Buying a property or home in the UK | Legend Solicitors


Buying a property or home in the UK is a wise and well-settled plan that can bring many benefits. As a stable and prosperous country, the UK offers a diverse range of properties to suit all budgets and lifestyles. Owning a property or home in the UK provides a sense of security and stability, as well as the potential for financial gains over time. With a strong housing market, buying a property or home in the UK is a sound investment, as property prices tend to appreciate over the long term. Additionally, owning a home can offer a sense of pride and accomplishment, as well as the freedom to decorate and modify the property to one’s own tastes. Overall, buying a property or home in the UK is an excellent decision for those looking for stability, security, and financial growth.

The latest statistics show that 52.8% of families in the UK own their own homes, with 28.2% owning their properties outright and 24.6% owning with a mortgage. This percentage is lower than the EU average, but higher than some European countries such as Germany, France, and Switzerland. The increase in homeownership in the UK during the late 20th century was due to the Right-to-buy scheme introduced in the 1980s, which gave council tenants the opportunity to purchase their homes at a discounted rate. However, in recent years, the average age of first-time home buyers has risen due to increased house prices. Additionally, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has reported that homeownership among young adults has decreased by more than 50% over the past two decades.


UK Property

It’s definitely possible for UK citizens to buy house/property in UK. As cutoff in September 2021, there were no restrictions on foreigners buying property in the UK. However, foreign buyers may be subject to additional taxes and fees, including Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT), depending on the value and type of property they purchase.

In March 2021, the UK government introduced a new 2% SDLT surcharge for non-UK residents purchasing residential property in England and Northern Ireland. This is in addition to the regular SDLT rates, which range from 0% to 12%, depending on the purchase price and whether the property is a primary residence or a buy-to-let investment. Foreigners who buy property in the UK may also be subject to CGT when they sell the property, depending on the length of time they have owned it and their residency status for tax purposes.

Since the Brexit vote in 2016, there has been uncertainty about the UK property market. Despite this, the average house price across the UK has remained relatively stable and is currently approximately £228,000. However, prices in London are higher than in other major cities, with an average of £473,822 for a home, and £912,343 for a detached home, and £411,950 for an apartment. The average overall costs for other major cities include Manchester (£193,415), Edinburgh (£292,644), Cardiff (£250,618), and Belfast (£159,562). Compared to other countries in Europe, the UK is relatively expensive, with the highest average price per square meter at €4,905. It is important to note that regulations and taxes can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a qualified legal or financial professional before making any significant property purchase decisions in the UK.

Residential homes in the UK come in various styles, and it’s important to know which one would suit your needs. Here are the most popular types of homes and their unique features.

1)Detached Houses are homes that don’t share any walls with other buildings and often come with gardens in both the front and back yards. They’re ideal for those who want more privacy and space, especially for families with children.

2)Semi-Detached Houses are similar to detached houses but share at least one wall with another building. These homes are more affordable and save a lot of space compared to fully detached homes.

3)Terraced Houses are recognizable and famous in the UK, where a street-wide “row” of buildings shares a single wall on either side. These homes are popular in urban areas with high demand for land and may not have front or rear gardens, making them more affordable.

4)Flats are the most well-known type of accommodation in the UK, offering space-saving benefits and typically housed in a single building. Flats are more affordable than detached or semi-detached houses, making them ideal for singles or small families.

5)Cottages are traditional homes found in rural areas and are known for their robust design, substantial walls, and traditional ambiance. They can be one or two stories high and come with sizable gardens. Cottages are often used as vacation homes and are easy to rent out during the holiday season.

6)Mansions are the most luxurious options, with some buildings dating back hundreds of years and having extensive histories. These homes are designated as historical sites of interest, making it difficult or impossible to add additional structures or get planning approval. Mansions are ideal for those who can afford such investments and are looking for a lavish lifestyle.

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Planning to purchase a home in the UK, it is highly recommended that you work with a solicitor who is based in the UK to handle all the legal documentation. This is because the UK has specific laws and regulations governing the purchase of property, and a local solicitor will have the knowledge and experience to ensure that the legal process is completed correctly and efficiently. A solicitor will be able to assist with tasks such as conveyancing, drafting contracts, and transferring ownership of the property. By working with a UK-based solicitor, you can ensure that the legal aspects of purchasing a home are handled smoothly and with the necessary attention to detail.

Buying a home is a significant investment, and the costs associated with it can be a major concern for potential homeowners. The United Kingdom has its own set of costs that come with purchasing a property, and these costs can be divided into two categories: upfront costs and ongoing costs.

Upfront Costs: The upfront costs of buying a home in the UK can include a variety of expenses. The first of these is stamp duty, which is a tax applied to all property purchases over £125,000 at a rate of between 2-12% (or 3-13% for second homes or buy-to-let purchases). Another upfront cost is the deposit, which typically ranges between 5-40% of the property cost and is required when taking out a UK mortgage. In addition to this, there are also mortgage costs, such as arrangement fees, booking fees, and valuation fees, which can add a couple of thousand pounds to the overall cost. Legal fees are also required, and you will need to employ a solicitor or conveyancer to act on your behalf, with fees typically starting from £1,000. Furthermore, there are land registry fees, which are paid to the UK government for transferring the property’s legal deeds to a new owner, and removal costs for transferring possessions to the UK from an old home, which can be between £300-600.

