One off costs of buying your home
You should employ a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to look after the legal side of buying your home.
You should have a survey of your home done. These can cost between £250-£600, or more if your home has any special problems.
If you take out a mortgage loan you will usually have to pay an arrangement fee.
When a sale is completed you must pay the Land Registry to register you as the new owner.
You may also have to pay stamp duty, which is a tax that people pay when they become homeowners.
Regular costs of Home Ownership
Buying your home is a major financial commitment. Most people will need to take on a mortgage to buy the property, you will then have to pay to maintain your home.
Regular costs include:
- Mortgage/Interest Repayments;
- Council tax;
- Water charges;
- Buildings insurance;
- Contents Insurance;
- Life assurance (needed to pay your mortgage if you die before the end of the mortgage period);
- Mortgage payment protection insurance (to help meet your mortgage payments if you lost your income through unemployment or ill health);
- Repair and maintenance costs;
- Service charges if you purchase a leasehold property.
Repair and maintenance costs
If you buy a house (freehold) then you will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance of your home, regardless of the condition of your home when you bought it.
If you are buying a flat or maisonette (leasehold) then you will be responsible for repairing and maintaining the demised premises (your flat).
You will also have to pay the landlords service charges and contribute towards the cost of repair and improvements to the common parts of the building and external communal areas or estate.
Things to consider when buying a leasehold property
Flats and maisonettes are sold leasehold, usually on long leases. Buying a long lease on a property gives you the right to live in that property for the years remaining on the lease.
During that time you are able to sell that lease to another person/company.
You will sign a lease when you purchase your property, the lease sets out the rights and obligations of both the leaseholder and the freeholder.
You will be sent a copy of the draft lease to read prior to the sale. You should read the lease carefully and ask your solicitor to advise you. When you buy a leasehold property, you will be bound by the terms of the lease.
You will have to contribute towards the landlord’s costs for all services provided to the building, which include:
- Grounds maintenance;
- Communal lighting;
- Entry phones, and
- Window cleaning
You will also have to contribute towards the landlord’s costs in maintaining the common parts of the building, and external areas of the building and estate, which includes:
- Repairs or replacement of communal items including, roofs, lifts, windows, fencing, play equipment, water tanks etc.
You will also have to contribute towards the landlord’s management costs and the cost of insuring the main structure and common parts of the building.
When you buy under the Right to Buy we will tell you in your offer documents, how much the property cost and we will provide you with:
- Estimates of the costs of any major works which we are planning to carry out during the first five years. These estimates are binding and can only rise in line with inflation, plus applicable management charges. If any works are delayed until after the first five years then you will have to pay the full cost of the works.
- Estimates of any other service charges, for example caretaking, grounds maintenance, communal lighting etc. Estimates for these services are not binding and can increase above the rate of inflation, even during the first five years.