Your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, so buying a house for the first time can be both exciting and daunting. The process of buying a house is particularly confusing if you have never done it before, so make sure you have a reliable conveyancing solicitor to guide you through the process. Some of the main stages of the process include:
- Getting a mortgage
- Conducting any necessary searches and surveys
- Preparing, reviewing and exchanging contracts
- Paying the appropriate taxes
- Registering your property
Searches & Surveys
You may need to get a surveyor to examine a property to highlight any potential issues before you buy it. Most surveys look for problems such as rot, damp and structural issues, but they are not required. However, your mortgage lender will expect you to carry out specific conveyancing searches before agreeing to a mortgage. These could include:
- Planning search
- Land registry search
- Judgment search
Your solicitor will advise you on the searches you need to secure your mortgage and advise you on any others that might be reassuring.
Apart from the purchase price of the property itself, other fees and charges you need to consider include:
- Land registry fees
- Survey fees
- Stamp duty
- Solicitor’s fees
- Local Property Tax – LPT.
Other Considerations for First-Time Buyers
One of your key concerns as a first-time buyer is your deposit. If you are relying on a gift from your parents for your deposit, you need to inform your mortgage provider. Your solicitor will advise you about this when you are arranging your first mortgage and placing an offer on a house.
Much of the terminology used in the house-buying process may be unfamiliar, but your solicitor will always seek to communicate things as simply as possible while making sure you always know what's happening at each stage of the process.
Stamp duty is payable on house purchases of under €1 million at 1%, which would add an extra €3,000 to the price of a €300,000 home. Houses costing more than €1 million are charged a rate of 2% stamp duty on the value in excess of €1 million.