Ongoing Costs: After purchasing a home in the UK, there are also several ongoing costs that need to be considered. Mortgage repayments will need to be made, typically starting the month after buying the home. Maintenance and repair costs are also a consideration, and these will depend on the condition of the property. New builds and well-maintained homes will require less investment than those in need of significant work. Home insurance is also required, with both building insurance and home contents insurance being essential considerations. Regular bills such as council tax, gas, water, and electricity will also need to be paid. Finally, for leasehold properties, additional charges such as ground rent can be between £50-100 per year.

Unlocking the Door to Homeownership: Mortgages Available to Non-Citizens and Foreigners in the UK

The non-citizens and foreigners living in the UK can also apply for and obtain a mortgage to purchase a property or home. This provides an opportunity for individuals who may not be UK citizens but are living and working in the country to become homeowners and invest in their future. If you want to buy a property in the UK but don’t have enough money, you can ask a bank or a mortgage broker to lend you some. This service is also available to foreigners who want to invest in UK property. With a variety of mortgage options available, including those for non-citizens and foreigners, homeownership is now more accessible than ever before in the UK. Getting a mortgage can be a bit tricky, but there are many different options available to you. Most mortgages last for around 25 years, but the length of the mortgage can vary depending on what kind of mortgage you choose. Overall, it’s pretty common for people in the UK to buy a house using a mortgage

If you have been in the UK for less than two years and are currently unemployed, you may have to meet more strict requirements and pay a larger deposit when applying for a mortgage. This means that the lender may have more specific eligibility criteria and may require a higher down payment before approving the mortgage. This is because being unemployed and having a shorter history of living in the UK may be considered higher risk factors for the lender. However, there are still options available for those in this situation, and speaking with a mortgage advisor can help identify potential solutions.

Here are ten common mistakes to avoid when investing in property:

  1. Failing to plan ahead
  2. Believing that you can quickly make a profit
  3. Trying to do it all by yourself
  4. Making excessive payments
  5. Skipping the groundwork
  6. Being reckless and not thinking things through
  7. Miscalculating cash flow
  8. Not diversifying your investments
  9. Becoming too attached to a particular property or deal
  10. Making inaccurate estimates or projections.

Purchasing Process

When you want to buy a house, you start by making an offer to the seller either in person or through an estate agent. If the seller accepts your offer, they begin the process of transferring ownership to you.

If you’re buying a house in England, Northern Ireland, or Wales, you can hire a solicitor after your offer has been accepted, but the offer isn’t legally binding until the contracts are exchanged. In Scotland, a solicitor is required to help with the offer.

After the offer is settled, you need to have a survey done on the house. This can be done by your lender or you can hire someone else to do it. The cost of the survey depends on how detailed it is and can range from £250 to over £600. If the survey shows any problems, you can negotiate the price again. Once you agree on a new price, you pay a deposit and finalize your mortgage.

The ownership transfer process ends with the signing and exchanging of contracts and the transfer of money through solicitors’ accounts.

In other words;

  1. Determine your budget: Decide how much you can afford to spend on a house. Consider your income, expenses, and any savings you may have.
  2. Get a mortgage: Unless you are buying the house with cash, you will need to get a mortgage. Shop around for the best mortgage rates and get pre-approved before you start house hunting.
  3. Find a property: Look for properties that fit your budget and needs. Consider location, size, and features of the house.
  4. Make an offer: Once you find a house you like, make an offer to the seller. Negotiate the price, if necessary.
  5. Hire a solicitor: Hire a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the transaction, including conveyancing and contracts.
  6. Complete the purchase: Once all legal and financial arrangements are in order, complete the purchase. This will involve exchanging contracts and paying the deposit, followed by completion of the sale.
  7. Move in: Congratulations, you are now a homeowner! Move into your new home and start making it your own.



Buying a property or house in the UK can be a significant financial investment, and it is important to do thorough research and seek professional advice before making any decisions. Foreigners can buy property in the UK, but they may be subject to additional taxes and fees, including Stamp Duty Land Tax and Capital Gains Tax. It is also important to consider the current state of the UK housing market, including house prices, trends, and availability. Finally, it is important to consider your personal financial situation and long-term goals before deciding whether buying a property or house in the UK is the right choice for you.

There are also some considerations that foreigners should take into account when buying property in the UK. For example, they may need to obtain a visa or other documentation to legally reside in the country if they plan to use the property as a primary residence. Additionally, foreigners may face more limited options for obtaining a mortgage or financing a property purchase in the UK.

It’s worth noting that the rules and regulations surrounding foreign ownership of property in the UK can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal or financial professional to ensure you have the most up-to-date information before making a purchase.

Legend Solicitors

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