Conveyancing is an important part of the home buying process, and it’s important to note it’s required when both buying and selling a property.
So what should you consider when choosing a property solicitor to carry out your conveyancing? It’s important to use a qualified property solicitor who’ll be able to take care of a range of issues on your behalf, including:
- Dealing with the land registry
- Carrying out searches
- Managing Stamp Duty
- Collecting and transferring funds
Cheapest isn’t necessarily best
Solicitors charge for their time in different ways. Whilst some may offer a fixed fee, others will charge a percentage of the value of the property, so shopping around is a key factor to consider. Additional costs such as postage and VAT may be treated as disbursements, and therefore they’ll be added to any original quote, so you should clarify how this is handled when you first enquire. If a solicitor has been recommended by a family member or friend who’s used them before, this can be a good indicator of a good service.
Online or DIY conveyancing?
There’s been a rise in recent years of online-only conveyancers who offer you the chance to track the progress of your case online at a time that suits you. You can also choose to do conveyancing yourself, and this can help keep costs down. However, you should proceed with caution because if any searches and other formal legal procedures are not done properly, or not completed at all, this can cause major problems. If you use a professional conveyancer, you may be covered by their insurance for some of the things that could go wrong.
You should make sure that the solicitor or firm you choose takes the time to explain everything to you, and that they’re available to answer any questions you might have about the process.
Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage
Are you retiring soon?
If you are planning on retiring soon there are a few things you may like to consider before you make any important decisions.
Gather all the information You need to gather information on all your assets, including pensions as well as savings and investments. Don’t forget to include your State Pension. There are ways to boost your State Pension; such as buying top ups – which apply for women born before April 6, 1953 and men before April 6, 1951. These can increase your state pension by up to £25 a week – so is well worth investigating. You can also get a higher monthly pension by delaying when you take the first payments.
Once you have the paperwork together you will need to consider what you expect to live off. Work out your current living expenses and what you expect to spend more or less on as you leave work as well as your long-term plans for the future.
The Bank of England Base Rate has been below 1% for over eight years causing interest rates to be low which in turn makes retirement saving more difficult. If you find the numbers don’t add up, you could consider increasing the amount you pay in to your pension and/or staying in full-time or part-time work longer than you originally planned until you close the gap.
Consider tax Usually 25% of your pension can be taken tax free and the other 75% is taxed as earned income.
Getting the right tax advice could help you withdraw your cash in the most tax efficient way. For example, you may be able to take a smaller amount of money from your pension and more from your ISA (which can be tax free).
Get advice With many different types of options available for your retirement it can be an overwhelming decision to make the right choice for your needs. We can help you understand all the options open to you and help you avoid risks such as the impact of poor investment market performance both in the run-up and early in retirement or potentially running out of money in retirement.