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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

I am in the process of buying my first home and have been advised to carry out a survey. I have already paid for a mortgage valuation. What is the difference between a survey and mortgage valuation?

It is always recommended for a survey to be carried out on a property before the exchange of contracts.  This is because it is the buyer’s responsibility to find out as much as possible about the property, including any physical defects, before committing to the purchase.

There are three types of survey available to a buyer:

  • 1. Valuation – This is the simplest form of survey and is carried out by the mortgage lender to assess whether the property being bought is suitable security for the loan being offered.
  • 2. Home Buyers Report – This is a compromise between the mortgage valuation and the full structural survey.  It is a concise summary on the state of repair and condition of the property, including a valuation.  Although this is of much more value to a buyer, this type of survey is still relatively superficial.
  • 3. Full Structural Survey – This is a detailed inspection of the property and is particularly useful if you are buying a large or older property.  It is also of benefit to you when buying a property that has been substantially structurally altered.  The report will provide a detailed commentary on the condition of the building’s structure.

I am in the process of buying a property and have been advised to carry out searches. Do I need to carry out searches? If so, which ones?

Unless you are lucky enough to be able to buy a property without the aid of a Mortgage then you will need to request searches. This is because the Council for Mortgage Lenders, which is the governing body for all mortgage companies, states that solicitors must carry out all appropriate searches. We would strongly advise cash buyers alike to carry out searches.

  • 1. Local Authority SearchThis search is essentially non-negotiable (even if you are buying without a Mortgage). The result will reveal whether any roads and paths adjoining the property are publicly maintained, any planning decisions, contaminated land issues, any major road schemes nearby, and any enforcement notices for breach of planning permission. The search is only valid for the property you are buying and it cannot predict the future.
  • 2. Drainage Search It is almost always advisable to conduct this search.  The search will reveal who is responsible for maintaining the sewers, drains and pipes that serve the property and their location. It will clarify if the property is connected to the mains water supply and confirm how charges are made i.e. meter or rates.
  • 3. Environmental SearchThis search is strongly recommended and will give you an indication of the former use of the property and if the house is in an area affected by flooding or subsidence. This information will help you decide if the property is at risk. If any work is required to ‘clean up’ the land this is the responsibility of the landowner and the bill will be your responsibility.  This can be avoided if the risk is identified prior to you buying the property.
  • 4. Other SearchesDepending on where the property is located and on any specific requirements of your Mortgage Lender, some extra searches may be required e.g. Coal Mining. Williamsons Solicitors will advise you if any additional searches are needed.

What if there is a problem with one of the searches?

Usually, most problems that arise in search results can be dealt with prior to completion or indemnity insurance can be obtained. It is important to remember that although you are buying the property and may be willing to accept the search results, your Mortgage Lender may not, and ultimately they have the final say.

What is the difference between a ‘Freehold’ and ‘Leasehold’ property?

A freehold property is when you own your home outright forever and and have the right to occupy it for an unlimited period of time.  A leasehold property is quite different.  A leasehold property gives you the right to use a dwelling owned by someone else for a fixed period of time (typically 99, 125 or 999 years).  At the end of the lease, the owner of the property can either renew or end the lease and enforce the owner to move out.

If you are obtaining a mortgage to buy a leasehold property, the lenders legal requirements will be much more stringent.

Leasehold conveyancing is much more complicated than freehold conveyancing and therefore the legal fees for dealing with a leasehold property will be slightly higher because of this.

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Anonymous

Would just like to mention your Bridlington branch is so highly recommended. We have had the most efficient & fast legal work done by one of your brilliant Solicitors called Lauren. Can I add no stress what's so ever. Thankyou Williamsons Solicitors & thankyou Lauren.

Anonymous

Have used this firm for both buying and selling properties and would use them again. They've always been fair and reasonable in what they charged and done their best to keep me informed on developments in above transactions.

Philip P

Williamson's Solicitors provide first class advice, efficiency and are very obliging. We would highly recommend their services.

Mr and Mrs Emmerson

After a long haul with our house sale, we where pleased with the professionalism shown at all times, with friendly approachable staff at Bridlington.

Mr & M

Excellent professional service throughout, couldn't fault anything. We found them to be very thorough and looked out for our best interests at all times! We are intending to purchase another rental property and will definitely be using Williamsons in Beverley. Thank-you again Amanda for all your help and expertise!

Mrs Gamble

I was very pleased with the service i received from williamsons solicitors every person i dealt with were friendly understanding and very professional and especially mr tim slow who helped me with everything i would highly recommend williamsons solicitors

Mr & M

Very good from Carey Robinson, but haven't received the mortgage money in our account that was promised today. Please advise Cheers Rose Horspool

Peter S

Courteous, polite, prompt and efficient service. Very pleased I hired you.

Mr Lancaster

After using your company for the 1st time i found Gordon Sewell and his secretary very helpful and understanding and his advice was excellent. I will definitely recommend this company to my friends and family and i will certainly use this company again if needed . Many Thanks Gordon for a first class service Regards Richard Lancaster

Peter I

Nice people, easy to talk to and got straight to the problems I had with a few issues with my employer. Very happy with the service I received.

Mr & M

We have used Williamsons Solicitors for buying 2 houses and selling one excellent quick and efficient service. We have just used Williiamsons again to make our wills with Rebecca Bisby who again maintained the high standards we have come to recognise from Williamsons. We would highly recommend them quick efficient and very professional. We not only visited Williamsons in persons but but emailed and by telephone all of which quickly answered.

Mrs Stacey

gordon sewell was emphatic.made me feel at ease and was very approachable through a tough time.,along with maisie who was so helpful too..thankyou

Megan C

Brilliant solicitors highly recommend

Mr Smith a

Carey has been really good throughout the process. Always responds quickly on emails and is always on the end of the phone if I needed her. I would highly recommend this firm and Carey.

Mrs Kathleen A

Excellent relationship management, clear and concise advice including option analysis. Very happy with all aspects of the service provided and the outcomes achieved. Friendly professional service.

Mr & M

Carey Robinson acted as our Solicitor on a recent commercial purchase and she was brilliant. Carey was super efficient and we were kept up to date on every aspect of the purchase. From start to finish our "Property Auction" purchase only took 7 working days to complete. We will definitely be using Carey again and can highly recommend her 5 star service.

Anonymous

Friendly, fast and efficient. Sale of property went very well.

Anonymous

I have nothing but praise for Gordon Sewell at the Hull office. He conducted my unusual and difficult civil case with great care and understanding. Gordon also injected the right amount of sympathy for my plight without being unprofessional. I would recommend him to anyone needing a clued up civil litigation lawyer.

Richard K

very helpful and efficient. thanks to all

Peter R

Mr Nick Gray was assigned my enquiry and worked with me throughout. He made himself available at all times and was always supportive to me on numerous occasions when I found myself unsure and admittedly nervous. He never let me down. I believe his advice was always good and I relied on it throughout. I think the award was the best I could have obtained and in conclusion I can honestly say that I am happy. The other contact I have had over the years was your receptionist, the face of your company. I was always greeted with a smile and the offer of a cup of coffee. On the occasions I visited your Hull office I was always made to feel important. Thank you.

Anonymous

Professional and courteous team. Recommend highly.