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8 Things to Consider When Buying Your Home

Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions that a person can make. Many people, however, enter into it without understanding what they are doing. Here are eight important facts you should know before you go ahead with your purchase.

1. You do not have to offer the asking price on a property.

It is quite common to initially make an offer below the asking price with a view to negotiating a lower price than the sellers are requesting.

2. The purchase price can be changed once your offer has been accepted.

Up until contracts are exchanged further negotiations on the purchase price can always take place.

3. Generally you cannot move into your new house when contracts have been exchanged.

Normally you can only have access to the property on the completion date.

4. If you are buying in joint names, does it matter if you are Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?

A joint tenancy is one where the property is owned equally by two or more people, with none of them having a separate/distinct share. If one owner dies the property automatically passes in whole to the survivor(s) despite the terms of the deceased's will. Meanwhile, a tenancy in common is where each owner has a separate and distinct share eg 50/50 or 75/25. This form of ownership may be appropriate if you have contributed to the purchase price in unequal shares. If one dies his/her share is not automatically transferred to the survivor(s) but will pass according to the provisions of the deceased's will or, if there is no will, under the Laws of Intestacy. Make sure that you speak to your solicitor for advice on the best option for your particular circumstances.

5. Think about what would happen if you lost your job.

You should be prepared should the worst happen. Speak to an Independent Financial Advisor regarding the various products which are available to cover you in the event that you are out of work and are unable to pay your mortgage.

6. Think about what would happen if your spouse/partner were to die.

You should consider taking out a life insurance policy which would pay off your mortgage if one of you dies. At least if the worst happens, then your home will be secure. Take advice from an Independent Financial Adviser on the best policy to suit your needs. If you need any financial advice about any of the above, your solicitor is likely to be able to give you the name of a local independent financial adviser.

7. You should think about making a will, or bringing your current will up to date. ( With the significant increase in property prices in recent years many people are now caught by the inheritance tax trap. You should certainly have a will to control where your property will go in the event of your death, but if your will is properly drafted it can also be tax efficient. If you need any more advice about this, do speak to your solicitor, who might well be able to give you a free initial consultation about drawing up your will. ( 8. You do not have to take out buildings and contents insurance with your lender.

Your mortgage lender is likely to try and sell you a variety of products alongside your mortgage, such as contents or buildings insurance. It is vital that you take good independent advice about insurance and have a look around for the best deals.

Don't enter into such a large financial decision without being fully aware of the facts. Make sure that you appoint a specialist local conveyancing solicitor and don't be afraid of asking your solicitor questions about the whole conveyancing process.

About Author Tim Bishop :

Bonallack &amp; Bishop (<a href="" target="_blank"></a> ) are a firm of UK Property Solicitors in Salisbury, Warminster and Andover. Tim Bishop is senior partner at the firm and is responsible for all major decisions. He has grown the firm by 1000% in the last 12 years and sees himself as a businessman first and a lawyer second.

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Article Added on Monday, June 21, 2010
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