21 December 2018

The legals of buying your first home

We all aspire to buying our own homes and putting down roots at some stage of our lives and often that will coincide with making a longer term commitment to a partner. But just how does the legal process of buying our first home work?

Budgeting for the purchase and all the associated costs is something most first time buyers find daunting but a good solicitor will provide advice and guidance on the affordability of the purchase. Legal fees, deposits, stamp duty and service charges can all seem overwhelming at the outset but we can help you navigate through the whole process.

Solicitors will carry out proper searches against your property and investigate the legal title on your behalf. We will guide you through the terms of your mortgage offer and advise on how to protect gifts and loans from family members. We can also advise on whether joint owners should hold the property as joint tenants or tenants in common and whether a Declaration of Trust is necessary.

We do not carry out surveys on the property, arrange mortgages or deal with price negotiations but we will liaise with those professionals who are acting on your behalf to do so to make the transaction complete smoothly. Remember buying a house is not a quick process and on average takes 8 to 12 weeks – time for us to advise you carefully and thoroughly on the most expensive purchase you have made to date.

You will have time to consider what documentation you need to properly record the terms of your ownership as a couple and still choose new carpets and curtains!

Key moment actions

Setting up a home together should be a time of certainty. Make sure you both understand the rules with a Living Together Agreement.
• Buying your first house is a big financial commitment. A Declaration of Trust protects both parties.
Making a will is essential to protect a surviving partner and your children in the event of your death.

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About the Author
Zoe Touhey, Partner
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