The UK is a great place to visit or to relocate to. As a tourist, it has its fair share of interesting spots, stunning sights, delicious food, and fascinating culture. As a new resident, the country boasts a stable economy, a strong job market, and a largely open society. Is it any wonder why people like to go here? Some would even go so far as to buy property in the UK
. And you know what? You can get in on that action too! If you think buying real estate in the United Kingdom is impossible, think again! This guide will tell you what you need to know!
Can a Non-Resident Buy A Property in The UK?
First things first, are you even allowed to buy a new property in the UK? Will your legal status in the country hinder you from this endeavor? The answer is no, it will not. As of this writing, non-residents are allowed to purchase real estate in the United Kingdom. Your residency status may affect your chances of getting a mortgage in this country, however, but that's another matter entirely. If you found a home that you want for yourself in the UK, you can buy it no matter your citizenship.
What Should You Look For in a Property?
Remember that you'll be spending a lot of money on your real estate in the UK. From the property value to the various fees and charges throughout the process, you'll need a large budget. And because of this, you owe it to yourself to find a home that fits all your specific standards and criteria. There's a lot you need to consider
before choosing a property in the UK. Among them are its overall layout and structure, the neighborhood where it's located, nearby facilities, and more. Make sure to find all of these before you even approach the homeowner.
What Are The Costs of Buying Property?
Speaking of the costs, you'd do well to know all about them before you start the purchasing process. For the most part, you will need to pay the Stamp Duty (applicable to all UK properties that cost more than £125,000.000), Land Registry fees, legal fees, your real estate agent
's commission, mortgage costs, and of course, the deposit. Unlike other European countries, wherein the deposit is commonly around 10% of the final price of the property, the amount in the UK can range from 5% to a whopping 40%. Also, you can pay for removal costs if you want to have your stuff transferred to your new home.
How Do You Make an Offer to Buy Property in The UK?
Making an offer is practically the first step you need to take to buy a new property in the UK. At times, it's even the most nerve-wracking part. You're dealing with money here and you're negotiating what you will have to pay in order to purchase the real estate in the United Kingdom. Initially, the seller will have already set a number. You, as the buyer, have the right to offer one that's either lower or higher. Do take note, however, that the initial price the seller set is likely a result of a property valuation. So whatever price you offer, it ought to be near the initial price!
How Do You Get a Mortgage in The UK?
The process of getting a mortgage in the UK
is pretty straightforward. You go to a financial institution, apply for a mortgage, submit a few documents, and if they approve your application, they'll lend you the loan. Easy peasy, right? What's more challenging about it is that various British banks and financial institutions have set specific conditions for those they’re willing to lend a mortgage loan. You'll have to have a local bank account
, they'll look at your source of funds and proof of income, and they'll examine your credit score too. At times, even your age can be a disqualifying factor as well!
How Do You Set Up the Sale & Purchase Contract?
Once you and the seller have reached a final price for the property in the UK, it's time to sign the sale and purchase contract. In this country, they refer to it as the 'memorandum of sale' and act as a legal document that designates the property as 'STC' (sold to contract). Though it's not legally binding, you, as the buyer, will still want to sign it asap! Why? Because once the property is marked as 'STC,' it's essentially taken off the market. The seller can still show it off to the other potential buyers after signing, but you still get top priority!
What Are The Different Types of Ownership Structures in The UK?
Here in the UK, there are three main types of ownership structures you ought to know about. There's owning real estate in the United Kingdom in your own name, under a company, or through a trust. Depending on how you'll use the property moving forward, these three different ownership structures serve different purposes. As you might already suspect, if you're gonna use the property as your main residence when you relocate to London
, Nottingham, Manchester, or any other part of the UK, you'd do well to own it under your own name.
What Are The Legal Issues in Buying Properties in The UK?
When you decide to buy a new property in the UK, know that you'll be facing a few legal issues
along the way. Firstly, there are the taxes and fees you need to pay, from the deposit to the mortgage repayments. Secondly, you also have to deal with the Land Registry. You have to make sure that the seller is, in fact, the listed owner of the property in the registry. And when the ownership is transferred to you, your solicitor will then have to go to the registry again and include your name in the title.
How Long is The Process of Buying Property in The UK?
How long the purchasing process will take here in the UK will depend on various factors. On your end, as the buyer, getting a mortgage might prove to be the most time-consuming part. On the seller's end, it's mostly about gathering their required documents. If they've already prepared their papers beforehand, you can expect a swift process from start to finish. Nevertheless, buying property in the UK can take from around three to six months, possibly even longer. If you're coming from a different country, get the right visa
so you can come back to the UK multiple times.
How Do You Search Properties For Sale in Country?
Before anything else, you need to choose a property in the UK that you will buy. And in this day and age, when the internet has practically taken over the world, your best bet is to go on the top property listing websites
here. Platforms like Zoopla
, and Rightmove
are good since they list several properties throughout the country. These portals cater to international buyers too. And it's a good thing that English is the UK's official language so you won't have to worry about language barriers.
What are The Best Tips for Buying Property in The UK?
Now, here are some final tips
that may help you buy the property in the UK for sale. Before you hire a solicitor, get to them first. Learn all about them—their work experience, their previous clients, and even their personality! Remember that your solicitor will serve as your legal representative throughout this process. They need to be 100% trustworthy! Moreover, Make sure to get all the paperwork done beforehand. If possible, even before you choose a place you want to purchase, get all the legal documents ready. As already mentioned, it's this part of the process that often takes up a lot of time.
If you want to buy a new property in the UK, you'll need to do a lot of work. It requires a lot of effort, from handling all sorts of legal issues to saving up a lot of money. But the rewards for all of that would be priceless!