Buying a home is a big deal. It's a milestone you'll remember for the rest of your life. You'll be able to use it as a great conversation starter for years to come. Listen to people talk about their homes or being close to their families, and you'll be able to relate because you'll also know what it feels like to own a home. You'll remember the excitement of buying and moving into your first home.
There is a huge change when you're no longer renting property and are finally an owner. If you've never owned a home before, you'll learn what it feels like to have a sense of pride in your property and learn to see past the minor wear-and-tear.
You'll also feel that unique sense of security when you look up at your roof and realise it's yours and nobody else's. Now, one of the many processes involved in buying property is conveyancing.
As with most things in the legal field, it is a term that is so broad and diverse that its definition will change depending on who you ask. The general definition of conveyancing is the transfer of property. Through conveyancing, you, as an owner of the property, get all of the legal rights that come with ownership.
Today, let's take a closer look at one of the steps involved in conveyancing—legal searches. Here's what you need to know:
The Conveyancing Process
The conveyancing process involves a few steps. These steps are part of the usual legal process when buying a property. These steps ensure that you're aware of everything happening and that you're protected at every step of the way.
In most cases, it will go like this: you first pick the property you want to buy. It will have a certain price, depending on the area and the kind of property. You will work with the bank and the insurance company to ensure that you have all the money ready to pay for the property.
You will then meet the sellers to go over the details. You will sign all the legal documents and make the exchange of money and title deeds happen. The final step is the legal search. All of this, in most cases, will occur with the help of a solicitor or conveyancer.
What are Legal Searches?
A legal search is a way of making sure that the property you are buying has no legal restraints or concerns that might hinder your ownership of it.
It is like a regular search, except that it's legal.
At the time of the search, the conveyancer you're working with will ask the local authorities to search the title deeds to see if there are any outstanding charges. This search might also include information about any mortgages on the property.
The bank might also want to look into the property situation if there is a mortgage. This will ensure that they are not doing anything illegal.
What is the Purpose of Legal Searches?
The purpose of legal searches is to make sure that the property you want to buy is yours. You are, after all, paying for it in good faith. Some conveyancers might look for different searches to ensure you're protected. In areas with a lot of development, the conveyancer might ask for an investigation to ensure no planning permission has been changed.
There are also other situations in which you might need to get a legal search done. For example, if the estate is large, you might need to ensure that there aren't any hidden parts of the estate. Legal searches are pretty standard. If you are working with a solicitor, they will most likely get the legal searches done.
Why Do Legal Searches Matter?
Legal searches are essential because of their value. You are investing in a home, so your responsibility is to protect yourself and your investment.
Conveyancing can be pretty expensive, so you must get the best value for your money. The second purpose of legal searches is to make sure that you are protected throughout the whole process of buying the property.
What Do Legal Searches Look For?
When you have legal searches done, the documents will be examined to look for any pending cases on the title deed, any outstanding payments that need to be made, and any charges still on the property.
They will also look for any surviving leases or tenancies on the property. These could cause a problem if you want to make alterations to the property. Legal searches also make sure that there are no environmental issues. This includes things like possible flooding.
What are the Different Types of Legal Searches?
There are different kinds of legal searches. Some of them include:
1. A Standard Search
This looks for outstanding cases, mortgages, and charges. Most of the time, this is the search people will get for their conveyancing.
2. A Charge Search
This goes a little deeper than the previous search. This search will look for any charges that could affect the property. Sometimes, it may also look for any charges that could affect the sellers.
3. The Valuation Search
This kind of search checks to ensure that the property is worth the price. It will also check to ensure that any property alterations are up to code.
4. The Planning Search
This search will check if any planning concerns could affect the property. This is usually because the property is near a construction zone or anywhere else with heavy construction.
5. The Environmental Search
If the property is near water or a factory, an environmental search will be done to ensure there are no risks to the property.
Should You Get a Legal Search Done For Your Property?
The answer to this question is up to you. If you're paying a fair price for the property, there should be no reason to get a legal search done. You might want to check with a solicitor if you suspect foul play. The solicitor would be able to do a legal search on your behalf. The solicitor may be able to tell you if everything is in order and help you avoid getting ripped off.
As long as you have everything in place and the legal searches have been done, then you should have no problems buying your property. Just remember to check with a solicitor before purchasing the property on your own.
The Bottom Line
Buying a home is exciting. It's a long and arduous process, but it's worth it in the end. You should be in good shape if you have researched and studied everything you can find about the property. Make sure you get the best value and be smart when buying a new property. If you have any questions or doubts, ask your conveyancer.
If you need to find conveyancing quotes in the UK, we’re here to help you. Conveyancing Calculator is an online residential conveyancing calculator. We use our trust and accurate conveyancing fees calculator to ensure you get the best idea of the costs you are facing. Browse through our website for more information.