Guide to Buying Property

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Guide to Buying Property

This is a guide to buying property




The Conveyancing Process


Your instructions

Great news, you've decided to buy a house, you begin the process by instructing us to carry out the transaction on your behalf.



Searches on the property are carried out. Once results are in we will discuss these with you.



 At this stage we will raise a number of enquiries with the other side. If you wish to pose any questions to the sellers about the property then this is an ideal time to do this. We will report back to you on any and all responses. 

How long will it take?

It's difficult to say how long the process will take as each transaction is different.  On average it is likely to take 7 – 10 weeks but can take longer, especially if there is a 'chain'.


The Transaction

Once your offer has been accepted we will receive a Sales Memorandum from the estate agents.  We will then contact the seller's solicitors to request a draft Contract and the copies of the deed.  At the same time will ask you for search fees on account so that we may carry out any additional searches.

We strongly recommend that you instruct a qualified surveyor to carry out a survey on the property as your mortgage lender's valuation will not be a full survey on the property.

Once we have received the Contract, copies of the deed, property information forms and any other documents relevant to the property we will be able to report to you on the title to the property.

Once you have received your mortgage offer we will be in a position to ask you to sign the Contract and agree a completion date with the seller.  At this stage we require a deposit which is usually 5-10% of the purchase price. (This may not be required if you are buying and selling as the deposit will be passed on).



Contracts between you and the other side are exchanged. From here, both parties have a commitment to complete.



Completion (your moving date) is the date agreed between you and the Seller and is usually 7-10 working days from exchange of Contracts.  We will ask you for the balance of funds to cover all the conveyancing costs between exchange of Contracts and completion.

On completion the transaction completes, your money is transferred and you can collect your keys from the agent.


The Veitch Penny team will ensure:

  • that you are aware and understand the purchasing process
  • that your solicitor is available to answer any queries you may have
  • you get regular updates by phone, email, SMS or in writing as your case progresses
  • fixed fee costs so you know how much you have to pay, with no hidden surprises


First time Buyers

There aren’t many things more exciting than buying your first house. But the property world can be a daunting place and may feel like a legal minefield for a first time buyer.

You are probably already thinking about curtains and decorating for your new home, rather than the legalities of completing your purchase – which is why Veitch Penny are here for you. 

We want to make the entire process as stress free as possible for you whilst ensuring that you understand the Conveyancing process. We are always at the other end of the phone to answer any questions you may have.


We are also aware that as a first time buyer, every little penny counts, so we will highlight the important additional expenses involved in buying a house. These include:

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Searches
  • Conveyancing costs – please contact us for a FREE first time buyers fixed fee quote
  • Surveys


New Homes

Are you Purchasing a new home?

There are a great many benefits from purchasing a new build home – increased environmental efficiency, various incentives can be provided, ensuring that your home is designed the way you want it to be and probably most importantly, developers will often provide a 10 year warranty scheme for the construction of the property such as the National House-Building Council (NHBC).

The purchase of a new build property is a more complex transaction than the purchase of an existing house or building.

The main characteristics of a new build property are:

  • It is a sale of part. The developer will usually own the whole site and is "disposing" of it or releasing it in the form of housing plots.
  • The developer may adopt a slightly different Conveyancing procedure from that normally encountered. The developer does this for his own convenience when dealing with a large number of sales simultaneously.

When acting for you, in the purchase of your new build property, we will ensure that the following information is obtained from the Developers:

  • Planning permission
    We will confirm whether planning permission has been granted and investigate if any conditions have been or will be complied with.
  • Building Regulations
    Have building regulations consent been granted?
    Building regulations control the methods and materials to be used in the construction to ensure that proper standards are maintained in all new-build properties. If there is no consent, it may suggest that it has not been constructed to the correct standards and we will need to investigate further.
  • A form of structural guarantee should be offered. A structural guarantee is likely to be a condition of the mortgage offer in relation to a new build property.


Joint Ownership

Are you buying a house with your partner?
Are you unmarried?

Not to be confused with the term "Shared Ownership" which we will come onto later in this guide.

It is very likely that when purchasing a house with your partner that one of you may have a larger deposit than the other. In today’s economic climate it is very common that a parent will also contribute towards house deposits due to the increasingly large deposits which lenders require.

It is therefore understandable wanting to protect your investment in the event of a separation or the death of one of you. 

Joint Tenancy

Under a joint tenancy each owner will have an equal share in the property, and upon the death of one of them his or her share will automatically pass to the other or others.  This rule will still apply even if the deceased made a Will and purported to leave his or her share to someone else.

Tenancy in Common

Under a tenancy in common, co-owners can have either an equal share or an unequal share in the property (eg 60% to A, 40% to B).   In the event of the death of a co-owner the share of any deceased owner does not automatically pass to the survivor but will be dealt with under the terms of his or her Will or the intestacy rules if there is no Will.

Which should we choose?

Most husbands and wives will opt for a joint tenancy because they would want the survivor of them to inherit the property automatically on the death of the first of them to die.  However, this general rule does not always apply and in the following circumstances, husbands and wives should consider whether a tenancy in common is more appropriate:

  1. if they have substantial joint assets, in which case significant inheritance tax savings can be made by the preparation of a suitable Will coupled with a tenancy in common;
  2. if either the husband or wife has been previously married and has children from that former marriage who are intended to benefit on their parents death.

Joint owners will normally opt for a tenancy in common if they are unrelated, (but very often a couple who purchase before marriage but with the intention of marriage or a permanent relationship will chose a joint tenancy).

Tenancy in common is also appropriate when:

  1. the property is held as a business asset;
  2. contributions to the purchase price, or payments of the mortgage, are made in unequal shares and the owners wish to reflect this in their joint ownership.

Declaration of trust

When co-owners decide to hold property as tenants in common, it is often sensible to set out their intentions in a separate deed known as a Declaration of Trust, particularly if the agreement between them as to ownership is complicated.

A declaration of trust can be tailor made to suit your circumstances and can indicate a fixed sum to be repaid to one party or that more than 50% of the property is owned by a single party.



Shared Ownership

Shared ownership schemes allow you to purchase a share in the property, typically 25% - 50% of the market value in the property, whilst paying rent to the housing association on the remaining share.

There are a several mortgage lenders who specialise in shared ownership mortgages.

In time you may wish to purchase further shares in the property, or you can sell your existing share at open market value to a buyer approved by the housing association.

We have experience of newbuilt properties with "Signpost Housing Association" and "Sovereign Housing Association" and the general sale and purchase of shared ownership properties and we would be happy to discuss this with you.

Keyworker Mortgages

Key workers mortgages are available to people who work in certain public sector jobs, which are eligible for help to buy a home. 

Police officers, fire officers, prison officers, nurses, midwifes, occupational therapists or social workers, or members of the armed forces are all eligible for help buying a home through one of the HomeBuy schemes. As well as being a key worker, you must also:

  • have a household income of 60,000 or less per year
  • are a first-time buyer
  • are unable to afford to buy a property that meets your households needs without help
  • are a homeowner who needs to buy a larger property to meet your households needs

Right to buy

Do you rent a council house?
Do you want to buy your home?

Secure tenants will acquire the right to buy their property after five years but the right to buy with a discount is not without limitations. There are a variety of other measures which aim to prevent other abuses of the right to buy legislation and therefore it is important that you seek the right advice and help on right to buy. 

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