Buyer's Guide

Your budget

The first thing you need to do is decide how much you can afford. You will need to look at how much deposit you have available yourself and how much you can borrow. Usually you will apply to a building society or a bank for a mortgage.

Some building societies now provide buyers with a certificate that states that a loan will be available provided the property is satisfactory. You may be able to get this certificate before you start looking for a property and this may help you to have your offer accepted by the seller.

Before finally deciding how much to spend on a property, you need to be sure you will have enough money to pay for all the additional costs. These include:-

  • survey fees
  • valuation fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax. This is payable on properties costing more than £125,000 and is at least 1% of the purchase price (in a limited number of areas, designated as 'disadvantaged', it is only payable on properties costing £150,000 or more)
  • land registry fee
  • fees, if any, charged by the mortgage lender or someone who arranges the mortgage, for example, a mortgage broker
  • the buyer’s solicitor’s costs
  • VAT
  • removal expenses
  • any final bills, for example, gas and electricity, from your present home which will have to be paid when you move.

You should also take into account the running expenses of the property you wish to buy. These may include:-

  • heating, lighting and water rates
  • community charge/council tax (in England and Wales)
  • ground rent, if the property is leasehold
  • service charges, if the property is a leasehold flat
  • insurance costs, including life insurance, buildings and contents insurance.

You will also have to pay a deposit on exchange of contracts, up to 10% of the purchase price, a few weeks before the purchase is completed and the money is received from the mortgage

Deciding on a property

It is important when you find your property to arrange to look over it two or three times to get some idea of whether or not you will have to spend any additional money on repairs or decoration and when you are completely happy, you may then decide to make an offer.

Is the property leasehold, freehold or commonhold?

Freehold property

If the property is freehold, this means that the land on which the property is built is part of the sale and no ground rent or service charge is payable.

Leasehold property

A property may be leasehold, which means that the land on which the property is built is not part of the sale. You have to pay ground rent to the owner of the land - who is called the freeholder.

The length of a lease can vary and you should check that the length of the lease on the property you are interested in buying is acceptable to the mortgage lender. In addition to ground rent on a leasehold property, you may have to pay an annual service charge. This usually happens with a flat. The service charge covers such items as maintenance and repairs to the buildings, cleaning of common parts and looking after the grounds.

A group of leaseholders living in the same building may have a right to jointly buy the freehold of the building or take over its management.

Commonhold property

If the property is commonhold, this means that you can buy the freehold of a flat and own common parts of the building jointly with the owners of other flats in the building (known as a commonhold association).

In commonhold a ground rent or service charge is not payable. However, a share of the commonhold association'sexpenditure on maintenance, insurance and administration will be.

Making an offer

When you decide you would like to buy a particular property you do not necessarily have to pay the price being asked for it by the owners. You can offer less if, for example, you think there are repairs to be done which will cost money.

If the owners do not accept the first offer put to them by you, you can decide to make an increased offer. There is no limit on the number of times you can make offers on a property. If you make a written offer it will always be made subject to contract. This means that you will not be committed to the purchase before finding out more about the state of the property. If you make an oral offer this is never legally binding.

When your offer has been accepted

When your offer for the property has been accepted you will have to consider the following:-

  • whether a holding deposit is payable
  • arranging a mortgage-
  • whether a survey is necessary
  • who will do the necessary legal work

We will assist you on all these points

For more information, please call us today or complete the form below


How you can make your money work harder for you

Property is such an attractive investment because you can usually raise a mortgage against it rather than utilise your own capital. Over the past 50 years, property has out-performed many other forms of investment, and investors have enjoyed reduced risk but excellent returns. Buy off plan and you can usually negotiate discounts and lower deposits, as you can with newly completed units, and of course new builds as buy to let properties are also lower maintenance than older properties.

We can help you to identify off-plan opportunities with good capital growth potential, so if you work closely with us we could help you to build a successful rental property portfolio. Buying off-plan also gives you additional flexibility as you can modify the existing plans to your specification..

We are here to help you with advice on transactions of all sizes from large portfolios to single flats.

For more information, please call us today or complete the form below

International Property

We specialize in international property sales and our aim is to provide the widest choice of quality properties to those seeking solid investment opportunities, holiday homes or retirement abroad. We can help you choose from a wide range of off plan or newly built properties and provide first hand expert advice on what to buy, and where and how to maximize your return on investment.

For more information, please call us today or complete the form below



Sampson and Co, 56 Highstreet, Normanton, West Yorkshire WF6 2AQ.

Tel: 01924 898791
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