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How to get good value for money with a conveyancer in London; People are increasingly looking at online conveyancing options for ease of access and convenience.

Byline: By, Leena Sidat

The UK's capital city, London, covers an area of 607 square miles and is home to approximately nine million people, meaning just over 13 per cent of the UK's population live in the Greater London area.

Housing options vary dramatically around the city with many different types of homes available. As anywhere else in the UK, where you choose to live in London depends on a number of key deciding factors, such as commuter time, school and family life options and of course affordability.

Whilst Kensington and Chelsea continue to be the most expensive London boroughs to live in, boroughs to the edge of Greater London, such as Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich and Croydon, are amongst the most affordable with house prices averaging around [pounds sterling]350,000, compared with in excess of [pounds sterling]1 million in Kensington and Chelsea.

Whilst rental prices in London tend to be roughly twice more than the average compared to the rest of England, it is becoming increasingly popular to purchase a home. There is also increased spending on building more new homes, available in designated areas within the capital with potential for growth and redevelopment as part of the London Housing Strategy.

The London Help to Buy scheme also offers a helping hand by lending up to 40 per cent of the total of your new build property purchase when you have a mortgage, meaning home buyers only require a five per cent deposit.

Shared ownership options similarly offer qualifying buyers to purchase a proportion of the property whilst 'renting' the remainder from the local authority or housing association with an option to purchase the remaining at a later date, via the process of staircasing.

What fees should I expect to pay when moving home

Home movers typically require the services of numerous professionals between first considering moving to settling into your new home. Estate agents, conveyancing solicitors, surveyors and removal company fees can all mount up and add costs at an already expensive time.

Although it would seem the obvious choice to save money where possible, for instance, by moving furniture with the help of family and friends as opposed to a higher end removal's package, it is equally important to recognise where not to.

A common pitfall where most property buyers and sellers fall short on is when it comes to legal costs and aspects of the transaction. This is mainly due to conveyancers and property lawyers being the last party being consulted during the life cycle of a transaction, by which point a significant sum of one's budget is already been committed.

Don't however forget that the whole transaction is dependent on none other than your conveyancer. It is therefore crucial that you invest time and money in finding the right conveyancer.

What to look out for with conveyancing quotes

A reputable conveyancer or conveyancing service provider will provide you with a detailed quote showing an itemised breakdown of fees payable at the onset of any enquiry. It is however worth noting that a conveyancer cannot be expected to quote for fees they are unaware. This is a vital aspect of agreeing fees before instructing any firm since your conveyancing quote would only be as accurate as the information you have supplied at this stage.

There are also certain fees which your conveyancer may only become aware of after instruction and having inspected the various deeds, such as rectifying a defective title or notice fees in respect of post completion requirements in a leasehold property. These may not be included on your quote ahead of time and it is therefore important you budget for such eventualities. Equally, it is important to check for hidden extras which you may wish for a conveyancing quote to include.

Dependent on your individual circumstances, here is a non-exhaustive list of some common fees and the explanations of what costs you may typically be required to pay a conveyancer.

Legal fees: This is essentially the cost of using the services of a conveyancer to carry out the legalities involved in a transaction.

Leasehold fee: A leaseholder does not own the land that the property is built upon, but instead is given a right to occupy part or all of a property for example, a flat for the period of time. The terms of use of this part of the land is set out within a document known as the lease. The lease will detail a series of obligations, responsibilities and conditions attached to the use of the property which requires consideration by your conveyancer in addition to what they would have to carry out fees covered within legal fees. A leasehold fee will therefore be charged to cover the additional work when dealing with a leasehold property.

Share of a freehold fee: This is similar to the leasehold fee above however in this type of tenure, you own a proportion of the freehold land also. So, for example in a property separated into two flats, you will own 50 per cent of the freehold land and the other flat will own the other 50 per cent while also owning a leasehold interest to either flat. The cost of carrying out the additional work in this type of transaction is covered within this fee.

New build fee: When you buy a new build property, the mechanics of the transaction significantly compared to what is involved when purchasing an existing property. For instance, your conveyancer will need to ensure relevant planning and building regulations have been met and that anything the developer states as terms within their sale contract are fair to you, the purchaser. The conveyancer will also be responsible for registering the title at the land registry for the first time, which is a different process to when purchasing an existing registered home. You can find out more about the new build conveyancing process by clicking here. This additional work attracts a higher legal fee.

Mortgage lender fee: When either redeeming a mortgage as part of a sale, applying for or porting an existing mortgage when purchasing a property means that your mortgage lender will also require legal representation. The cost of doing so is usually passed down to the seller or purchaser by the mortgage lender.

Help to buy fee: Covers the legal fees associated in dealing with additional work necessary when dealing with a help to buy scheme.

Shared ownership scheme fee: This is the fee associated with dealing with aspects of purchasing a shared ownership property.

Telegraphic or bank transfer fee: This fee is decided by the bank or building society your conveyancer uses to transfer money to the other solicitor on completion.

Stamp duty land tax form fee: When purchasing a property over [pounds sterling]40,000, you are required to submit a stamp duty return form to HMRC. Evidence of having submitted this return is required for land registry purposes on completion. This must be carried out even if you do not owe any stamp duty on the purchase. The stamp duty land tax form fee covers the administration fee associated in preparing and submitting the SDLT return.

Land registry document fee: Paid to the land registry for copies of title deeds.

Land registry fees: This fee, determined by the value of your property, is payable to the land registry to register your name and interest against the property title. This fee is mainly applicable when purchasing a property unless you are a seller, rectifying an aspect of an existing title.

Identification/anti-money laundering checks: Carried out by your conveyancer on all parties involved in a property transaction.

Gifted deposit fee: Fee payable for the additional checks required if any third party is contributing money as a gift towards your house purchase.

Searches: Searches of Local Authority records, local environment and water records amongst others, will show any possible problems with the property and also any planned changes to the immediate local area. If you are purchasing using a mortgage, then these are a lender requirement and therefore mandatory. If purchasing cash then they are highly advisable to protect your investment.

To reiterate, the above is not an exhaustive list and therefore it is important you have a chat with your conveyancer or conveyancing service provider before proceeding with them.

Online conveyancing solutions

Today, home movers are looking more towards online conveyancingoptions than the traditional high street conveyancers. Conveyancing companies working mainly online, such as Express Conveyancing, offer online alternatives like email correspondence, portals to upload documents and track the progress of your case. This has the added bonus of being accessible when and wherever suits you best.

As the land registry now holds all property information in a centralised database, Express Conveyancing can also act for you wherever you and your property are based in England and Wales.

Express Conveyancing works with a panel of property lawyers both regulated and specialises in all aspects of conveyancing. All clients will receive a customised, fixed fee quote which will remain unchanged as long as your transaction similarly remains unchanged.

All clients are assigned a team of people who includes a conveyancer, their assistants and an express case manager. You will receive direct contact details for each member of the team so you may correspond directly with those working for you.

If you are considering moving home and looking for an affordable alternative to traditional high street law forms, visit Express Conveyancing's website or call 0800 799 9892 to talk through your next move.

CAPTION(S):

On average, house prices are higher in London than the rest of England, but there are government schemes available to help such as Help to Buy and Shared Ownership

There are numerous costs when moving house so be sure to make sure you're getting good value for your money and choose a conveyancer carefully

Online conveyancers are growing in popularity due to their flexibility and accessibility
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Title Annotation:Special Features
Author:By, Leena Sidat
Publication:Get West London (Watford, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 12, 2020
Words:1656
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