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Here in the UK, the vast majority of property is bought using the traditional process of viewings with an estate agent, making an offer and then going through the conveyancing procedure with a solicitor. 

However, around 1.3% of all property sold in the UK is done so through auction. * But how does this process differ from regular residential conveyancing? One of our conveyancing solicitors explains the basics here. More...

 

Buying your first home can be extremely daunting, but at Howells Solicitors, we believe it needn’t be confusing. Each month across the UK, we complete property purchases worth over £50million, carrying out each of these transactions quickly and efficiently. With this in mind, we thought that in order to help out those climbing onto the first rung of the property ladder, we’d share our wealth of experience and put together this simple guide.

When You Start Thinking About Getting on the Property Ladder

 

Saving for a Deposit 

Before you even start looking for a property, you will need to save up for a deposit to put towards its cost. When doing this, it’s helpful to have an idea of the cost of the home you would like to buy, so you will need to spend time researching what is available in the area you would like to live.

At the moment in the UK, you will need to save at least 5% of a property’s value before you can apply for a mortgage (usually as a part of the Help to Buy Scheme or the UK Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, which you can find out about here). Those who are able to save more, however, will have access to more competitive mortgages, and the average deposit for first-time buyers is 20%.

More...

 

Do You Need a Will When Buying a House?

There are a lot of questions that pop up when buying a house with one of the most common ones being whether or not you need to have a will in place to make the purchase. While the short answer is no, a will is not legally required, it can make a lot of sense to put one in place.

Why create a will?

A will is a legal document that helps to sort out your affairs and settle your estate in the case of your death. This can be very helpful if there are several possible beneficiaries, as it ensures that your property and belongings are passed on to the individual(s) of your choice.

This can help to minimise tension between beneficiaries by creating a smooth and easy process to follow when distributing your estate. Furthermore, it allows you to ensure that any minor children are cared for financially until they are of legal age to take control of their inheritance.

Will I own my house if I die?

If you have a mortgage then it is highly recommended that you take out life insurance. This means that even if you only have a small amount of equity in your property, with the mortgage covering the rest, the house will be paid off if you die. Having life insurance can drastically reduce the stress and worry that your partner or dependants will face and will ensure that they can keep a roof over their heads. More...

George Osborne’s Home Buyers’ ISA

The approach of the 2015 General Election has brought with it a vast array of pomp, policies and promises intended to secure the votes of the equally diverse factions of the UK public.

But before campaigning began in earnest, a plan was unveiled by George Osborne in March’s budget which promised first-time buyers up to £3000 in Government top-ups. For every £200 aspiring homeowners save, Osborne said, the Government will boost the amount by an extra £50, with a maximum pay out of £3000 for those who save £12,000.

On the surface the proposition certainly seems attractive, but what about the small print? We take a look at the pros and cons of Osborne’s Home Buyers’ ISA to help first time buyers make up their mind come election day.

The Home Buyer’s ISA – The Pros

Even for those in a steady job who can afford monthly mortgage payments, saving up thousands of pounds for a deposit can be impossible. In fact, according to Stephen Noakes of Lloyds Banking Group, saving for a deposit is a ‘key barrier when trying to buy a first home’. Osborne’s ISA will reward positive savings behaviour and make a real difference in helping people get a foot on the property ladder. More...

mansion tax

Labour’s pre-election pledge to tax owners of properties over £2million was greeted with mixed reviews when it was unveiled in September last year.

Critics of Labour’s mansion tax say that it could be “very disruptive” to the housing market, whereas supporters claim that wealth taxation will have a positive effect on the public purse.

But what exactly is the mansion tax? And how would it affect those looking to buy and sell higher value property in Wales? Find out more by reading this brief overview from Howells Solicitors. 

Mansion Tax – Explained

The mansion tax, if put into place, would be an annual tax on properties worth over £2million. The vast majority of houses in the UK are worth far less than this, and as such the tax would apply to less than 0.5% of homes in the country. The £2million threshold would rise in line with the average rise of prices of high-value properties – so the number of properties paying the tax will not increase unless more are built. More...

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr).
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes andrea.c@howellslegal.com