Ultimate Guide to Buying UK Property

Overview

Whether you are a Singaporean individual or not who want to invest in a UK property, doing your own research is extremely important. However, purchasing a property is not a single action it means there are lots of processes that you need to go over and things that need to be considered. Apart from that, due to lots of available options choosing the best one can be a daunting task.

For these reasons, we decided to create an Ultimate Guide to Buying UK Property to give you a helping hand as well as all the details you need when starting your property search.

Let’s get started!

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Planning your Purchase

A major project like a property acquisition works best if you work from a strategy that has defined milestones as well as goals. If you are planning to buy a property in the UK your first task is to answer this question:

  • What is your main purpose why you want to buy a property?

Actually, there are lots of reasons why most people want to have a property in the UK. For some, they considered it as investments while others simply want to live there. So if you’re planning have a UK property, it is very important that you should know your main purpose.

Then, to begin your property search, you need to identify what you are looking for:

  • Place where you want to buy a UK property.
  • The amount of money you’re willing to invest.
  • The type of property you’re looking for.
  • The numbers of bathrooms and bedroom you need.

Money Matters

Nevertheless, the first step that you need to do in your UK property purchase is to get your finances ready. From the beginning, you need to know the exact amount of money you are willing to invest. And to perform that, you should work out your accessing finance options. However, if you have a good credit record you will be able to borrow large amounts at an affordable interest rate. In fact, you can borrow up to 70% with an interest rate of around 3.5% – 4%.

But if you’re a type of person who doesn’t care about how much money you’ll be spending and have plenty of bucks on your bank account, then you don’t have to do these things.

On the other hand, foreigner banks do not subject to TDSR but Singapore bank subject to TDSR. TDSR, however, sets restrictions on how much a home buyer can borrow.

For example, if your loan house payment goes beyond $1,100 for every month you’re only allowed to borrow lower amounts until your monthly repayments fall under $1,000 a month. Furthermore, if you’re earning $4,000 per month and you’re paying a car loan of $2500 monthly, then you’re not allowed to apply for a housing loan.

Therefore, if you are restricted by TDSR and unable to take a loan, you may consider investing in UK property as  foreigner banks do not subject to TDSR

When purchasing a property, having additional costs is normal. If you’re relocating to the United Kingdom, you should think carefully about how will you going to supply your needs once you arrived in there.

Understanding that the currency exchange percentage can considerably affect your property’s price is very important. However, understanding it in advance would be an advantage for you.

Key Financial Ideas to Consider

  • The total amount of cash you have to buy a property.
  • Monthly installment
  • If you purchase with a loan, how much would be your monthly payments and how many pledges you’ll need.
  • The costs that are associated with purchasing the property. For instance the capital gain tax. If the cost is higher than 31K then the final tax rate is 28 percent, but it is less than 31K you’ll be expecting an 18 percent tax rate.

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Currency Exchange

Once you have chosen your UK property you’ll need to pay for it. In the beginning, there will be a credit on the exchange of contracts, normally of 10 percent, followed by the other 90 percent plus taxes and once you complete the purchase two months later.

However, if you can’t afford to pay the whole property cost, you possibly consider this option, the deferred payment. As a matter of fact, the process is very simple. The developer will only collect up to 30% (depending on the type of property) especially when the building is under construction. But once the property is completed you need to pay your remaining balance.

Even so, currency exchange is an important thing that every buyer/investor think about at the final moment especially when they already establish a property and then realize their funds is in the inappropriate currency. Fortunately, this is not a big problem, because there are lots of currency specialists out there that offer safe and smooth procedures, with companies controlled by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Either way, when purchasing a UK property from Singapore, however, the majority of buyers tend to commit two common mistakes. Firstly, they are paying too much than the expected amount. Secondly, they do not lock their currency rate prompt enough in the purchasing process.

Purchasing Costs in the United Kingdom

The cost of UK properties is not as high as you think. As a matter of fact, if they want to sell their property the local agency in the UK charges 3% commission to take care of the selling process for you.

Tax rates on the other hand, are fairly low, despite the fact that they have been increasing for investment property, as well as an additional 3% Stamp Duty for all properties and investment.

