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When should I have my building insurance cover in place for my new property?

You become responsible for your new property from the day you exchange contracts, not the day you move in. It is therefore advisable that you have in place building insurance on your new property from this date even though you are not living in it yet.

Do not cancel the insurance on the property you are selling, however, until after the moving date.

My solicitor is talking about a chain, what is that?

Most property purchases and sales are part of a chain, that is where there are a number of buyers and sellers that are depending on each other for the sale to take place.

Chains can be difficult to avoid and can be very difficult to deal with as it can only take one party in the chain to not move on a particular date and the whole chains stops. We will make sure you are kept informed of any problems in the chain but whatever happens, contracts can only be exchanged and moving dates fixed when all of the legal advisers in the chain are ready.

What does ‘exchanging contracts’ on my house purchase mean?

Exchanging contracts is when the deal becomes binding for both you and the seller. Until that point you or the buyer could pull out of the transaction without penalty (although you wouldn’t get any of the money paid in searches etc, returned).

Once contracts are exchanged you as the buyer are required to pay a deposit (usually 10% of the agreed sale price) and it is at that point that the moving date is fixed.

What are the differences between the different types of surveys and which one do I need?

The purchase of a property is likely to be the biggest financial commitment you make and therefore, having as much information about that property is advisable.  A Mortgage Valuation is not a survey and often only involves a cursory look at the property in order to ascertain if its value is worth the loan the mortgage company is being asked to lend. 

The mortgage company is sending a valuer to assess the property. Why are they doing this and is it the same as a survey?

The mortgage company may decide to send in a valuer to the property you wish to purchase to assess whether it is suitable security for the loan (mortgage) they are making. This is done entirely for the mortgage company’s benefit and if they miss something serious, such as subsistence, they are not liable. It is advisable to undertake your own independent survey on the property to wish to buy.

How much will the deposit be?

The deposit is usually 10% of the sale price. If you are also selling a property we will usually use the deposit we receiver from your buyer as the deposit towards the property you are buying. If the property you are buying is more expensive than the one you are selling, you may have to pay an amount to bring the deposit up to the 10% deposit level of the property you are buying.