By Damien Pedley

Whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned connoisseur buying another property for your portfolio there are a few things worth thinking about that will help you retain your sanity and ensure a successful conclusion to your transaction.

Purchase
• If you require mortgage funding start making enquiries about mortgages as soon as you possibly can.  Banks can be somewhat lethargic and apathetic when it comes to issuing mortgage offers so if you can get your mortgage offer resolved early on you will save yourself a great deal of time.
• Make sure that you have all pre-contract searches undertaken. These searches can reveal problems that may affect value or re-saleability.   Failure to have the searches could very well result in you having to deal with problems revealed by a purchaser if you were to sell.
• Very much similar to the previous point; have a survey carried out, a survey can reveal serious defects in the property that could end up costing a considerable amount to rectify and might not be evident to a layperson.  You buy the property in the state at the point of exchange (warts and all), so ensure that any survey is done prior to exchange.
• Make sure that you look at the covenants affecting the property at the beginning of a purchase transaction.  These will restrict you from doing certain things with a property and it is important to ensure that your intended use of the property will not be affected.  A perfect example of this would be a prohibition on any business being conducted from the property, if you intended to run a business from the property then you would need to seriously consider whether to proceed with the purchase.
• When buying check that the legal boundaries mirror the physical boundaries.  The last thing you will want to do in your new home is to argue with a neighbour about incorrect boundaries, let the current owners have that discussion!
• If you are porting a mortgage this merely means that you can transfer the terms of the mortgage, not the actual mortgage.  You will still need to contact the bank and obtain a mortgage offer on the new property on the same terms.
• Never accept the response of “we accepted that problem when we purchased so you should as well” from a seller.  If there is a problem then they should bear the cost of rectifying it, otherwise, you could end up having to rectify it at your cost if you ever sell.

Sale
• If you are moving home give consideration to whether you would be willing to complete on your sale before you complete on your purchase and move into rented accommodation.  If you are willing to break the chain this can make a property more appealing to a purchaser but this could be at a cost to you; if you have to rent.  Remember it is a mutually agreed completion date, if it does not work for you do not feel obliged to burden yourself unduly just to satisfy others.
• If you have a mortgage pay attention to early redemption fees, delaying a sale slightly could mean you save money but of course, you should make any such requirement known to the purchaser from the outset to manage expectations.
• When dealing with enquiries; either in the protocol forms at the outset or subsequent enquiries raised by the solicitors, never try to guess answers, if you do not know then state that.  Giving false information could have serious consequences and in a worst-case scenario result in the contract being set aside.  If you do not know then the purchasers will have to carry out their own inspections, surveys, and searches.

This list is by no means exhaustive but should help to make one of the more stressful life events run a little more smoothly.

For further advice or to discuss your property matter that you wish to discuss, please contact Damien on 01626 202387 or email: damienpedley@wbw.co.uk