Major Costs When Buying a UK Property

  1. Legal Fees. Your licensed conveyancer or legal representative will go over the legal process to make sure that your property is being purchased safely. This process involves a set of questions with the trader’s legal representative to check local problems that may possibly affect the preparation of contracts and the use of the property.
  2. Money Transfer Fee. This cost that is associated with buying a UK property, is the fee for transmitting your money to the seller. Normally it will cost £40 to £50.
  3. Stamp Duty. It is a tax payable that you need to pay when you purchase a UK property. And as what we have said earlier, buyers are required to pay 3% Stamp Duty. However, this cost or tax applies for all properties and investment.

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Ongoing Costs of Having a UK Property

Management Fee

If you purchase a property or an apartment, you’ll need to include management fees on your budget. Even so, every owner habitually becomes in charge for the maintenance of several communal areas such as stairways, hallways, as well as lifts. In most cases, there will be a certain amount of money that you need to contribute every year.

However, the management fee will depend on your property. But normally you will need to pay an 8% to 12% management fee. In addition to that, if you purchase a leasehold property you have to pay a ground rent to your landholder as well. Some time ago, this was set an extremely low rate as lower as £100 for every year. But in the recent years, the rate has increased.

Aside from the ground rent, you will also need to pay service fees for equipment, electricity for communal areas, security and housekeeping.

Insurance

If you are purchasing a UK property that has a bank loan, usually your lender will assert you to have a building insurance to cover the property’s structure against major damage, flood, and fire. As we all know the UK is a wet country that is why you need to watch out the flood jeopardy when you purchase. Either way, you can assume to pay £20 to £25 every month for the building insurance. Though there are some companies that will not cover properties that are prone to flood.

The Buying Process

Step 1. Get a Mortgage “In Principle”

Before you make a deal on a certain property, make sure to confirm is a mortgage lender can lend you money. In fact, this is important for buyers who don’t have enough savings to pay the whole price in a flash. However, without a mortgage “in principle,” your offer will not be taken seriously.

Either way, you’ve agreed on a mortgage in principle you may have to pay a booking fee to reserve it.

Step 2. Look for A Solicitor

Before you can close an offer you will need the help of a solicitor. A solicitor is responsible for negotiating, putting in the deal, as well as checking and organizing the transfer of the money and Title.

Step 3. Home Survey and Report

Before advertising the property for sale, brokers or sellers have to assemble a Home Report that they will be showing to their interested clients. The Home Report must consist of EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), Survey, and Property Questionnaire.

Once you receive the property’s Home Report make sure to read it thoroughly and carefully. This will give you an idea of the operating costs of your new property. In addition to that, you can also use this to ask the seller regarding the utility bills.

Step 4. Making a bid

When you are satisfied with reports and surveys, you need to decide how much you’re willing to bid. However, the amount will depend on, how much you can afford, property values in the area, and anything else you wish to include in your offer.

Your solicitor will be the one to do this, he/she will write your offers by means of a formal letter. If your offer is accepted, the solicitor of the seller will issue an eligible acceptance, it means the property will be yours if the contract information can be worked out.

On the other hand, the seller’s solicitor will show the property’s information such as planning papers and the title deeds. Once you have received these details, make sure to check it together with your solicitor so that if you have questions you can raise them immediately.

Step 5. Agreeing to The Contract

When all the contract information have been settled, the two solicitors will exchange letters known as the “conclusion of missives” which means the two parties are dedicated to the sale.

After which, you need to secure the offer by paying a holding deposit, however, this fee will depend on the type of property you want to acquire.

Once you have agreed on the contract you need to shop in the area for buildings insurance

 

Step 6. Completion & Final Step

After your proposal has been established, the sale will be done on the date of entry settled with the seller. Even so, the seller’s solicitor will as your lender for the remaining fees allocated in preparation for the date of admission.

But if you’re a cash buyer you will need to pay your remaining balance through your solicitor. The seller’s solicitor will now ready the Land Transaction Return that you need to sign. As well as the title deeds that need to be registered in the Land Register.

On the other hand, your solicitor will be the one to complete the transaction by paying the LBTT or Lands and Buildings Transaction Tax due.

