) Assessing the value of your property

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APR (Annual Percentage Rate) – A compound interest insurance – An Step 2) Buildings Choosing the right level ofinsurance service policy that pays the 4

rate figure used to compare different mortgages. Defined of repair or rebuilding Step 3) cost Marketing your property if your property is damaged 5or by law, it includes repayments on the loan plus any Mostestate mortgage lenders will require buildings6 Step 4) destroyed. Choosing your agent mortgage-related fees such as booking or arrangementStep 5) insurance to be taken out as Presenting your property a condition of their loan. 7 of basic valuation fees. The APR shows the true cost of Step 6) Instructing a solicitor 8 Chain – A sequence of buyers and sellers. Most people borrowing over the entire term and should appear on all Step 7) Successful viewings 9 who sell their homes are also buying at the same time. mortgage illustrations. Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers 10 There can be a ‘chain’ of several buyers and sellers, each Step 9) Progressing your sale 11 Appraised value – The value of a property, as estimated dependent on one another for the sale and purchase Step 10) Preparing to move 13 by a surveyor. of their new homes. If one buyer or seller drops out Step 11) Completing your sale 16 the whole chain may collapse, leading to a domino Appreciation – The increase in value of property as a effect where the sale of several properties is delayed or result of changes in market conditions. cancelled altogether.

Arrangement fee – Fees charged by some mortgage lenders for providing or ‘arranging’ a loan.

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Common areas – Areas of land or buildings such as

Financial & legal elements 22 gardens, hallways, recreational facilities and parking areas where more than one resident shares access.

FAQ’s is debited from your bank account, so unlike a cheque Bankers’ draft – Similar to a cheque, but the money

it is guaranteed to clear in the recipient’s bank account. You will normally need to give a bank in the UK 24 hours’ notice and they will usually charge an administration fee.

Completion date – The day when final funds are

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transferred between solicitors and you get the keys to Estate agency terms explained 26 your new property and/or hand the keys over for the

Bridging loan – A loan that is usually taken out to solve

a temporary cash shortfall that may arise when buying a property. It is not a mortgage, and is usually only a short-term lending solution. A typical example of when you might need one would be if you want to buy a second property before you’ve sold your first.

property you have sold. The date will have been agreed between you and the other buyers/sellers in the chain before exchanging contracts and will be a fixed date on which both you and the property seller are contractually bound to complete.

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A. If the property you are purchasing is in a recognised conservation area, it may be subject to the same alteration or development restrictions as Grade 1 and Grade 2 listed buildings. Your solicitor will tell you if the property is in a conservation area.

Q. Other Property information

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Q. Are there limitations in buying Grade 1 and 2 listed properties?

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Deeds – Legal documents proving ownership, generally

held by the mortgage lender, or saved electronically with land registery.

Depreciation – The decline or reduction in the value of a

property caused by changes in market conditions.

Disbursements – Fees the buyer will incur when buying a property, such as stamp duty, Land Registry fees and search fees. 

Down valuation – When the lender restricts the amount you can borrow after the surveyor’s valuation report indicates the property is not worth the sum sought.

Draft contract – A preliminary version of the

included in the sale, such as lighting fixtures or carpets.

Gazumping – When a seller accepts an offer from a third party on a property they have already agreed to sell to someone else.

Gazundering – When the buyer threatens to pull out just before exchange of contracts if the price is not reduced.

Guarantor – A person who guarantees that they will pay a debt or loan if you default on payment.

Home Information Pack (HIP) – A HIP is a selection

of legally documents relating to the property. Since 20 May 2010 it is no longer a legal requirement for sellers to provide a HIP, although they do still have to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when marketing a property.

about the property held by the Land Registry or the local authority.

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Loan to value (LTV) – The proportion of the value of the

Service charges – Also known as maintenance charges,

Local authority search – When a buyer’s solicitor

the cost of providing various services (i.e. maintenance and repair of the building, lighting, security etc). Often associated with leasehold property.

Financial legal elements these are& paid by the owner of a property and cover22 FAQ’s

asks the local council for details of any outstanding enforcement or future development issues which might affect the property or the surrounding area.

Mortgage offer – A formal offer from a mortgage

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Estate agency terms explained 26

lender, confirming that funds will be made available upon request within a certain time frame, and detailing the terms and conditions of the loan.

NAEA – The National Association of Estate Agents.

Estate agents that are members of the NAEA must meet certain standards to gain membership and must follow strict codes of practice that influence the way they conduct their business.

