First time buyers

Gaining a clear understanding of both your priorities and the property buying process, as you embark on your first home journey.


How do I qualify as a first time buyer?

To qualify as a ‘first time buyer’, everyone buying the property must meet the following criteria:

  • You must not have previously been a purchaser in a land transaction
  • You must not own (or have owned in the past) any interest in property anywhere in the world (including having an interest in a trust or inherited a property).
  • You intend to occupy the property as your main residence.
What do I need to consider as a first time buyer?

If you are buying a property, you need to make sure you have your finances in place first.
Once your mortgage and funding arrangements are in place, you will need to consider all of the finances for the transaction. These will include:

  • all legal fees and other costs
  • stamp duty costs (if relevant, please see below)
  • The ‘balance’ needed to complete the purchase in addition to your mortgage
Do I need to do a survey of the property?

Arranging a survey of the property early on will ensure you know what you are buying and identify any structural or physical issues before you are committed to the purchase. You will be purchasing the property as it is, so it is important to enlist help from suitable experts so that you know what you are buying.

Tenants in Common vs Joint Tenants – what is the difference?

If you are buying a property jointly with someone, you will need to consider whether you will buy the property as “Tenants in Common” or “Joint Tenants”.
We can help provide guidance to you as you make your choice, including whether you need a Declaration of Trust.

Tenants in Common Joint Tenants
How is the property owned? Owners can own equal or varying proportionate interests in the property. Have equal rights to the property.
When can we buy the property? You can purchase the property at the same time or one could purchase from a previous owner at another time. You have to buy the property at the same time.
What happens if an owner passes away? If one owner passes away their portion of the property would be inherited in accordance with their will or the intestacy rules and not default to the other owner(s). The other owner would still own their portion if the property, which could result in difficult circumstances. If a joint tenant passes away, the other tenant(s) would automatically inherit the whole of the property. Even if the deceases made a Will, the property will not form part of the Will.
Can I sell my share of the property? If one owner wanted to sell their interest in the property they could do so whilst the other owner retains their share. If one tenant decides to sell their share, this may necessitate becoming tenants in common.
Who usually goes or this option? Friends, relatives or blended families. Couples.
Does a first time buyer have to pay stamp duty?

Individuals that qualify as ‘First Time Buyers’ will not pay Stamp Duty on the purchase of a property up to £425,000 in price at current rates.

For First Time Buyers purchasing a property up to £625,000 in price, a rate of 0% will be applied to the first £425,000 of the purchase price and a rate of 5% will apply to the remainder.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the term for the legal process of transferring one person’s property (the seller) to another (the buyer).

Your conveyancer will handle all the legal aspects of your transaction. We will provide updates along the way for you.

We will handle:

  • coordinating the contracts
  • checking the title for any defects that could cause you an issue, such as easements, restrictive covenants, or adverse entries such as third party charges (other than seller’s mortgage)
  • carrying out searches and diligence on the property
  • dealing with the Land Registry
  • transferring the funds to pay for your property

A conveyancing specialist will address issues before you buy the property to ensure there are no nasty surprises once your purchase has completed, leaving you free to enjoy your new home.

Good advice during the purchase process will in turn help to prepare for a smooth sale if you want to sell the property in the future.

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Excellent service - everything was explained every step of the way of the sale/purchase.
Client of Vicky Lee
Following my initial enquiry with the Newbury office I quickly knew what I needed, the cost, and what was required from me. I was kept informed of all progress and am very happy with the service I received.
Client of Vicky Lee
Gardner Leader were the perfect partner in helping to execute the sale of our cottage. Exceptional care and service!
Client of Stuart Durrant
Sheyi has been very supportive, positive and efficient throughout the three year saga of selling the cottage and I would thoroughly recommend her to anyone buying or selling a house!
Client of Sheyi Lawale
Having previously used Gardner Leader I was very happy to use them again. First class service, efficient, friendly and highly recommended.
Client of Michelle Challis
Hana was incredible. She answered emails so quickly and always explained things clearly. I would highly recommend Hana and would 100% use Gardner Leader again.
Client of Hana Krilovska
I found Gardner Leader to be the best solicitors I have ever used for conveyancing. Their communication was great, and their actions were timely.
Client of Emma Jones
Emma is an absolute credit to Gardner Leader and I could not be more pleased with the service she provided. I would not hesitate to use Gardner Leader's services in the future and would recommend others to do the same.
Client of Emma Jones
We had wonderful service from all involved with our property sale at Gardner Leader. The whole process was managed very efficiently from first enquiries to completion.
Client of Cate Beavis

Meet the First Time Buyers Team

Meet the First Time Buyers Team