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By Ellen Bates
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What First-Time Buyers In Northern Ireland Need To Know

Unlocking the door of your newly purchased house as a first-time buyer is one of the most significant and memorable milestones to occur. Unfortunately, no matter how exciting and anticipated this event might be, the procedure for purchasing property as a first-time buyer is still considered to be highly complex and daunting.

Nevertheless, over the last three years, there has been a huge increase in purchase activity amongst first-time buyers in Northern Ireland. As a result, our expert conveyancing Solicitors have noticed a growing trend in queries amongst first-time buyers as to the process associated with purchasing property. This article will provide an all-encompassing answer sheet to the most frequent queries made by first-time buyers.

Where To Start…

As a first-time buyer in Northern Ireland, there are so many decisions to be made that it can be difficult to know where to begin. Luckily for you, we have created a step-by-step guide to get you started and to explain how our expert conveyancing Solicitors can assist you!

Our Simple Step-By-Step Guide to Purchasing Your Dream Home as a First-Time Buyer

At this initial stage, this is all you need to know:

  1. Once you have found your dream home, you will need to make an offer with the Estate Agent.

  1. Once your purchase offer is accepted you will need to provide the Estate Agent with our details, your specialist conveyancing Solicitors. The Estate Agent will then forward the details of your purchase to us.

  1. You will need to obtain financial support from a Lender in the form of a Mortgage. There are thousands of Mortgage products available, and appointing a Mortgage Advisor may assist you with this part and make the mortgage application on your behalf. But do not panic if you are unsure how to do this! Your appointed conveyancing Solicitor at PA Duffy & Co. will be more than happy to refer you to a local and reputable Mortgage Advisor.

  1. Once you have received and accepted a suitable Mortgage Offer, this Offer will also be sent to us, your nominated Solicitor. Please note that we will also be acting for the Lender in this transaction.

  1. Next, your expert conveyancing Solicitor will receive Sales Advise from the Estate Agent and your Mortgage Offer. We will then write to the Vendor’s Solicitor requesting Title Deeds and a Contract for the property in sale. We will review these documents and raise any appropriate queries as we see fit.

  1. When we are in a position to advise you in respect of the Title to the property, we will then arrange to meet with you and have the Contract and Mortgage Documents signed. We will discuss with you and advise you on the Title Deeds, Maps and agree a Completion Date which suits you and the Vendor.

  1. We will release a Contract including a Completion Date, which we also call an ‘Offer to Purchase’, and await the returned Contract signed by you and the Vendor. Once all parties have signed the Contract it is legally binding.

  1. We will make a request to your Lender for your Mortgage monies and ask you to make payment for any additional monies required to complete the purchase prior the agreed Completion Date.

  1. On the completion date we will forward completion monies to the Vendor’s Solicitor who will then authorise release of keys. Once this is done, you can collect the keys to your new property!

  1. After the completion, we will see to registration formalities in the Land Registry of Northern Ireland and submit your Stamp Duty Land Tax Return to HMRC. The fantastic thing about being a first-time buyer is that you will benefit from First Time Buyer’s Relief with the HMRC and have no stamp duty to pay on your property.                             

For more information on Stamp Duty please use the following link- 

It really is as simple as that!

How Long Will the Purchase Take?

On a straightforward purchase, it usually takes between 6-8 weeks from the sale being agreed until you can get the keys to your new house on the Completion date.

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