Negative equity – When your home is worth less than your mortgage.

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property on which the lender is prepared to offer a loan.

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sales contract.

Fixtures and fittings – Household items that are/ aren’t

superior leaseholder.

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property, contained in its title deeds or lease.

are physically exchanged, legally binding the seller and buyer to the sale and purchase of a property at the agreed price.

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Covenants – Rules and regulations governing the

Exchange of contracts – The point at which contracts

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property ownership from the seller to the buyer, carried out by a solicitor or conveyancer.

a property or the deposit placed on it. Also known as capital. It describes the proportion of your property’s value that does not have a charge against it.

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Conveyancing – The legal process that transfers

Equity – Either the amount of money spent on buying

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conveyancing transactions but is not a qualified solicitor, and does not have certain legal authorities that a solicitor would have.

measures the property’s energy efficiency and carbon output, using a scale of A to G. It is a legal requirement and the seller’s responsibility to provide a valid EPC when marketing a property for sale.

Selling with Blue Sky The selling process

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Conveyancer – A person who is qualified to process

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – An EPC

Contents

Ombudsman – An independent organisation that in more than one person’s name those people become investigates professionals such as estate agents or ‘jointly and severally’ liable. This means that any one solicitors when complaints are made by their customers.  person who has signed the mortgage agreement is Preliminary enquiries – The initial questions asked responsible for fulfilling ALL the terms i.e. each individual about a property by the buyer’s solicitor. The seller must is responsible for whole mortgage payment, not just these before exchange of contracts. Step 1) answer Assessing thefully value of your property 3 their share of it, and if one person breaches a term in the Step 2) Choosing the right level of service 4 mortgage ALL individuals are deemed to have breached Remortgage – Mortgaging a property you already Step 3) Marketing your property 5 and are equally liable. own, usually to replace an existing mortgage. You can Step 4) Choosing your estate agent 6 Land registration – The process of registering the legal remortgage to obtain lower monthly payments or, if you Step 5) Presenting your property 7 title of an area of land with the Land Registry, typically have enough equity in your property, to raise money for a Step 6) Instructing a solicitor 8 handled by a solicitor. number of purposes. Step 7) Successful viewings 9 Retention – The ability of a lender to hold back (retain) Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers 10 Lease – A legal document by which the freeholder of a Step 9) part Progressing your sale 11 of a mortgage loan until certain conditions are met. property lets the premises/land or a part of it to another Step 10) Preparing to move 13 party for a specified length of time. After the expiry of Search – When your solicitor requests information 16 Step 11) Completing your sale which, ownership may revert back to the freeholder or

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buyer of a property, which binds both parties to complete the transaction.

payable if you pay off part or all of a mortgage earlier than agreed. This is used to compensate the lender for interest that would have been paid if the mortgage had run for the full time period agreed.

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Joint and several liability – Where the mortgage is

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Contract – A legal agreement between the seller and

Early repayment charge – This is a charge or ‘fee’

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rights and duties of the seller and buyer. These may have been agreed between the buyer and seller, e.g. to leave certain fixtures and fittings at the property on completion, or they may be national or statutory conditions, e.g. it is a condition imposed upon your solicitor to verify your identification before completing conveyancing for the sale of your property.

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Conditions of sale – The details that determine the

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Stamp duty – A government tax paid by the buyer on completion of a property transaction.

Subject to contract (STC) – Not yet legally binding. Survey – The report produced by a surveyor in

order to determine the value of the property and its structural condition.

Surveyor – A professional person qualified to determine the value and condition of land and property.

Tenure – The type of ownership of a property, such as Freehold or Leasehold.

Title deeds – Documents showing legal ownership of a property.

Under offer – The status of a property when an offer has been accepted but contracts have not been exchanged. Also referred to as Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC).

Valuation report – A survey carried out by a surveyor on

behalf of a mortgage lender to confirm a property’s value. Lenders will carry out this survey to protect their interests, and it may be a condition of the loan that the buyer pays for this valuation report. It is not a condition report.

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Contents Selling with Blue Sky The selling process

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Step 1) Assessing the value of your property Step 2) Choosing the right level of service Step 3) Marketing your property Step 4) Choosing your estate agent Step 5) Presenting your property Step 6) Instructing a solicitor Step 7) Successful viewings Step 8) Receiving and accepting offers Step 9) Progressing your sale Step 10) Preparing to move Step 11) Completing your sale

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Financial & legal elements

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FAQ’s

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Estate agency terms explained 26

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Vendor – The seller of a property.


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