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Pros of Buying A UK Property

  1. Stable rental yield around 7%

When you buy UK property, you will have a stable rental yield that is around 7%. In fact, this will offer you (investor) with constant earnings from their properties.

  1. Historic Low conversion rate 1: 1.85

As compared to the past, buying the UK becomes much cheaper, from 2 pounds down to 1.85 pounds. Aside from that, the Brexit referendum also becomes stable.

  1. Establish country

Aside from being an established country, there are lots of reasons why investing in UK property is a good idea. Some of which include:

  • Increase in rental yields
  • Economic and politically stable
  • You can purchase a decent property at a very affordable price.
  • Lesser mortgage rates
  1. Loan financing up to 70%

If you want to invest in a UK property but if you don’t have enough money to purchase you can still make it possible. As a stated above, you are allowed to have a loan financing of up to 70%.  However, you are only allowed to apply for a loan for three months before TOP.

  1. Low-interest rate of 3.5 to 4.5

The interest rate can be very inexpensive compared to other countries like Cambodia that is offering an interest rate of around 9%.

  1. Establish rental management (mostly come with the package)

The good thing about buying a property in the UK is that they come with a establish rental management. In fact, rental management offers several resources that can help you in eliminating stress when it comes to owning a property.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to find a property for sale in the United Kingdom

The majority of properties are promoted online. By simply doing a simple search on Google you’ll be able to see lots of UK properties are for sale. Aside from the Internet, some real estate agencies have local neighborhood periodicals that show the properties as well as other important information in the area.

Furthermore, independent property finders in London like Property Personal Shopper can also help you a lot. In fact, they are time –saving and efficient ways of sourcing a UK property.

  • Can I buy a UK property as a foreign person?

Yes, as a foreign person you’re still allowed to buy a UK property even though you are not living in the United Kingdom. With that said, buying a UK property as a foreign person is much easier if you’re a cash buyer.

Either way, if you’re looking for a UK property, it’s very important that you have a better understanding of the UK property market as well as have access to funds.

  • What tax Am I responsible for?

As the buyer, you have Stamp Duty responsibilities. Plus, you need to pay yearly income tax expenses with the demand amount dependent on United Kingdom self-assessment set of laws

  • How to determine if the contract is legal?

For a contract to be legal, it must consist of 3 basic elements, detailed offers, consideration, and acceptance of the terms of the offer which is agreed upon the exchange of services.  Even so, if the contract has misrepresentations then the contract is invalid.

  • How much is the rental management fee?

The rental management fee will depend on the type of property you will be acquiring. But usually, they will charge you between 10 to 15 percent of your rent which they’ll take in monthly payments.

  • Brexit Issue: Is it Good or Bad?

Determining if Brexit Issue is good or bad is a bit confusing. According to some Brexit is a good thing but they have to live with its penalty, while others totally disagree with it because it may possibly cause major problems.

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Infinity Waters Liverpool: Is It Worth Considering?

The Infinity Waters Liverpool can be a great investment. As a matter of fact, there are lots of reason why investing in this property is worth considering. This property, on the other hand, sports a timeless and iconic design by respected interior designers and architects. Aside from those, in this place, you will also see spectacular river views. At Infinity Waters Liverpool you will also enjoy first-class amenities including residence bar lounges, concierge, pool and spa, restaurants, gym, and even cinemas.

When it comes to the cost, it is now available from only GBP 99000 and not only that you can also enjoy a 20-percent early bird discount. Also, you will earn two-percent interest in your assets during the progress of construction. Though, Liverpool, Manchester Singapore bank doesn’t support TDSR. But still, nice investment, right?

Nevertheless, the price of Infinity Waters Liverpool will rise 22.8 percent between 2017 and 2021 while the rental fee will increase over 17%. As a matter of fact, Liverpool is now on the top list of many investors.

Conclusion

Singaporean investors tend to invest in bigger cities like Manchester and London. This is mainly because of the good education and tradition. Even though London is going off, you shouldn’t disregard the other small cities in the UK. Speculators are sure that property costs will dramatically increase in these small cities. Not only that, you will surely find a property with a great rental yield.

We hope that this content will help you a lot in finding the best UK property.

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