News

26 July 2022

Buying your first home is an exciting, albeit sometimes stressful, time. For many people it is the first time that they have had to use a Solicitor.

The obvious service that a Solicitor will provide to a house purchaser, is that of Conveyancing to complete the sale and ensure transfer of the property into your name. However, there are other ways that a Solicitor can assist you at this time to ensure that all your affairs are in good order. Senior Associate Private Client Solicitor Deborah Escott-Watson reports.

The purchase of your first home is a major financial commitment. You may have used your hard-earned savings to fund the deposit. If you are buying jointly with a partner, and you have both put different deposit amounts down, how do you ensure that you “get out what you put in” if the house is sold because of a relationship breakup?

Other questions that a Solicitor can help with is what happens to my share of the house is something happens to me?

The purchase of your first home is therefore a good time to consider putting a Will in place. If something happens to you, who do you want to leave your house to? If you own the house jointly with somebody else, and you pass away, who will benefit from your property?

It is important that you understand the difference between the different types of joint ownership and how that affects how you can benefit your loved ones with your share of the home. A Solicitor can help you decide if what type of joint ownership - joint tenants or tenants in common – is right for you.

A Solicitor can also help you with a Declaration of Trust if you are buying jointly with a partner. A Declaration of Trust is evidence of the agreement between the two of you as to what share of the house you own, what deposit each put down, what if any mortgage there is on the property and how the sale proceeds of the house are divided between you, taking into account any deposit and capital growth. It also can regulate the payment of monthly expenses in relation to the property, for example council tax insurance and utility bills.

Another important aspect to consider and record is how you would deal with ensuring fairness if one person spent a lot of money renovating the house which increased the value of the house? If a relationship breaks down, a one person does not wish to sell, what happens then? A Declaration of Trust can provide an agreed mechanism to ensure that the house is sold, and the proceeds distributed fairly.

There is a lot to consider as a First-time buyer. A Solicitor can help ensure that the Conveyancing is done properly, but also help you ensure that you understand all the relevant ownership options available to you and that you have protected yourself and your family, especially as this is one of the largest financial commitments you will make.

For more information, please contact Deborah by email; Deborah.escott-watson@battens.co.uk or phone on her direct line 01935 811314.