Tue 07 May 2013

Do I own that fence? Identifying property boundaries


Homeowners often want to know who owns which of the fences or other boundaries round their property. But Conveyancing Solicitors often find it difficult to give a definite answer.

There is no common law requirement for a property owner to fence their property. Likewise there is no rule of general law preventing an owner from erecting fences, walls or hedges within their own property boundaries – although there may be restrictions in planning law.

Read More

Fri 03 May 2013

Your home extension could violate a covenant, even with planning approval


Why you could still get into trouble over an house extension even if planning rules are relaxed 

Government plans to relax planning restrictions on building home extensions have been in the news lately. But even if current restrictions are amended, many homeowners may still be prevented from building an extension because of a covenant affecting their property.

Read More

Fri 03 May 2013

Static House Prices in April


House prices remain static for April but signs of growth in mortgage market 

It seems from the latest figures that there has been little movement on house prices over the last few months. The Land Registry’s figures revealed a 0. 1% in March, while Nationwide’s house price index for April showed a very slight drop of 0. 1%.

However both sources confirmed that prices now are 0. 9% higher than last year.

Read More

Fri 26 Apr 2013

How clear are your Conveyancing Solicitor’s fees?


If you are buying a house, will the final bill from your Conveyancing Solicitor be much higher than the amount you were quoted? Many people find themselves in this situation – they accept a quote for a cheap ‘headline’ figure, but don't read the small print. Then, on completion, they discover that numerous extra charges have been added to the bill.

Read More

Mon 15 Apr 2013

Free solar panels may look green, but will they make your mortgage lender see red?

Homeowners looking to reduce their electricity bills may be tempted by offers of free solar panels. But before signing up to any such offer, property owners should think twice, otherwise they could be in serious trouble with their mortgage lender – and also find it difficult to sell in the future.

These schemes look very tempting, offering the inducements of free installation and free electricity. However there is a catch, namely that the company will require a lease of your roof for 20 or 25 years.

Read More

Fri 05 Apr 2013

House prices show signs of recovery

Mortgage lenders Halifax and Nationwide both report some growth in average house prices in the UK since the same time last year. This is confirmed by the Land Registry’s house price index for February.

The latest figures from the Halifax show prices in the first three months of 2013 were 1. 2% higher than for the last three months of 2012, the fourth successive increase in this measure. They also report a 0. 2% rise in March, following 0. 5% growth in February.  

Read More

Fri 05 Apr 2013

RICS - 1 in 5 who buy without a property survey regret their decision

More than one in five homebuyers who bought a home without having it checked out by an independent surveyor say they would never have bought the property if they had been aware of its true condition. Buyers who proceed without a Surveyor's advice face an average of £5, 750 in unexpected repair bills following their home purchase.

Read More

Tue 02 Apr 2013

Homebuyers across the border face increased legal costs


It looks likely that homebuyers in Scotland will soon face increased legal costs, as their own solicitor may no longer be allowed to act for their mortgage lender as well.

In a move which has surprised many, Solicitors in Scotland have voted in favour of the principle of forbidding the current practice whereby a Conveyancing Solicitor can act for both buyers and lenders. It is unlikely that Solicitors in England and Wales will seek to follow suit.

Read More

Mon 25 Mar 2013

Help to Buy – Equity loans and how they work


The government’s Help to Buy scheme announced in the recent budget has extended the availability of Equity Loans to all buyers of new-build homes.  

Equity loans give a top-up to buyers who only have a low deposit. They should then be able to get an ordinary mortgage for the rest of the purchase price.  

But these loans work rather differently to ordinary mortgages. Although an Equity loan will still have to be repaid when the property is sold, the amount payable will vary according to the sale price, as this article will explain.

Read More

Fri 22 Mar 2013

Help to Buy – how the mortgage guarantee deal will help homebuyers


Part of the Help to Buy package announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the recent budget is a mortgage guarantee scheme. This is intended to help would-be buyers who can only manage to raise a small deposit and have been unable to obtain a high-enough mortgage to buy a home.

Read More