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What Are Title Deeds? A Beginner’s Guide

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you’re probably going to hear the term ‘title deeds’ quite a lot. This is why you need to know what they are, and why they’re so important.

We answer the question “what are title deeds?” so you can approach your next property transaction with your eyes wide open.

A title deed is a document that formally registers the legal owner of land and property. As well as providing information about the owner, the document also includes a brief history of the property. Other information on a title deed contains details of any mortgages secured on the property, contracts for sales and recent conveyances.

Property burdens

What are title deeds

A solicitor or conveyancer needs to see a title deed before proceeding with the exchange of contracts. This is because the ‘property burdens’ listed on the document must be met. Among the most common property burdens are:

  • Restrictions on extending and improving the property
  • Maintenance and significant repairs to the property
  • Access to the property
  • Restrictions on how the building can be used
  • Whether or not rights to roads on the property exist

Title deeds are now stored digitally on the Land Registry website. This makes accessing them very easy. However, a paper version is usually stored by a solicitor or conveyancer for future reference.

Accessing a title deed

If you ever need to access a title deed, you can do so through the Land Registry. In the first instance, search for the deed on the Land Registry website. You don’t need to own the property to access the document. This means you can check the details of ownership and property burdens before you make an offer.

Download a copy of the title register. You need this to find the title number. You can then complete a deeds request form — available online.

Transferring title deeds

What are title deeds?

It is possible to add and remove names from a title deed. For example, if a new spouse is moving into your home, you might wish to add their name to the deed. Other reasons to change the names on the document include death and divorce.

Follow these steps if you need to amend the information on your title deed:

  • Complete an AP1 form — available on the UK Government website
  • Choose whether to transfer all or just a proportion of the property
  • Confirm your identity
  • Ascertain the fee associated with your particular application
  • Send the full application to HM Land Registry

You may run into a few problems when trying to make a chance to your title deed for the first time. For example, your original deed might be lost or destroyed. This was relatively common before records were digitalised, as documents used to change hands between solicitors and conveyancers every time a property was sold.

You may also encounter a problem known as ‘adverse possession’. This is when your property is standing on land you don’t legally own. This can happen by accident when the property is first registered. You might also discover that ownership of the land on which your property stands is unknown.

If you encounter problems with your title deed, seek legal advice. If you need to sell a house fast, we buy any property. Call us today for a free, no-obligation valuation.

How to Buy a House with a Small Deposit

With house prices higher than ever before — and beyond the means of many — the deposit needed to buy your own home is significant. If you shop around, however, there’s a good chance you’ll find a decent mortgage that requires just a 5% deposit.

If you’re short of cash, there are ways to reduce the deposit required even further. If you need to know how to buy a house with a small deposit, read on.

Choose a guarantor mortgage

Mortgage providers are often willing to accept a greatly reduced deposit for a mortgage guaranteed by a parent or close relative. In the event you fall behind with your repayments, the lender can pursue the guarantor for the arrears.

This is a good idea if your parents have collateral, a good credit score and the means to pay your mortgage should something go wrong. But you need to trust the person. And your relationship should be strong enough to withstand the fallout caused by falling into arrears.

Buy your house at auction

Buy a house with a small deposit

Buying a house the traditional way usually means you end up paying the market price (or something close to it). And because market prices are higher than ever, even a 5% deposit is well beyond the reach of people on a modest income.

But buying a house at auction allows you to avoid some of the legal and administrative costs involved. And don’t forget: there are some great bargains to be found at property auctions — the lower the final sale price, the lower the deposit.

Shared ownership

Shared ownership is one answer to soaring house prices in the UK. It allows people to get on the property ladder when they don’t have the income or deposit to get a mortgage on their own.

In most cases, ownership is shared between the buyer and either the developer or a local authority. You pay your mortgage as normal, but you also pay rent on the proportion of the property you don’t own.

Buying a property this way gives you anything between 25% and 75% ownership. If you’re only buying, say, 50% of the property, you only have to find 50% of the deposit.

