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FDR Law Legal Clinic - Help to Buy

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Legal advice from Vicki Coulthurst, a conveyancing partner at FDR Law, Palmyra Square, Warrington.

Buying a new home

Q: ‘I am about to buy my first house using the Help to Buy scheme. What should I do now and why do I need a solicitor?

A: Buying a house is likely to be one of the biggest purchases you ever make, so it’s important to instruct a solicitor who is experienced in conveyancing. The Help to Buy scheme means you will only need to find a deposit worth 5% of the property value and this is currently available for both new-build and older properties up to £600,000.

If you are buying your first home, the purchasing process can seem complex and daunting but a good solicitor will guide you through every necessary step so you always understand what is happening.

Solicitors are responsible for orchestrating the whole purchasing process. This includes everything from making appropriate searches to check your house will not be affected by issues such as new road schemes, flood risk, mining or gas extraction to exchanging contracts and arranging money transactions.

They will also register your property with the Land Registry and take care of any stamp duty payment. This is a tax based on the purchase price of your house. If the value is £125,000 or under, you pay nothing. Over £125,000, the tax is 1% and between £250,000 and £500,000, it is 3%. 

Your mortgage lender will require a survey of your new home before they agree to your loan but you may decide to commission an enhanced survey, particularly if you are buying an old property.

To help you understand the purchasing process, FDR Law offers all clients a useful step-by-step Homebuyers Guide, so you will know exactly what to expect.

FDR Law offers fixed-price conveyancing packages so you are aware of all fees upfront. For more information, please get in touchwith Vicki Coulthurst on 01925 230000 or email