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‘Make the most of mortgages’ in 2015, warns expert

2015 could be the best time to buy a home, with a six month window expected to open as mortgage companies lower costs in a price war, an expert has warned.

Sarah Barnes, head of Residential Property at Napthens solicitors, points to figures from the Bank of England which show that an average £200,000 mortgage is more than £100 a month cheaper than a year ago.

Recently a number of mortgage providers have also announced lower-cost products meaning it could cost homeowners significantly less to get on the property ladder.

But Sarah warned the window of opportunity would not last long, and gave her top tips for buying and selling a property.

She said: “If official figures are correct, we may be seeing some of the most affordable mortgages that are likely to be available for some time.

“Interest rate rises are expected fairly soon, so until this time there is a short window when such cheap products may be available.

“As a result it’s important for those looking to buy or sell a property to make sure they are ready, to take advantage of the current climate while it lasts.”

Sarah’s top tips for sellers include:

  • Instruct a conveyancing lawyer from the beginning, even prior to your sale being agreed.  This will avoid delays in your transaction later on as your papers will be ready as soon as a sale has been agreed. The forms you need to complete are extremely detailed and you want to be in a position where your lawyer is able to issue the contract papers quickly at the outset.
  • Be aware of when you need to physically move out of your property on the day of completion. The contract conditions assumes you will vacate the property by 2pm at the latest. This time can be amended by agreement between both sets of lawyers.

Her top tips for buyers include:

  • Review the title plan received from the seller’s lawyer carefully. Ensure that the plan accords with the boundaries of the property. If there is any discrepancy, raise this with your lawyer. The title pan is not an exact reflection of the boundary, and is only general guidance, however you do need to ensure that you are broadly happy with the extent of the property you have agreed to buy.
  • Negotiate the items to be included in your purchase and ensure that these items are mentioned on the fittings and contents form which will then form part of the contract. You want to avoid any uncertainty in relation to this.