A bridging loan

Buy a house with a small deposit

If you’re about to buy a property, the chances are you have a limited pot of cash to cover all your initial expenses and outgoings. A bridging loan doesn’t lower the deposit you need to pay, but it does help you to cover buying expenses for a limited period.

For example, imagine you’re trying to sell a property and buy a new one at the same time. To help you cover all the associated costs — and pay a deposit — you take out a small bridging loan. Once your house sells, you pay the loan back in full.

But a word of caution, bridging loans can be expensive. They should only ever be taken out for a few weeks or months. Once you’ve sold your home, use some of the proceeds to repay the loan immediately. Doing so helps you to pay a hefty deposit while keeping money back for fees and expenses.

Selling a house fast is often essential if you need to raise a significant deposit for a new property. Sell Property Fast Cash can help in that regard. We buy houses directly from owners — without the need to market your home or waste time on price negotiations. As a result, we might be able to complete the purchase of your home within just a few days.

Should I Rent or Buy Property?

You’ve probably heard people say that renting a home is like throwing money down the drain. While buying a house is often the sensible economic decision, it’s not always the most practical.

There are benefits and drawbacks to buying your own home. Consider them all before deciding which option is best for you. ‘Should I rent or buy a property?’ is a very complex question, and it deserves a lot of thought.

The benefits of buying a home

Ownership

You don’t truly own your own home until you’ve paid off your mortgage. But once you have, the property is yours to do with as you wish.

Something to bequeath

A lot of parents take great pride in being able to bequeath a home to their children. The sooner you buy, the sooner your children can benefit.

Generate equity

While there are fluctuations, property prices in the UK are generally on an upward curve. If you’re in this for the long run, a rise in local house prices could leave you with a lot of equity. And you can use this equity to fund other purchases, lifestyle decisions or home improvements.

No one to answer to

When you rent a home, you always have to ask the landlord’s permission before you make home improvements. And even then the answer could be no. When you buy, however, you can pretty much do what you like — unless the work involves major structural changes.

It’s often cheaper

Rental homes in the UK have never been so expensive. The rise of the buy-to-let-mortgage and a chronic shortage of housing has driven rents up significantly in recent years. But when you buy, the only intermediary is the lender. And that’s why owning is usually cheaper than renting your home.

Rent or buy property?

The drawbacks of buying a home

A big financial commitment

Buying a home is a long-term commitment that must be taken seriously. If you don’t keep up with repayments, you could lose your home — and any chance of obtaining credit in the near future.

Uncertainty

Fixed price mortgages only last for a few years, after which time repayments can fluctuate in accordance with interest rates. This might complicate some of your long-term lifestyle plans.

Moving might be tricky

If you rent your home, moving doesn’t entail too many complications. Give notice to your landlord, and make plans for the future. Even if you have to wait for your lease to expire, there’s certainty in the process.

But when you own a home, you’re at the mercy of outside forces. There are no guarantees if you need to sell a house fast to fund your next move. Your plans for the future could be determined by the state of the property market at the time. But there are other options, including Sell Property Fast Cash if you need a quick house sale. This national homebuyer purchases property without the need for marketing and negotiating.

Moving home

Maintenance costs

When you rent a home, you don’t have to worry about your boiler breaking down. Big repair jobs are the responsibility of the owner.

Splitting up complicates the issue

If you live with someone, owning a home can become a real headache if the relationship breaks down. Selling a house and dividing the proceeds can be a complex legal issue, but it’s no issue at all if you’re renting (although you’ll both be responsible for rent payments until the end of the lease).

Negative equity

If property prices fall, you might find that you owe more on your home than it’s worth. If you can afford to keep up with repayments in the medium term, this shouldn’t be a major issue. But if you need to sell up and move, negative equity could trap you in your property until house prices recover.

Buying a home is a big step in life. But the pride, security and comfort it delivers are why so many people choose to buy a property of their own.

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